I have taught psychology at university level since 1988, for the Open University and the Universities of Nottingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, St Andrews, and Essex. Topics have included thinking, reasoning and problem solving, personality, human, machine, and animal intelligence and, more generally, research methods and statistical analysis. The textbook A Student’s Guide to Analysis of Variance (co-authored with Riccardo Russo) has been in print since 1999. All these topics are relevant to schematic maps, and training can be offered on map design, page layout, typography and book design, and also the history of 20th Century design. My presentations are lively and factually accurate, intended to be engaging and entertaining, but also challenging. You can see videos of me speaking here, including talks.
Contact me at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
My university elective module, Transit Maps: Past, Present, & Future
ran for the first time in 2016 at the University of Essex Psychology Department. Combining lectures, invited speakers, workshops, and student presentations, it took a multidisciplinary approach to the psychology, design, and testing of transit maps. Student exercises included reflections on published maps, creating their own designs, and conducting usability tests. As a result of taking the course, people with little or no map experience can understand and apply principles of effective design. The module is intended to be portable, so it can be offered in a variety of contexts to people with different backgrounds.
A lot of ideas can be fitted into an hour, more than enough to get people who are involved with map design, in any way, talking and thinking about their work. My list of presentations is here but I am happy to consider other titles. Satisfied customers include Transport for London, FWT Studios, Crossrail, and the Sign Design Society.
I can happily stand in front of an audience with a projector and talk about maps, but an exhibition-lecture provides a much more immersive experience. Maps are mounted on the walls, and as part of the evening I give a conducted
tour of the designs, with time scheduled before and after
so that the audience can view and discuss them informally.
Other map experts can also be invited to take part. With refreshments provided, an entertaining and informative event is guaranteed. Photograph by Wesley Mayer.
A hands-on experience can give people insights that a lecture sometimes just cannot provide by itself. Until people try to create their own maps, the difficulty of the task is just not appreciated. On the other hand, asking members of the
audience to have a go at designing
a map on a computer is too much
to ask in a 90 minute session, and
too dry for an event intended to be informative and fun. With Geoff Marshall, our London Transport Museum Late Debate workshop commenced with a 30 minute discussion on map design, and then the audience were invited to create their own London Underground maps using craft materials. Photographs courtesy of the London Transport Museum.
Schematic Mapping 2014, co-organised with Peter Rodgers at the University of Kent, brought together 40 university researchers, and design and transport professionals, from across Europe, to the University of Essex. There were many lively presentations and debates about effective design, alongside how best to match the needs of professionals with the skills of researchers. There was also an exhibition of work by delegates. A conference such as this is a stimulating and productive way to network diverse but like-minded people.