The Office for Creative Research, in collaboration with COCA, is taking over the gymnasium in the Stevens School, a shuttered north-side neighborhood middle school, to create The St. Louis Map Room: a community space for exploring and creating original, interpretive maps of the city that reflect the personal stories and lived experiences of its residents.
The St. Louis Map Room combines theatrical set design, sophisticated interactive experiences, and facilitated workshops to bring members of the community together. Over the course of a month, a diverse set of community groups–spanning students, activists, historians, artists, public servants, and more–will convene to make large-scale maps that express their experiences in the historically divided city of St. Louis.
Free and open to the public, visitors will be invited to explore present and historic civic data using maps as instruments. Interactive projections will allow viewers to overlay these community maps with census data, historic city-planning maps, live policing data, and more, to understand how the community has been shaped by acts of mapping.
The St. Louis Map Room is a collaborative project between The Office of Creative Research and COCA in partnership with the St. Louis Public Schools, and with generous support from the Regional Arts Commission, PNC Arts Alive, and the Missouri Humanities Council.
For more information on The St. Louis Map Room, or if you would like to participate, please contact ECatedral@cocastl.org.
COCA’s lead advisor/artist for The St. Louis Map Room Jer Thorp, has a distinguished track record of projects that explore the intersection of art, culture, and technology. He currently teaches at New York University’s ITP and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council of Design Innovation. During his 2014 visit to St. Louis, Jer was struck by the city’s divided geography and began to explore the role that map-making has on the identity of communities and its residents. For more information on The Office of Creative Research, please visit ocr.nyc/
The St. Louis Map Room is Open for visits and observation during the following times:
Tues-Fri: 10am to 2pm
Thursday evenings: 4-8pm
Closed on Mondays
Location and Directions:
The St. Louis Map Room is located at Stevens Middle School, at 1033 Whittier St., St. Louis.
The public entrance is on the Finney Avenue side (north) of the school. Parking is available on the street, as well as in a parking lot directly off of Finney, just west of the entry.