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The Hometown Map project is an undergraduate architecture studio assignment at the University of Miami School of Architecture that has been evolving since 1997. It was designed to enable each student to develop primary research skills on a familiar topic, the place they call home. Originally intended as an assignment for creating maps of historic cities, it was restructured and renamed the "hometown map" project in 1998 as a lesson in community and skill building.
Students are encouraged to utilize a broad range of primary and secondary library and Internet resources to develop an understanding of the origins of their hometown from various perspectives. The research process inevitably reveals new discoveries that students translate into a visual narrative. The techniques of the project's expressions--a combination of hand and digital media--give each student room for self-expression as well.
As each project is presented to the class, the studio learns more about the larger issues of architecture and the environment, geography, and culture, as well as something new about the perspective on place from each member of the class. The project also serves as a model for the development of richer and more nuanced site studies as students go forward through school and the profession.
Please view the most recent iteration of the Hometown Map as an global interactive map: http://scholar.library.miami.edu/hometownmaps/