Via Helvetia



Switzerland's motorway network as a diagram

by Mike Hofmaier

#StudioIntegrativeDesign #Master-Thesis

What the metro map is for the change, the highway chart could be for the turning. Barely any other transport network can be better paraphrased with the metaphor of the artery of our civilization like the road network, which continuousely pumps goods and people from the centers in to the periphery back and forth. The high-speed motorway is a nearly closed system, that as a course of action only knows straight-route and the rhythmically recurrent turing.

In the design part of his Master-Thesis, Mike Hofmaier reduces the geographic information of the motorway network to a purely-for-the-turing relevant schematic representation. Thereby lines are being straightened, distances between exits and junctions unified and the entire structure clearly reorganized.

The resulting line- and route network diagrams provide an overview of the entire feature set of the network in the most concisely possible way. Additional symbols, icons and arrows, as well as the chosen typography are based on the clear aesthetics of the road sign.

In this case study, the Swiss motorway system is being used as a bounding box. The goal of the project is to develop a self-consistent, transferable diagrammatic language for the highway transportation system that outperforms traditional geographical representation types in terms of efficiency.

The translation into a mobile electronic application is not directly part of the project, however, it would be the logical following step.


Prof. Marion Fink

, Institute of Visual Communication

Prof. Dr. Claudia Mareis

, Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures