inspirations for JCP meeting

Mapping Milan

Destroying traditional cartography

My exhibition is a post-geographic participatory global space that prompts passer by’s to interact and leave personal input. 
The wall will be located in the middle of the earth, it will be international and not belonging to anywhere. 
My project aims at suggesting new forms of cartography: mapping the temporal spaces where networks of relationships live. 
Due to the internet and globalization distance has become irrelevant. We can virtually reach almost any destination and contact anyone in seconds. In our busy lives we now think in time rather than distance. Therefore the current maps, as we know them today, are obsolete.
The goal of the participatory space is to create abstract maps of social networks and immigration.
could i be in search of a particular space where all senses fit
what am i saying:
• maps are no longer how we know them in terms of maintaining relationships
• when the world was one
Bertrand Russell puts it this way: “The first thing to notice is that different senses have different spaces.
The space of sight is quite different from the space of touch; it is only by experience in infancy that we learn to correlate them. The one space into which both kinds of sensations fit is an intellectual construction,
not a  datum.” 
collective intellect

Writathon with Emma

What is your thesis about / how will you explain it to JCP?

My thesis is about post-geographic communities. I am defining post-geography as being a state of not belonging to a specific location, but to a global community that is not within proximity. It is a representation of diasporas in the age of globalization. It is a contemporary iterative form of branding a community that is not location specific. Or shall I say: the location is cyber? My project suggests new forms of maps that are based on artificial extensions. It is the creation of personal maps according to each of our social networks.
It is the aggregation of several locations into one space. It is a reflection on how the contemporary home is in the middle of the world.
“Your current relationships status’s are post-geographic, not the base of the relationship”
What will it look like? What is it at the core: an exhibition, a book, a website…?
My project is a study of this phenomenon. It is a tool that makes people aware of it, while adding their own personal experiences to make it live. It is a bunch of explorations that I have done, based on my personal Lebanese diasporic network but it is not about Lebanon. It is an international space, that everyone can relate to. It is like an airport, it is an area that does belong anywhere.
People experiencing my space will feel like they are on international soil, they will share something, and their input will reflect in a personalized network that they can take away. Ideally it would be highly technological, transcending the audience to a place beyond the grad studio center’s wall. how? no fucking clue.
So it is a series of tiny things, that will fit nicely together.
makes sense to have one experiment instead of a collection since there’s no culmination
translating an experience
Who is it for?
Post-geography is for every person that uses social media to stay in touch with his loved ones. It is mainly focused on people who live away from home. It is for people who belong to a dispersed community: and that in a way means everyone.
It is for me. I who don’t fully relate nor belong to one place. It is for travelers of the world, wether physically or cyberally. 

What impression should the project give (of you as a designer)?

Ideally the project would reflect on my design skills, right? good typography and layout skills and all that stuff.
however i find myself stuck in refining the idea instead, and whenever i try focusing on the design i find myself stuck in answering fundamental conceptual questions.
with my current esthetics i think the project reflects a tech-design [or maybe wanna be] 
contemporary due to my typeface choices
and international.
Lupton called my project to be brainy, and i would like my ideas to be directly communicated without having the audience read paragraphs. 
it should reflect my ‘generalist’ graphic design skills, good print, good technology, good web component. i want everything to be there, and to be well done. that’s crazy. I’m crazy. aint nobody got time for that.
What isn’t working?
Everything. I just have a bunch of stuff so far. I need to explain every single one of them for them to make sense to people.
It is very personal. Each person will relate to things differently, so how will i communicate? i feel my project is too personal when it should be international.
I don’t have a piece that screams YES. it is not focused. not focused. where is my focus.
it is still very wide. broad. it is several tiny unfinished things. i need one big thing. a culmination.
What’s your project not about?
My project is not about the Lebanese diaspora.
It is not about Facebook.
It is not about flags.
It is not about territories.
It is not about geography.
It is not pessimistic.
What’s next?
So…. what’s coming up? hysteria.
I would like to play with maps, distort the international design we are all familiar with, while keeping it communicative.
I want to research exhibition design, and come up with millions of ideas of dynamic spaces on the use of transparencies.
i want to create a global room. a room that is the middle of the earth.
i want to make a map of the outlets of the world. what is used where.
maps. new maps. contemporary maps. wwm. world wide map.
What will have changed since the last glabbot?
i will go back to the global room and global party project and sketch out ideas on how to blow up their scale in terms of importance as well as presence.
i will look into technologies that will help me do that, as well as exhibition design ideas that will make the photos printed on transparencies dynamic in my space.
i will come up with a way to have my previous experiments live in my space in a subtle way, even though this was not suggested.
i will be more focused, hopefully with the whip of JCP.

