As I mentioned in my Pecha Kucha (I think), this research project has brought up some interesting dynamics for me between analog/digital, low-fi/high-tech.

Zine culture is very much about process, about the craft of making. The zine artifact is tactile, tangible — a physical cut-and-paste kind of thing. As I was working on designing prototype for my very high-tech interactive map,  it did cross my mind that the project seemed at odds with that aspect of zine culture. I worried that it was too slick, too flash-y, lacking a sense of human touch. But it was hard to imagine the possibility of visualizing such complex data in a way that wasn’t impersonal in that way.

My visit to the zine archive at ABC No Rio totally blew me away for that reason.  Well-designed database mapping systems don’t have to be slick, interactive, and high-tech to be effective.  Check it out:

The wallpaper guide offers a clear legend for navigating the room

pattern legend shows holdings by category

... and also by editorial style

This wallpaper plasters the walls of the archive, so that the visitor only has to look around them to get a sense of the contents of the room.

Pretty awesome I think. It conveys a lot of information  in a way that makes so much sense to me considering the material at hand. It reminded me of this great post on the DIY Cartography blog about mapping multivariate data with texture.  I’m not sure what the implications are yet for my project– but its definitely got me thinking about the different possibilities of pattern/texture, and also the potential applications of analog or lo-fi components. Maybe I will make a zine legend or something to go along with my interactive map!

ABC No Rio also has a more traditional digital cataloguing system (I think they use filemaker), which also seems really organized and easy to use

Many thanks to ABC No Rio for letting me invade the space and take lots of pictures there. Thanks especially to Eric, who was really patient answering my many questions!

Thanks ABC no rio zine library!