Twenty Years by the Bay: A History of Homes | Skillshare Projects



Twenty Years by the Bay: A History of Homes

*******July 17th Update and Feedback Request at End *******

Kickoff: June 17th

I had made a list about maps I might want to make and had chosen a simple map, but watching more of the videos I was inspired by the forms of maps I saw and have found an idea that really appeals to me:

I want to make a book of maps of the various homes I have lived in during my twenty years  in the San Francisco Bay Area. This project is significant for me because in twelve days I am moving out of the Bay Area, ending a very long chapter in my adult life. I have spent a wonderful year living alone on Alameda, and so I had thought to make a map about that, but I really like the idea of reflecting on my whole experience of California.

The format of the maps will be either a sewn book structure with folded sheets that unfold to double the height of the book with the map inside (saw this in the video) or else a pocket accordion book with the maps in the pockets. There will be one map for each place I have lived here. I will include a key as well as a little narrative about the house, and on the map I may include key places of interest nearby.


Here are my answers to the offered questions:

Why am I making this map? 

I am taking this class for fun, during a big life transition, and the map I make is something that will commemorate the transition as well as allowing me to reflect upon it.

Why am I the expert to create this map?

I am the expert on my life in the Bay Area, my homes, why I moved where I did, and why I moved out of each place. 

Who is my target audience?

I think this is a contemplative piece designed for me, but also something to share with those who are close to me, or perhaps those who shared my homes with me!

What level of detail do I need to include? 

I definitely want to include addresses and some street names, as well as the cities. Not sure I need full names though may include names in the narrative parts. I may want to include some place names like favorite restaurants or haunts near each home--the places I miss or that gave the area its local color. I plan to draw the maps and do not feel the need to make them too detailed or exact.

Do I want my final project to be printed or digital?

I want to create a book of maps all done by hand and hand written.

How is it going to be used/ held? What other constraints do I need to keep in mind moving forward?

If I decide to make a sewn pamphlet then it will be held as a whole, with the maps unfolding their hidden secrets one by one. If it is an accordion book then the book can be viewed as a whole, but the maps can only be looked at when they have been pulled out of their slots and opened up. (I just had the idea that they could be folded and made to look like mini-road maps.) It would be a different experience this way, with all the maps being able to be taken out and layed down together. The print can be small, and I like the idea of a diminutive product

“Dear classmates, I need your help/expertise/guidance on how to.....”

At the moment I just need to kick around some ideas and see what the maps may look like, but I am open to ideas!

June 18th: I would love feedback about turkish map fold pages versus maps that come out of pockets--the pull out maps could have the same fold or not.



  • I really like maps and have enjoyed thinking about maps I could make. I have a few books of antique maps and am inspired by the art and artistry in them, as well as the way they reveal the world view at the time they were made.
  • I have always loved maps in books: Winnie the Pooh, Wicked, The Hobbit, etc... I find them pleasing as well as useful, and like the way they express the personality of the story and its teller.
  • I am a big Nick Bantock fan (favoring books other than the Griffin and Sabine ones)and love the way he incorporates maps into his art. I have used this in making my own collages for fun. I especially like the imaginary guidebook he collaborated on, called Paris Out of Hand. I want to use an amusing key like this guide does.
  • I really love map folds like the one in the little Boston guide shown in the video--I have a few of these maps.
  • I have studied bookbinding and love book arts and find lots of inspiration from book artists.
  • I was very inspired by all of the map resources shown here!!!


June 18th

I wanted a reminder about the Turkish Map Fold so I looked it up and found that it won't work as a folded and sewn book made of sheets of paper because the only contact point ia at the center of the x fold. That is why the small versions of these maps are glued on to a folded card. Hmmm. I had been leaning toward this but don't really want to have to do endless gluing. On the other hand I just realized that it looks like a house and will look cute in a pocket so I think I will go that way!

A little house map

Here it is unfolded.


July 7, 2013

Handmade Map Accomplished

I have finished moving and finally had everything organized enough to focus on this class. Woke up this morning and made this map:

I have been trying to get a bike map of Davis but they are not making them anymore so I had highlighted bike paths and lanes on a free map to look at. This is a smaller bike map with only the streets/paths that have bike lanes. I added in some places I visit, though without all the streets some will be harder to find. Still, I wanted somehting to use as a quick reference. This is also a practice for the maps for my project.

What I like: I like the clarity of the streets from not including everything. I like the two colors though I really wished I had a thin-tipped red pen.

What I would change: I would get rid of the border by the Key to make more space, and I would have left spaces for numbers that are off the map like I did with #7 if I had planned ahead.

I am excited to be back on task!


July 17th Update

I did some mock-ups yesterday of two possible structures to hold my maps. I would love feedback.

This is a pocket accordion book which has each address on the front of the pocket (eight in all) and the house-shaped opo-up maps in the pockets. There is also a key to the symbols under the addresses. I would maybe have a Bay Area map on the back of this to add visual interest, or else on the cover. There would be a color or design behind the maps so they would show better. I like this structure because it can stand up and be a display. I am clearly into book structures and am focusing on them before the mas themselves. Funny.

Here is the key. I am not sure if it would have its own pocket or what.

Here is the second idea: an accordion structure with envelopes inserted into it, each addressed to me at one of my addresses. Inside there is a map. This would have a cover which is not shown at the moment.

Here is the inside with an open envelope.

I didn't really like the way the house-shaped map looked in an envelope, and would probably want a zip-zag fold or something if I used this structure. I am not sure what I would do with the key in this case, though in the other structure I wasn't clear on where the key should go either. The symbols could go on the pocket. Here, they would have to go on the maps themselves.

I like this concept with the envelopes--it's very personal and charming-- but I prefer the display option of the other structure and like the house-shaed maps. I would love any feedback on the two structures and any part of the project. Thank you!

July 26

Here is my imaginary city. I took pictures of it constrained at the endge as well as like this which is how I layed it out. I like the blank space inviting the city to continue.


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