Doctoral Students

Joost Grootens
Started in , PhD degree awarded in

Research summary

The Blue Dot

Joost Grootens investigates new map making practices of technology companies and amateurs. As a graphic designer Grootens researches the blurring maker-user divide in the production of visual information.



Joost Grootens (1971, NL) is a graphic designer, educator, and researcher. Based in Amsterdam and Biel/Bienne (CH), his studio SJG designs books, maps, typefaces, spatial installations and digital information environments for publishers like Lars Müller Publishers, nai010 publishers, Phaidon press, educational and research institutes like ETH Zürich, Future Cities Laboratory Singapore, TU Munich, and museums like Astrup Fearnly Museet Oslo, Serpentine Galleries London, Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven. SJG won numerous prizes for their designs. Among them the Golden Letter and two gold medals in the Best Book Design from all over the World competition, and twice the Dutch Design Award for Graphic Design. A monograph about SJG’s work titled I swear I use no art at all was published by 010 Publishers in 2010.

Grootens was recently appointed Professor of Artistic Research in Visual Design at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen. He is a university lecturer at the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts of Leiden University, head of the Master programme Information Design at Design Academy Eindhoven, and tutor at the Master Editorial Design of the Istituto Superiore per le Industrie Artistiche, Urbino.

Grootens studied architectural design at Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam and obtained his doctorate at Leiden University. A public edition of his dissertation 'Blind Maps and Blue Dots: The Blurring of the Producer-User Divide in the Production of Visual Information' was published by Lars Müller Publishers in 2021. Grootens’ research addresses the transformation of the fields and practices of graphic design and mapmaking resulting from technological changes in tools to record, create, edit, produce and disseminate visual information.


Individual projects

    • Visualizing Knowledge

      Joost Grootens speaks at the Visualizing Knowledge conference at Aalto University, Greater Helsinki, Finland.

      Aalto University, Helsinki (FI)
    • Mapping As Joint Spatial Display

      Joost Grootens will co-moderate a workshop and give the keynote lecture at the conference ‘Mapping as Joint Spatial Display’ at Haus der Kulturen…

      Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (DE)
    • Speculative Design Archive

      Joost Grootens takes part in the exhibition 'Speculative Design Archive' at Het Nieuwe Instituut.

      Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam (NL)
    • Atlas of the Copenhagens

      Joost Grootens co-edited and designed the book ‘Atlas of the Copenhagens’ that includes his essay ‘The Rhetoric of Withholding Judgment’. Published by Ruby…

      KADK, Copenhagen (DK)
    • Rétrospective Jacques Bertin

      Joost Grootens gives a lecture at the symposium ‘La Laboratoire de Graphique de Jacques Bertin EHESS, 1954–2000’ at École des Hautes Études en…

      FR, Paris
    • Lecture Information Design

      Joost Grootens gives a lecture at the Hochschule für Gestaltung un Kunst that is part of a series of lectures entitled ‘Information Design’.

      Basel, CH
    • Lecture Symposium Exemplaires

      Joost Grootens gives a lecture during the Symposium Exemplaires at the Haute école des arts du Rhin.

      Strasbourg, FR
    • Findings on Light

      Studio Joost Grootens designed the publication 'Findings on Light', the third volume in PARS’ 'Atlas of Creative Thinking', curated and edited by Hester…

      Amsterdam (NL)
    • Museum Index

      As part of their long term collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum that started in 2013, Studio Joost Grootens made the 'Museum Index', a…

      Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL)
    • Dream Out Loud

      Studio Joost Grootens designed the exhibition graphics for the exhibition 'Dream Out Loud' presented at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

      Amsterdam (NL)
    • The 1980s

      For the exhibition 'The 1980s' that is currently on show in the Van Abbemuseum, Studio Joost Grootens made a timeline showing artworks the…

      Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL)
    • Het ABC van de collectie

      For the Municipal Museum in Schiedam Studio Joost Grootens made a series of spatial infographics in the museum galleries that show how the…

      Municipal Museum Schiedam (NL)
    • Jan Schoonhoven

      Studio Joost Grootens designed the new book on Zero artist Jan Schoonhoven.

    • Brick. An exacting material

      Studio Joost Grootens designed the book 'Brick. An exacting material' on contemporary Dutch brick architecture edited by Jan Peter Wingender.

      Amsterdam (NL)
    • Dikke van Dale

      For nearly five years Studio Joost Grootens worked on the design of the 2015 edition of the Van Dale's Great Dictionary of the…

    • Young-Old

      Studio Joost Grootens designed the book 'Young-Old. Urban Utopias of an Aging Society' by architect and researcher Deane Simpson.

    • Süddeutsche Zeitung

      The Süddeutsche Zeitung Studio published a full-page information graphic designed by Studio Joost Grootens that shows material damages caused by the US military…