The Swiss Alps are recognized as one of the most gorgeous and intimidating mountain ranges in the world. Modern transportation and wayfinding allow us intimate access to these awe-inspiring views in a fraction of the time and effort than it required a century ago. While this system is efficient, it seemingly abandons the history and culture of a simpler time. I was originally inspired by the beauty and historic relevance of the Dufour map of 1845. Named after its designer Guillaume Henri Dufour, the map was the first created of Switzerland at an impressive 1:100,000 scale, and it set the standard for future Swiss cartography. Today, these topographic maps reveal a deeply rooted human desire to organize the evolving chaos of nature, not in order to conquer it, but to understand it. I united the 45 highest Swiss peaks with their unique topographic mapping in an attempt to highlight the relationships between man and mountain, past and present, logic and wilderness, as well as honor the reverence of the grandest Alpine peaks.
Kayla Stellwagen is a fourth-year visual communication student at the University of Cincinnati and is currently studying abroad at the Fachhochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst in Basel, Switzerland. Her focus includes landscape photography, experimental typography, and exhibition design, which she puts into practice while participating in a cooperative education program at design firms in Cincinnati and San Francisco.