To better understand how human civilization began, I decided to map out the three most influential areas of growth and evolution that led to the world we have today. I started by gathering data about the Indus River Valley, the Fertile Crescent (Mesopotamia), and Ancient China. After sorting through the numerous settlements in each region, I decided to divide the areas into 9 squares and plotted the most influential villages in each square onto a timeline. That timeline was then projected into 3D space using the top view of the 3x3 grid and the lengths of time as a measurement of height. This process resulted in a quasi-tangible token for each of the three spaces. All of the following layouts were fit within a foldable booklet that ended in a poster size print of the three pieces together.
The three civilization pieces can be seen above in comparison to each other. After moving through the information's evolution, the viewer is left with a large, easy to digest and compare poster that sums up our progress as humans.
This timeline visualizes the earliest human civilizations within the Indus River Valley, which encompasses Eastern Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Northern India. The groups at Mehrgarh and Mohenjo-Daro left behind two of the most significant archaeological sites of the Neolithic Era. Their advances in pottery, metallurgy, and urban infrastructure were some of the first and most effective in the ancient world. On the far right of the page is a legend that breaks down the Valley into the nine rows seen on the larger timeline. This division is further expanded up on in the next display of this data, so please open up and continue.
All of the previous data about these civilizations is extruded here into 3D space to give tangibility to their existence. Those pieces can then be seen together in one whole representation of the Indus River Valley, mapped using the same arrangement from the last spread.
To meaningfully represent the evolution of civilization, I started by researching human migration and found that the regions of the Fertile Crescent, China, and the Indus River Valley were the most influential and oldest breeding grounds for change. I then found data about the different settlements including key creations or inventions that came out of each space, giving precedence to some of the cities / villages over others.
From there I divided the geographic areas into nine squares to more easily plot the villages on a timeline. With this simplified timeline, I began to iterate on three-dimensional projections using the area division mapped isometrically.
After creating a comfortable final version of my 3D timeline, I needed to figure out how to display all of this information in an approachable, playful manner. I originally decided upon the format of a poster to compare the three regions because I wanted a large, open space for such dense visual information. With that format already in mind, I realized I needed to give the viewer a means of actually understanding the data presented. For this, I chose to make the poster the final reveal of a foldable booklet that walked the reader through my process of converting a timeline into 3D geographic space. Folding through one region would lead them to discover the whole world over time, an evolving interaction mimicking our evolving race.