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Wendy Brawer: Green Maps of the World

Wendy Brawer and TeamHANCOCK, MI – “Green Maps of the World: Charting a Sustainable Future” an exhibit created by internationally respected ecological designer Wendy Brawer, is featured at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, September 20 to October 16, 2010.

Wendy Brawer has written about, taught, and shared information and inspiration about eco-design for more than a decade. Her New York-based company, Modern World Design, consults and creates services and products that promote ecological stewardship.

An opening reception for the exhibit will take place at the gallery Thursday, September 23, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Brawer will speak at 7:15 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The “Green Maps of the World” exhibit features green maps from around the world, and introduces the Keweenaw Green Map in an interactive display.

The Keweenaw Green Map was initiated by the Sustainable Keweenaw Resource Center (SKRC), Hancock, with support from Finlandia University.

SKRC co-director Barb Hardy explains that the Keweenaw Green Map is an online map charting local businesses, projects, happenings, and other sites that play a part in sustainable community development.

Green Maps are designed to be explored, customized, and enhanced by their users.

The public can view, interact, and contribute to the Keweenaw Green Map at, or at the SKRC at the Finlandia University Jutila Center campus, Hancock.

Rick Loduha, Finlandia University associate professor of Interdisciplinary Design, became acquainted with Brawer in 1993 at an Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) conference.

“We were both speaking on sustainable design, but she packed the house,” Loduha recalls. “At the time, she was working on the Green Apple Map for New York City, the precursor to the now globally-accepted International Green Map System. We are very excited that Wendy has made time to visit the U.P.”

Brawer’s Green Apple Map sparked a revolution in the way cities are mapped. The Green Apple Map charts the environmentally and culturally significant places in New York City.

Three years later, in 1995, Brawer launched the Green Map System (GMS), a universally shared visual language of icons and programs for both city-wide and youth mapmakers.

The GMS engages local citizens in the mapping of a community’s interdependent environmental, social, and economic systems. This system of mapping has gained the creative support and involvement of a diverse network of designers, environmentalists, activists, students, engaged citizens, and civil servants.

With nearly 700 locally-led Green Map projects in 55 countries, the Green Map System has become a global effort. Today, hundreds of printed and interactive online Green Maps highlight and link local nature, culture, and green living resources. For more information about the GMS, visit

Brawer will be on the Finlandia University campus September 22 to 24 to work with Finlandia University Interdisciplinary Design majors.

“Green Maps of the World: Charting a Sustainable Future” is on display at the Finlandia University Gallery through October 16.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., or by appointment. Please call 906-487-7500 for more information.

Photo cutlines:

Photo 1:  Wendy Brawer (second from right) and her design team (Photo credit: Carlos Martinez)

Photo 2: The Keweenaw Green Map