Mathew Oakes


Inequality of Urban Space

This set of symbols represents a narrative from past to present in order to help shape a healthier future. Countless cities around the world are experiencing population growth at such an exponential rate that they are forced to expand their borders. This is known as urban sprawling. The issue is not in the expansion itself, but rather the means in which it is accomplished. New developments are concerned with one thing, proximity to the inner city. So much so that they irresponsibly overtake once thriving ecosystems, often supporting niche species of wildlife that are forced to vanish.

These symbols contain nine subsets, each representing a location in or around a fictional developing city. Rather than starting with a blank canvas for each symbol I chose to add on top of an existing symbol. These subsets are progressions of urban developments as the need for access, traffic flow, and residential and commercial space increases. This progression is shown through the enlarging of existing shapes and addition of new shapes.

Although these locations are fictional the issue is far from it. Understanding the severity of this situation is just the beginning.

Mathew Oakes

Mathew is a graphic designer and is in his senior year at the University of Houston. He’s always looking for unique opportunities to utilize and enhance his skills as an effective designer by teaming with others in creative environments. In addition to graphics he also enjoy environmental photography, and landscape architecture.