Redesigned World Map Challenges Our Traditional Perspectives
The project from a designer at Pentagram flips the familiar image of the world upside down to question why we think of certain regions as north or south
Angus Hyland, a partner in the London office of the design firm Pentagram, has created an “upside-down” map of the world and turned it into an online quiz and interactive site designed to challenge traditional thinking about one’s place in the world. The project, called The World Turned Upside Down, asks users to name cities and countries based on out-of-context images that are created from zooming in close or flipping nations on their sides. According to Pentagram, the purpose of the quiz is to encourage players to challenge “the orthodoxy of the world map; itself a consequence of European explorers eager to place themselves at the centre of the earth.”
By emphasizing how arbitrary the human constructs of “north” and “south” are, the redesigned world map aims to show that the image of the map we typically accept as “correct” is in fact an example of Eurocentrism—in other words, there’s no reason a map of the world can’t have Africa in the Northern Hemisphere and Europe in the Southern.