In this horizonless projection of Manhattan, created using sophisticated modeling software, the streets fold upward as they recede, an image inspired by gaming technology, satellite images, and, the designers say, the idea that "the ability to be in a city and to see through it is a superpower, and it’s how maps should work." The images start in the foreground with a street-level three-dimensional image of buildings that appears to bend as the buildings extend into the distance, thus displaying remote areas of the city in from a bird’s-eye view. This puts the viewer "simultaneously above the city and in it where she stands, both looking down and looking forward," the designers say. BERG has produced two Manhattan maps—one looking uptown and one looking downtown. To increase their usefulness as way-finding tools, the designers plan on enriching the maps with local information such as bus routes. For now, the maps present a mind-bending visualization of the city—indeed, one that seems to belong in a dream.
Gallery label from Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects, July 24–November 7, 2011 .