Craftiness, Cards & Cartography

October 15, 2009

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My jet-setting former student, Sagarika Sundaram, recently touched down in London long enough to complete a 3 month internship with multi-disciplinary design firm Pentagram – between stints in Zürich and Dubai.

While there she assisted Pentagram partner Harry Pearce on his project for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) which provided graphic training tools for the Russian police. Employing national abbreviations (GB, US, RU, etc) the folding posters presented comparative data surrounding drug abuse, intervention, therapy and health related consequences – as a way of clarifying various aspects of drug policy during training sessions. (English versions shown here, with Russian versions being used on the ground. More posters can be viewed via Pentagram)
 
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Sagarika’s input involved exploration of the folding component of the posters – a realm in which she has developed skills through her previous work on dimensional projects. Above she experimented in typography composed from playing cards to transform her understanding of 2D-form during her time in Baltimore.

And of maps, Sagarika has a few observations based on her extensive global forays:

“In India maps are not prevalently used – I think due to the immediacy of existence. People will go as far as they know then just ask where to go next. And it works in that context. Elsewhere people like to know from the outset where they are heading. I find that in Europe, maps take on added significance due to the proximity of interacting countries. It seems that European nations, in part, are defined by who they are bordered by.” [I caught Sagarika in Berlin this morning on Skype]

When I met up with Harry Pearce recently in New Zealand he noted that Sagarika was definitely one to watch – although we both agreed it was hard to predict where in the world she would pop up next.

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