It is a pleasure to announce that graphic designer Joost Grootens successfully defended his dissertation on April 23 to obtain the doctoral degree at Leiden University. Due to the coronavirus measures, it was not possible to organize a public defense.

In the research project entitled 'Blind Maps and Blue Dots: The blurring of the producer-user divide in the production of visual information', Grootens investigated what contemporary mapmaking practices can reveal about the ever-evolving field of graphic design. The shift towards digital modes of production has fundamentally changed the field of graphic design and has led to a different relationship between the producers and users of visual information.

This argument resonates in the publication 'Blind Maps and Blue Dots' in which Grootens investigates the tools, strategies and output of contemporary mapmaking practices of amateurs and technology companies that have appropriated the technologies to design and publish visual information.

Prof. dr. Janneke Wesseling, Professor in Practice and Theory of Research in the Visual Arts, Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University
Lucas Evers, Waag | technology & society
Gert Staal, Design Academy Eindhoven

Visit the dissertation page for more information about 'Blind Maps and Blue Dots'.