Old school map

'Village form' old school map‘Village form’ school map, 1950s
made in Germany

Ok, ok, enough with the school maps already! But I do love this town planning one. That’s totally a subject that should be taught in school. Far too late to be teaching it at university- children should understand urban form from an early age. Imagine the cities we’d be living in if that was the case.

Dorfformen translates as ‘village form’ and here we see three forms in plan view and perspective. Google translate gives no clue as to the meaning of angerdorf, waldhfendorf or rundling- but really do we need one? The drawings are self-explanatory.

I bought this old school map at a Berlin flea market ; it now graces my drawing office. The colours and forms are so conducive to thinking about design. All drawing should be this good.

7 thoughts on “Old school map

  1. I remember this from school. Not sure we had such a map or it was in our geography textbook. There are regional differences, with certain village designs predominating in certain regions.

  2. To be more exact: Formen is the plural of Form, so it must be translated “Village Forms”. So sad the “Dorfformen I” map is missing 😉 (There was one called “Staßendorf (street village – just one long street with a few side streets) and “Haufendorf” (“pile village”, just a chaotic aglomeration of farm houses), and I think the last one was a village consisting of single farms with more distance between them, so actually not a village at all, but I have forgotten the name.
    I am not so sure why children had to learn this stuff. It is quite useles. It is interesting when you relate it to history and culture, to medieval power structures and the like. That this stuff was still being taught in the 1960s and early 1970s might be a remnant of some kind of nationalist program surving from the 1930s and 1940s. The subject was not called “geography” in German schools but “Heimatkunde” which is “study of the home country”. So the really interesting bit of history connected to such maps is not the classification of medieval village forms but the development of school curicula and the way these are embeded into the development of ideologies and “Zeitgeist”. A lot of change happened after 1968, when a lot of the old thinking was questioned.

    • yes…yes…yes…but to stand back from the ideological guff – which we all knew as children was bunkum and not to be trusted- how wonderful that the ideals of town planning were even presented to children as a proposition.

      and- looking at the representations now as an adult- how beautiful!

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