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Which clippings match 'Cultural Artefact' keyword pg.1 of 1
28 APRIL 2013

Eurocentrism permeates our common cartographic representations

"on most maps, Europe and North America are situated on top–allowing us to believe that these countries are really 'on top of the world'. Africa, Australia and South America are always situated at the bottom. Why never the other way around? Cartographers make assumptions about the world (North is assumed to be at the top) and these assumptions have become normalised and are viewed as 'common sense'.

But these politically embedded assumptions help to structure how we see the world and our place in it. Few of us ever stop to think about the politics of cartography and what it says about Western cultural and economic imperialism and domination. Few ever think how these unexamined assumptions structure the way we see ourselves, to what extent and on what basis we rate our own worth (or supposed, entirely imagined, lack thereof) or how it restricts our imagination and limits the ways in which we think it is possible to excel and thrive in this world."

(Pierre De Vos, 23 April 2013)

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TAGS

Africa • apolitical • assumptionsAustraliaBritish Librarycartographic metaphorcartographic representationscartographychartcultural artefactcultural hegemonycultural imperialism • economic imperialism • economic significance • Eurocentric legacy • Eurocentrism • Europegeopolitical mapgraphic representationhistorical maphistorical narrativeshow we see the worldinformation visualisationinterpretationmapsmetaphors of reality • neo-European • neutralnormalisation process • normalised • North America • Northern hemisphere • objective perspective • our place in the world • physical geography • political assumptions • politics of cartographypost-colonialismpostcolonial • postcoloniality • reterritorialisationSouth AfricaSouth America • Southern hemisphere • standardised classification • The Lie of the Land (exhibition) • the worldthe world around us • top • understanding of the worldunexamined assumptions • visual critique • visual representationworld mapsworld politicsworld view

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 JUNE 2011

A going concern. Toilet signage as an international cultural artefact

"Toilet signage itself has a relatively young history, following that of the public loo, which only became common in the late nineteenth century, stimulated by increasing mobility and the separation of work from home. Public conveniences first appeared in British railway stations and department stores, but the practice was then exported through the British empire.

These early signs were text–based but increasingly mobile populations in the twentieth century encouraged the development of pictorial systems that did not require shared language. Visual languages such as the US Department of Transportation symbol system designed in 1974 – the first comprehensive pictogram system – and systems developed for the Olympics aimed for universality but very much reflected their Germanic roots in abstract systems such as those of Otto Neurath. Once embraced by international communications and business, they became part of the International Style."

(Lynne Ciochetto, 13 August 2009)

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TAGS

1974 • abstract systems • British Empire • British railway stations • cultural artefactdepartment storesGermanic rootsglobalisationgraphic representation • increasing mobility • India • international business • international communicationsInternational StyleInternational Typographic Style • late nineteenth century • Lynne Ciochetto • mobile populations • modernismOlympicsOtto Neurathpictogrampictogram systempictorial systemspostcolonial • public loo • rail • separation of work from home • shared languagesignssymbol systemtoilet signagetwentieth century • US Department of Transportation • visual communicationvisual language

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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