Where Is the American Midwest?
"Tell us what you know about the Midwest." It seems like a simple enough task, but according to a new exhibit at the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) Space, not so much. "Reinvention in the Urban Midwest" is a new exhibit curated by the design and planning firm Sasaki Associates.
The exhibit explores the many catalysts behind America's Midwest reinvention, such as cultural shifts and depleted resources, and takes a closer look at how outsiders define the landlocked region.
In the exhibit's interactive (and online) survey, it asks visitor to illustrate the topographical boundaries of the Midwest on a U.S. map.
After you've drawn a border around which area you consider to be the American Midwest, the survey asks you a few short questions about where you live, where you've visited, and then reveals the overall results.
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It's astounding, if not a little bit sad.
Turns out no one can agree on the exact location of Midwest. While some states such as Nebraska and Kansas are pretty universally acknowledged, the Midwestern credentials of grayer area states like Tennessee, West Virginia, and Utah are serious points of contention.
When factoring in the answers of all survey participants, the Midwest takes up about 90 percent of the country extending from Idaho to New York and from Canada to the Mexican border.
Interestingly enough while the majority of Arizona participants in the survey do not consider the state to be a part of the Midwest (because, obviously) other survey takers beg to differ.
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