Streetwise and interactive
Berweg: New Notational Systems for Urban SituationsMinke Themans
Ever thought about the street where you live in terms of the different smells it creates? Or the bird song it generates? Or how it used to look? Or the different types of houses it accommodates? Or even the amount of dogshit it produces?
Bergweg collates and presents a huge amount of data from the Rotterdam street of that name, using photographs, tables, fold-outs, process colours, clean typography and vast quantities of imagination and wit. This is not so much a portrait of an innocuous Dutch road as an evocation of the behavioural, social, economic and architectural complexities that underpin any street, anywhere.
As you follow the navigational arrows back and forth throughout the sections, taking in the views and information at your leisure (and pleasure) the process begins to feel more like an interactive game than a graphic design book. Soon Bergweg transmutes into a state of mind – an effect that many a gizmo-ridden website would die for.
Gary Philips, art editor, The Observer, London
First published in Eye no. 39 vol. 10, 2001