Three essay ideas?
1- Why do I think I am post-geographic. I could write a personal autobiographical essay that explains my forced change of homes during my first few years, and the importance that traveling was given in my adolescence, and the idea of inevitable migration. (reasons behind my thesis)
2- Post-Geographic Design, and the nomadic 
should the big brother be an airport (no man’s land) or a cyber world

5 min
What do you think the other person’s thesis is?
What do you think the other person’s thesis looks like?
What are your potential concerns?

Submitted for Show Collaterals

Post-geographic Communities is a contemporary iterative representation of dispersed communities in the age of globalization.  This project suggests new forms of maps of nations that are not location-specific but are based on looser connections and identities. I have been experiencing the phenomenon of living between time zones. The term “post-geography” has given me a framework in which I can make sense out of the thoughts and emotions I have been developing since I moved away from Lebanon.


Long Statement:

I stumbled upon the term “post-geographic” in a review I read on the book Zero History by the fiction writer William Gibson. This contemporary concept gave me a framework in which I could make sense out of the thoughts and emotions I have been developing since I moved away from Lebanon to study in the United States. Teh term helped me answer questions like: Why do I feel like I am simultaneously in Doha and Baltimore when I am continuously exchanging data with a friend living in Qatar? Geography is no longer the frame of reference that defines relationships. The concept of post-geography remains visually abstract yet obvious in my mind. I currently live between several time zones, since almost all my Lebanese friends are scattered across the continents. Maintaining contact in the face of this dispersed geography has become a conscious effort supported by technology. The collapse of different geographic locations in my smartphone reflects the stateless status of the Lebanese diaspora.

Post-geographic Communities is a representation of diasporas in the age of globalization. My project is a contemporary iterative form of branding a nation that is not location-specific. My project suggests new forms of maps that are based on on looser connections and identities.

from mom_on EXPOSURE

Expéditeur: May Haddad Tabet <>
Date: November 2, 2013, 7:58:39 AM EDT
Destinataire: Abdallah Tabet <>
Objet: Rép : project

j’ai pu ouvrir le link, et j’ai pu suivre des idees et conceptions.
je trouve l’idee geniale, cette connexion avec les autres..
ceci m’a rappeler notre visite a NY, au UN building, qd Rita fakhoury nous a fait visiter les lieus et ns a invite a dejeuner. nous nous sommes trouves, Rita , Abdallah et Imad, toi et papa deviez rentrer a beyrouth, au milieu d’une cahorte de gens , de tous les pays, causant dans leur propre langue, une vraie cacophonie. je suis sentie au milieu de la terre entiere quoique ne comprenant rien. ce fut dans le resto des UN, comme ton bar.
nous sommes fiere de toi.
continue et survole les obstacles.
postive tout le temps


Le Oct 29, 2013 à 7:01 PM, Nour Tabet <> a écrit :

I just started a project that I would like to share with you.

It is a camera that will travel across the USA to 6 lebanese people.


here’s the link to the work.

love you all!!

Tea chat w/ Abdallah

very interesting
nice collection of diverse info
the dynamic time factor is missing. history?
where were the first settlements
who wakes up first?
more quantitative. give character to your people.
who is the diaspora, so far they’re numbers to you.
break down the diaspora [languages, reason of moving] infographics//maps//geography
what’s the narrative that is adding up from project to project?

Critique meeting with Lupton

I met with Ellen yesterday, to catch up. I showed her what I have been working on, but mainly asked her for help in how to liberate myself of overwhelming to-do lists.

What I showed her/have so far

I am working on several projects in parallel and I still feel like I’m floating between all of them, not focusing on finalizing any. #frustration

I bought a disposable camera that I want to brand as ‘exposure’ under the umbrella of the Greenwich Project. This will be a travelling camera that will go from here to New York, Pittsburg, Nashville, Rochester, Dallas, San Francisco then back to Baltimore. I thought of asking every Lebanese to take a photo of something that reminded them of home. Lupton’s feedback suggested I target something more location specific as this will result with a more curated film strip.
I had asked ten people around the world to send me a 10s recording of their entourage. I overlapped them to create this party music piece. Then what? I don’t know. I traced the sound waves and they looked great. The feedback I got was to make the piece communicate by itself.
I had designed a book from the conversations on post-geography. I printed the conversations on acetate and overlapped them. The book is bound from two sides, which is cool. She highlighted that it was an art book and that I should graphically communicate the overlap instead of letting the physical object do it by itself.

