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Zirma Poster : A Map for Civic Engagement

April 5, 2010

Super excited to present my Zirma welcome poster; it is a self-mailing, two-sided poster sent out to new citizens of the city.

First the flat jpegs (the gray background is the Indesign background again–sorry for quality of images but am super excited to get this out, so am rushing to publish.)

Betsy Medvedovsky graphic design Zirma poster front

Betsy Medvedovsky graphic design Zirma poster

This whole package is designed to encourage civic participation; the calendar shows community events–it is those days that have been been cut-out as it were, to attract attention. The calendar is in some sense another map of the city of Zirma–a map of the community. I like the idea of the active days being negative–because as architecture and urban planning people know, it is the negative space of both buildings and cities that is actually crucial to the construction of space. These active days provide space for intersections of members of the community. The cut out shape is nice because it becomes a temporary map of the city of Zirma–superimposed on the permanent map of the city; April now has a shape. Quite conveniently, this shape is very city-esque–doesn’t the black apge remind you of a skyscraper with some lights on, some lights off?

Underneath is a voter registration card and a quick guide that can be punched out for easy reference by the new inhabitants of Zirma.

The days themselves can be punched out–they become a handy index card-sized reminder of the useful info–where, what time, etc.

Do you notice 28 has been quite cut-out? (Quite violently, actually, partly because I haven’t done a poster version with the actual perforations; partially because it was EXTREMELY fun and effective to cut into my poster right during the presentation!)

The final twist is that this little card can then be signed and stamped at the actual community event–and it becomes a Zirma Zee (I haven’t finalized the name yet!)–a community currency, thus encouraging civic participation.

It’s stamped with the shape of the month. Mark proposes that these Zirma Zees become like metrocards–they are used up by checking the negative spaces (So each month would be valued slightly differently–depending on the number of days that are active. Though perhaps the Zirmese decide to control for it. But currency fluctuates anyways.) This idea works terrifically with the existing play on negative/positive space.

I would love to find a way to concatenate the stamps of different months onto one place–to recreate the city, in profile, with some windows open, some closed, but not sure how to.

I am also pretty happy with how the currency plays with what is current (though no one else in my class thought it was funny; I think it’s hilarious.)

Very excited to be this far along–finally!–with this project; there are some refinements to be made, the perforations to make sure of, and the stamp thing to flesh out (as well as get a good ink for it–was having a tough time finding a good stamp ink, so I just used printing block ink, but ideally it would just be a stamp).

So happy with how the currency plays into it–the currency which for the longest time was just one other element that had to be worked on while the poster was not at all done–it now becomes a linchpin that takes the point of the poster to a really explicit level (being civically engaged is rewarding, dammit!).

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 6, 2010 5:04 am

    Jct: You should not allow your currency to vary, that would be like having a rubber ruler. Besides, the global Time Standard of Money allows trading on Hours, or even mobile phone minutes in Africa. I repeat, there is no reason for demurrage that changes the value of your token.

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