The Huntington News

MBTA contest winner announced, new map unveiled

The new map, designed by “New Perspectives” redesign compeition winner Mikheil Krivishvili, will be implimented on an “as needed basis,” according to an MBTA statement, and includes new stations on the Fairmont and commuter rails and new Green and Silver Line stations. Photo Courtesy/Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority.

The new map, designed by “New Perspectives” redesign compeition winner Mikheil Krivishvili, will be implimented on an “as needed basis,” according to an MBTA statement, and includes new stations on the Fairmont and commuter rails and new Green and Silver Line stations. Photo Courtesy/Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority.

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By Gwen Schanker, News Correspondent

The new map, designed by “New Perspectives” redesign compeition winner Mikheil Krivishvili, will be implimented on an “as needed basis,” according to an MBTA statement, and includes new stations on the Fairmont and commuter rails and new Green and Silver Line stations. Photo Courtesy/Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority.

The new map, designed by “New Perspectives” redesign compeition winner Mikheil Krivishvili, will be implimented on an “as needed basis,” according to an MBTA statement, and includes new stations on the Fairmont and commuter rails and new Green and Silver Line stations. Photo Courtesy/Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority.

The Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority (MBTA) announced Mikheil Kvrivishvili, an interactive and graphic designer from Moscow, as the winner of the “New Perspectives MBTA map redesign competition” on Monday, Oct. 7.

The purpose of the redesign competition was to “take another look at what the map could be,” according to Kelly Smith, deputy press secretary of the MBTA. The map will incorporate new stations on the Fairmont and commuter rails as well as new Green and Silver Line stations.

The MBTA accepted contest entries from April 9 to May 14 for the competition, sponsored by the MBTA and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). The public was invited to redesign the map for free, and the MBTA received dozens of submissions, which were narrowed down to six finalists by a panel of experts.

“We wanted to get our customers’ input and see a new perspective on a map that’s been around for a while,” Smith said. “Opening it up to the public was a unique way to hear from our customers and riders.”

The MBTA was impressed with both the creativity of the submissions they received and the more than 17,000 people who voted throughout the month of September, Smith said.

“There were two levels of public involvement and that was great,” Smith said

The panel of contest judges included a range of perspectives from map enthusiasts to the designer of the current MBTA map who rated the submissions against criteria such as creativity, aesthetics, readability and informative quality.

Submissions were accepted in two different formats: the classic tier, or traditional “spider” map, which follows fairly strict guidelines, and the more creative “open tier,” which offered artists an opportunity to present a more imaginative take on the MBTA system.

Kvrivishvili’s design includes new features which allow customers to see more information. For example, one area of the map shows the connections between the Silver Line and downtown stations. Kvrivishvili’s design received 6,837 votes overall, about 40 percent of the total votes that were submitted.

“I found [the] task challenging and interesting even though conditions of the contest were quite unfair,” Kvrivishvili said in an email to The News, referring to the fact that participants were not offered any monetary reward for their contribution, and were given only two weeks to complete the task.

Kvrivishvili is not a resident of Boston. In fact, he has never even stepped foot in the city.

“The fact that it is possible to participate in a contest, being miles away, never [having] been to the place, is fantastic,” Kvrivishvili said. “Winning the contest – unbelievable. But that is our new reality: global, interconnected, without borders and barriers. We all can share our skills [and] creative visions nowadays. It’s exciting and I really like it.”

Kvrivishvili said that while his design brings something new to the table, all of the entries would have fulfilled the MBTA’s purposes.

“My version … was deliberately connected to the current identity across the system, [while] at the same time making it slightly contemporary and introducing new rules for future extension for the network,” Kvrivishvili said. “Frankly, I don’t think my version of the map is stronger than the other finalists. Each of us had a different approach, and [a] different understanding of [the problems] of the previous map.”

The official statement of the MBTA is that riders can expect to start seeing the new map on an as-needed basis, specifically when new Blue and Orange Line stations open next year. However, due to the MBTA’s strict budget and other projects they are working on simultaneously, it is undetermined when the new maps will start to appear, or if Kvrivishvili’s map will be used at all.

The five other finalists were Jon Feldman, Kat Lawrence, Zemien Lee, Kenneth Miraski and Joshua Simoneau.

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