Direction of Travel is a project by Christian Nolle, a half Danish/half German London based artist and map collector. He has spent decades creating work, often in photographic form, that looks at the interplay between aviation, politics and the cities we live in. Christian is also the Founder and Head of Good Caesar, a design and technology studio.
When did you start collecting printed materials related to travel?
I started collecting around 2005. One of the first maps I found was an Aeroflot navigation chart of European airspace from the 1970s. I thought it was mesmerising and I’ve always been interested in aviation. I realised that airline maps were this largely undiscovered world.
What was your inspiration to start Direction of Travel?
I wanted to find a way to share my collection not just online but also in print. Most airline maps are folded maps and the newspaper format allows me to reproduce these at a reasonable size, sometimes even 1:1. The format also makes the material very accessible and gives me this wonderful space to experiment and to write about the stories behind the journeys.
What are your favourite piece/pieces from your collection, and why?
I have these wonderful Interflug (Eastern German Airline) map booklets from the 1960s – 1980s. They are not the most visually arresting but they tell a fascinating story about air travel before the fall of the Berlin Wall with routes through Eastern block and the odd connection to the west. I am also really lucky to have a few original Lucien Boucher maps.