Breaking down post-geography

We talked at a length about what was missing in my work in progress: personal graphic language. I have been letting the projects themselves as well as material dictate aesthetics through randomness. I decided to stop working on the projects for a bit, since I have a lot of content and ideas, and throw myself into fast formstorming. What is post-geography? How can I graphically communicate it?


The Lebanese in the diaspora juggle between their first-language and what they utter in order to conduct what is their heads. How can I graphically show the juxtapositions of the languages? Maybe slang? So far the languages I can think of: Arabic, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Canadian French, Khaleejee Arabic.


How can I create maps of uncontained/unconfined geography? I could start by mapping the different electric outlets. Then the size of Lebanon if it were inproportion to its diaspora vs other countries’ dispersed communities. How would the map of this place I am creating look like?


Why haven’t I used and abused the wolframalpha yet? Why? because my head has been invested in conceptualizing even further my already over conceptualized project. I could develop networks into nice visuals. The dispersed map pin is an icon I am liking still. How can I translate this dispersed chopped language into other location icons?

chat w/ Michèle Champagne

One on one meeting w/ Michèle Champagne

We talked about the process of my data gathering and several layouts that could translate online discussions into print. A good inspiration she mentioned is Press Think. I think the way the comments are laid out is interesting in a very derivative like structure.

Another point I highlighted was that I did not want my project to be an art piece and that I was struggling to find ways to bring in everything to the design world. Her reply was funny. She said “adding typography to things does not label them as design”. She also brought up a good point that my thesis is auto-biographical in a way and that was artistic by nature, and that there was nothing wrong with that.

thesis brain massage

Why, what, to whom, what it looks like?

The Greenwich Project [or whatever it will be called] was inspired by the continuous communication with my friends across the world. Timezone difference underscored the importance of a conscious effort to stay in touch. I was left with just few hours during the day through which I could successfully send and receive data with those people. It soon developed into an interest in how being in different locations does not mean that we will loose contact with our loved ones. As a matter of fact, globalization altered the definition of geography and the importance of physical presence. It made geography no longer the frame of reference that we should understand relationships within. Relationships through technology collapse different locations onto one surface translated on a phone, laptop and all other digital platforms.

My project is a representation of the stateless status of a community that is dispersed across the globe. It is a contemporary form of branding of a nation that is not location specific. I will be taking the Lebanese diaspora, mainly my friends who are first generation immigrants of the world, as a group to experiment, discuss and play with to represent the post-geographic era we are witnessing. So far, I think that the end product will be a culmination and collection of several experiments conducted with different groups of people. It will cover visuals [photographs sent from around the world], icons [drawn and developed with my GD friends], literature [exchanged writings and online discussions] as well as theory [Benedict Anderson's imagined communities]. It will not be one, but severals into one.

I hope every person who uses Skype, FaceTime.. to stay in touch with his or her loved ones to relate to the Greenwich Project. I believe it is a contemporary project that targets every single person who relies frequently on technology to maintain his social relationships. Considering my ”test-group”, the project has the Lebanese diaspora as first target audience. The phenomenon of hanging out with people who share the same cultural background and tradition away from the land where he or she learned these values is very intriguing to me and comforting. This project aims at representing comfort to these people when they take part in it, or stand in front of it, in knowing that they’re not the only ones. It is for everyone who upon interaction with TGP realizes that their bodies live in a place but their minds and emotions somewhere else sometimes.

I have been giving a lot of thought to this fear in me that does not want to turn GP into an art piece or installation. I am a graphic designer and intend to make this project a graphic design one. I have been aesthetically inclined to use web interfaces in my print pieces, with the three RGB colors blue fuschia and fluorescent green.

The Greenwich project will look like a collapse between web and print, a marriage between both. It will play with the boundaries of what is personal [print and location specific] and what is shared [web and dispersed] to highlight the contrast.

My experiments will live on the website for everyone to see. In my exhibition I aim at transcending the audience who is physically there to a presence that is outside of the room, which might be called ‘the global room’.