I’m Teaching Maps on Skillshare!

Since the beginning this site has always been about the intersection of travel + design and I’m excited to announce another direction I’m taking this idea. For the past couple months I’ve been talking to Skillshare – an awesome platform for taking online (and sometimes in person) classes. They essentially gave me the guidelines to come up with my dream class, and so that’s what I did.

My class is called Map Design: Learn to Communicate Places Beautifully. I was inspired by my own way of travel where I don’t want to carry around a bulky guidebook, I like to see things on a map (in the past I have walked crazy distances having no clue places were not close at all), and getting advice from local experts. I designed the map of the Canal St. Martin area of Paris as just one of a million possibilities of what you could create in this class. (Computer + design skills NOT required!!).

So here’s how it works:

  1. You sign up! (All Skillshare classes are totally affordable!)
  2. This class is perfect if you want to chart your latest travels, are planning a wedding/event and need a map, host guests in your home a lot, or just love your own neighborhood and want to map it. It’s open to all levels, ages and stages. Enthusiasm + eagerness to learn will get you far!
  3. The class is structured into 3 units:  Hand Drawn Maps + Concepting, Mapping in the Digital Age + Alternative Guides, and Office Hours (Q&A and Google Hangouts with me + your classmates).
  4. Knowing people have really busy lives, I’ve structured it so that both of the lectures come early in the 3 week online class. They’ll be pre-recorded and you can watch them whenever you have a chance. That gives you more time to work on your final project: a travel/map of the place + theme of your choosing.
  5. Both of the main lectures will have mini exercises to help get you thinking about mapping in a new way. They are designed to encourage you to disconnect from your computer, and realize that even great maps can be imperfect. You share your work with your classmates along the way, which is an awesome way to get you thinking about all the different ways you can approach the same design challenge.
  6. Work on your final projects, which can be print or digital. During the lectures I’ll share tons of examples, talk about format, and give you ideas so you can create your own map(s) for however you want it. And if there’s anything you still have questions about, you can just ask. It’s a highly collaborative environment and your classmates are awesome resources too.
  7. All while you’re learning you’re interacting and checking in with the progress of your classmates. You can create “groups” too for people working on projects similar to yours. I’ve taken a couple classes through Skillshare now and have even made some great professional contacts. There some awesome people around you, so make the most of it!
  8. Awards! As part of the incentive to stay on task, the top 10 maps created in class will be shared on Prêt à Voyager! I’m trying to cook up some other awesome rewards, but you’ll just have to sign up to see where that goes.
  9. Even if your life gets kind of hectic during the time of the class, you’ll still have access to the information even after the technical last day of class. The idea too is the skills + resources you pick up in this class will stick with you and you can apply to any future projects or maps.
  10. More info on the class here.

I’ve taken a handful of Skillshare classes now and I find they’re the perfect excuse to actually DO the projects I’ve been thinking about for ages. If you want to to sign up for my class you can do it here. Skillshare has TONS of awesome classes you should check out regardless – anything from logo design to designing web apps to food photography or how to make the perfect meatball, and with some of the coolest teachers around! Check out all the Skillshare classes here! (And they’re constantly adding new ones).

Any questions? Just leave them in the comments below, or tweet me @pretavoyager!

UPDATE: I’ve created a Google map of all the students signed up here. More than 10 countries around the world + counting!

P.S. Look at the map in this post for 10 seconds + tell me what you see :)

Tour de France: Paris, 10ème – Invisible Paris

Today our ‘Tour de France‘ continues to a neighboring arrondissement, the 10th (75010) with Adam Roberts of Invisible Paris acts as our guide. Adam has a knack for getting under the city’s skin and finding things you wouldn’t know about unless you were looking. Today he shows me a whole new side of the 10th that I haven’t seen either!

p.s. I’m sad to be missing it this year but the Chasse aux Tressors is happening in Paris on July 2nd. It’s a scavenger hunt “race” that helps you discover some of Paris’s neighborhoods!

{Rue Faubourg du Temple}

Adam: I don’t live in the 10th arrondissement, but each time I look out of my apartment I see it in front of me. I live on its periphery, but it’s where I buy my daily bread and where I get my medicine when I’m sick.

{Musée des Moulages}

It is also a constant theme in my Paris narrative. It was the first arrondissement in which I spent a night, nearly twenty years ago, in a no-star hotel run by Slovakians. All I remember of the place is that I managed to lock myself inside the bathroom, but it also gave me a taste for an idiosyncratic Paris that I think the 10th arrondissement encapsulates.

It has no touristic sites to speak of beyond the recently gentrified Canal Saint Martin, but even that was previously known for its industrial sites and the floating headless corpse investigated by Maigret. It’s mostly scruffy, including the wonderfully ungroomed Place Sainte Marthe. The restaurants and cafes here are essential places to hang out on warm summer evenings, and if you have kids, all the better.

{Musée des moulages, avenue de Vellefaux, porte 14, secteur gris, 75010 Paris}

For me, it’s also an arrondissement synonymous with hospitals. Saint Louis with its grassy Henri IV courtyard and creepy museum of wax casts, Lariboisière and its secret symmetrical interiors and Saint Lazare, now closed down and being renovated, but with centuries of disturbing tales still dripping from its walls.
Flanked also by two train stations, it is a working arrondissement which is not afraid to present its façade of iron and stone. With very little greenery to speak of, it is particularly nice to take a drink under the trees in the garden of the café at the Maison de l’Architecture. Even here though, the distressed interiors of this former convent (and former squat) soon bring us back to the mineral realities of this atypical arrondissement.

Thanks, Adam!
Guest post by Invisible Paris.

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