Lately I’ve been thinking a great deal about maps in the abstract – emotional maps, maps of your personal history. Last year, some of my friends put together an amazing book that, to me, synthesizes the many different aspects of The University of Pennsylvania. The book, 33 to 40, offers a guide through the authors’ personal journeys through Penn and through Philly. To me, this book is like a guide, or map. It gives advice, offers directions, presents personal experiences and anecdotes for the reader to learn from. One of my favorite quotes from the piece was “Philly is a city that depends on its audience. If you go with a different group of people, it’s like entering a different city.” This map, 33 to 40, is subjective. What you bring to it will effect what you get out of it. Unlike a “real” map used for geographical navigation, abstract maps like this one – mental maps, and emotional ones – are entirely subjective. The destination is up to the explorer.
You can learn more about the project and its creators here: http://33to40.com