Archive for the 'Cities' Category

Yr1 ComDes London Study Trip 07-10 December 2015

Term 1 | Session 2015/16

1st Year Department of Communication Design

London Study Trip

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Image / Steven Gribben, Yr1 ComDes

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A long time ago (only week 12 of Term 1) there was once a poor group of Year 1 Communication Design students from The Glasgow School of Art. They lived in a little village known as Glasgow. They often heard stories about a far away place called London where everybody was rich and the streets were paved with gold. Then came a great storm but the students were determined to go there and dig up some cool practitioners to share thoughts and inspiration. When they reached the big city, they found their own accommodation, navigated hundreds of people on the underground, arrived at all visits on time and asked relevant and insightful questions.

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Here is the list of noble practitioners who entertained us /

Tuesday 08 December

VISIT 10.00am

SCRIBERIA

35 Tileyard Studios, Tileyard Road, London N7 9AH

http://www.scriberia.co.uk/

U Caledonian Road

Contact / Giulia Vaccari

t 020 7278 7976

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Big thanks to the Scriberia team who have a unique offering of visual communication, illustration and animation. Kamilla wrote the following piece /

Blood, Sweat and Tea(rs)- offers the neon sign above Scriberia’s kitchen area cheerfully-
There is a certain welcoming and inspiring, yet very busy atmosphere at Scriberia, permeating the whole illustration studio as we step in from outside, placing our jackets (all soaked up with rain) on the sofa. Scribellings and sketches on the walls, freshly served tea on the table, bookshelves packed up with all kinds of illustrated publications – all these – enthralling for our “young delegation” of ComDes students.

After the first attempts to get back to Earth from this ecstatic visual state, we are then invited to a round-table discussion about the company and the role of being an illustrator nowadays.
Chris shows us some of their recent projects, tells us the company’s creative approach, and gives us some advice on future illustration work while we listen to him mesmerised.

The discussion is cheerful, the studio is well-equipped and with this joyful first impression of a “bit of creative London” we are then heading off in high spirits, bearing the secret thought in mind that it would be indeed very nice to work in an inspiring environment like this.

Kamilla Hu-Yang, Yr1 ComDes

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Wednesday 09 December

VISIT 10.30am

Fran Gordon

The Royal College of Art

Dyson Building

1 Hester Road

Battersea

SW11 4AN

frangordon@hotmail.co.uk

frangordon.co.uk

U South Kensington and a lovely walk

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Fran gave the students a tour of the impressive printmaking facilities in the Dyson Building (very shiny and new). She has started the first of two years at the RCA and is loving the freedom to make images. The course is full on and she is loving the new challenges that come with being completely self motivated. Fran was kind enough to show the students some of her sketch books which were considered and quietly powerful. Very interested to see how her work develops when she travels to Canada in 2016. Thanks Fran.

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VISIT 2.30pm

FUEL Design & Publishing

33 Fournier Street, London E1 6QE

http://fuel-design.com/

U Aldgate East

Contact / Damon Murray and Stephen Sorrell

t 020 7377 2697

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Fantastic studio in the historic quarter of Spitalfields (just off Brick Lane). Stephen and Damon were chatting away with the students when I arrived (took a wrong turning). Gilbert and George opposite and Tracey Emin just along the road. FUEL were founded in 1991 and are famous for their work in print (see Russian Criminal Tattoo series). They have also produced and directed short films, identities, film titles and TV commercials (see Levis twisted to fit). Great insight into a working process that relies on discussion (very few scribbles) – it has to sound right before they commit to visuals. Working with Tracey Emin presented its own challenges in that she does not like the design to detract from her work – design elements have to complement in a clean and understated way. Engaging, humble at times, generous and warm.

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Thursday 10 December

VISIT 10.30am

HEART Illustration Agency

Top Floor, 100 De Beauvoir Road, London N1 4EN

http://www.heartagency.com/

U Dalston Kingsland

Contact / Darrel Rees

t 020 7254 5558

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An illustrious list of names on the door buzzer raised the anticipation for this visit. Up a flight of stairs to an open plan loft studio including Eye Magazine and a number of notable creatives. Darrel met us at the top of the stairs and chatted to us at a large table in the middle of the studio. A lovely space with just the right amount of activity going on in the background to create a murmur, not a distraction. Valuable knowledge from the professional world of illustration – where commissions come from, how to put together a portfolio that resonates, how to keep busy when the phone doesn’t ring, managing workflow and the advantages of having an agent. I like the way Heart operates like an extended family with social events organised to bring all the illustrators on their books together to chat and share. Darrel has the overview, ensuring cohesion between illustrator and client. The printed samples provided were a mixture of promotional pieces and publications – The Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge being a beautifully printed example (look out for other examples of Beat produced by Heart Illustration Agency). Darrel sent me an email a few days after the visit — “Hi  Michael, Just wanted to say it was a pleasure to meet you (again) and your very nice bunch of students. I really hope the visit was of some interest/help to them, even if it’s just seeing inspiring work.”

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VISIT 4.00pm

FITZROY & FINN

Studio 1, Albion Buildings, 1 Back Hill, London EC1R 5HT

met at Betsey Trotwood, 56 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3BL

http://www.fitzroyandfinn.co.uk/

U Farringdon

Contacts / Paul Finn and Alistair Hall

t 020 7833 4110

An outstanding hour of chat (starting off in the Betsey Trottwood) with Paul Finn (of Fitzroy & Finn) and Alistair Hall (of We Made This Ltd) then moving across the road to their bijou studio. They share the space with David Pearson the absurdly talented book designer who was out on business unfortunately (David designed the audacious Penguin cover for Nineteen Eighty-Four, you know the one? — the title is cleverly redacted). As I glanced around the studio I could see D&AD annuals (hot off the press), other classic Penguin Books, design guidelines for the BBC website, A Practice For Everyday Life‘s “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy”, a book about Brazilian concrete poets — all lovely stuff. It turned into a quality double act with Paul and Alistair trading stories about their work and philosophy. The best bit was a 5min, 4min, 3min, 2min, 1min countdown of their greatest hits described in a brilliant non-stop duologue. Heartening to see that with a bit of passion and skill, small can still be beautiful.

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See the Yr1 typographic safari HERE

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Moscow Journal

What former students are up to #364: Moscow Journal is a diary by Sophie Dyer, documenting a research trip to Strelka in Moscow last year. In a round about way it was connected to the Inside Out School workshop Sophie helped run under the auspices of A Feral Studio.

Real-time times two

Recently I have been hooked on two websites which are (un)related real-time updates of digital (mis)communication.

The first is a site created by Norse, an internet attack intelligence agancy (very Neuromancer but without the rastas in space). The site is a real-time visualisation of a small percentage (apparently <1%) of cyber attacks. It shows where the attacks originate, where is being targeted and the type of attack. It is pretty incredible. If you watch it for long enough you’ll see the map quieten down and then, boom, a massive coordinated attack will fire off. Usually against the USA.

The second site is a real-time visualisation of every emoji being used on twitter. I find it mesmerising. It follows on from an article I read in The Observer last weekend which was interested in the popularity of Emoji and how it has become a ubiquitous virtual language, with pictograms replacing words and combinations of these symbols replacing whole sentences but adding a multitude of increased interpretations. As the author of the article writes at the end of the article, “Barthes would have had a field day.”

Both of the sites are socially interesting and although at first glance I think it seems that the Norse one is the more ‘important’ of the two, I am fascinated by the Emoji one and by the questions it raises about how we communicate digitally, why are we always more drawn towards using pictures (pun intended), what does this mean for words and writing, is the majority of written language superfluous to communicative needs, can we call emoji a recognised language in its own right, and how would a shift towards a pictorial-based language system affect things like journalism, poetry, books etc, and physical interaction? Its a highly unlikely thing to happen but it is interesting to think about.

http://map.ipviking.com/

http://www.emojitracker.com/

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/31/emoji-became-first-global-language

 

Singlish

Singapore is a unique blend of Chinese, Malay and Indian culture. This permeates to the local language commonly known as Singlish. Although often viewed negatively as an incorrect use of English, it is one of the most authentic and genuine facts of Singapore. Singlish is built upon the subtle nuances of the Singaporean personality and reflects the daily life in the country.

One of my favourites /

talk cock [Eng.talk cock]
1 To talk rubbish, spout nonsense, make an unfounded statement.
2 To engage in casual banter, chit-chat or small talk.
Example:
“Roger Federer lost in the first round at Wimbledon? Don’t talk cock lah.”
“Sorry I’m late. I met Jack at the coffee shop and was talking cock with him for a while.”

As we wave off 66 ComDes GSA Singaporeans, I would like to thank them for their charming good humour and humility over the past three weeks. They have brought a smile to all of our faces here at GSA after what has been a turbulent time for everyone. I would also like to thank the student ambassadors for their patience and unrelenting support – take a bow Penuel Smith Yr1, Jessica Taylor Yr3, Calum Douglas Yr3, Trudi Hannah Yr2, Dawn McCance Yr3, Roisin McAuley Yr2, Fiona Hunter Yr2, Ross Galloway Yr1, Juliette Duffy Yr1 and Sam Walker Yr3. A final group hug for Kim, Emma, Stuart, Jo, Moira, Cherylann, Stephen, Irene (for being so accommodating in The Haldane), Tiernan, Lynne, Craig, Megan, Michael and Ross.

A final mention for the YELLOW group who asked to donate all the one pence pieces from their installation towards the Glasgow School of Art fire appeal. A touching gesture from KJ, Leonard, Melissa, Wilson, Christine, Jiaxin, Georgina and Joshua.

See the GSA Singapore group blogs HERE.

6 17 32 34 35 5 12 42 2014-06-18 10.11.322 38 49 36 51

It’s sunny in Dundee mostly

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Tentsmuir WW2 Coastal Defences

In the spirit of inter-institutional caring and sharing:

MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES

Preview: Thursday 27th March 7pm
Exhibition Open: Friday 28th March 12 – 4pm, Saturday 29th March 12 – 4pm

The White Room project space, Tin Roof Studios. 38-40 Bellfield Street
Dundee DD1 5JD

Presenting an exhibition of work created by 3rd year Illustration Students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

Come along to our show! It consists of hand printed posters and set designs for a series of imagined theatrical adaptations of plays exploring climate change, sustainability, urban planning and related social and political issues.

Exploring subjects such as:
Hydro Fracking, Gentrification, Micro-topias, Climate Activism, Nuclear waste disposal, Nuclear War, Social Housing, The melting ice caps, Surveillance, Community Gardening.

For more information please visit:
https://www.facebook.com/manufacturedlandscapes

Radiant Discord

Emmet Byrne is writing some great stuff on The Gradient — Walker Art Center‘s blog. This latest post on Lance Wyman, Mexico ’68 and the Tlatelolco massacre is fascinating, and bears parallels with the book Kommando Otl Aicher (by A. Negrelli) and Argentina ’78 (by viscomdes person Kieran Mccann), both of which are currently on show at the Lighthouse, Glasgow, in ‘It’s Not Very Design That‘ – an exhibition about contemporary political graphic design by a young and up-and-coming design curator*.

*Aye.

Open!

One of my favourite journals – Open! – which recently ceased in its print form due to funding cuts by the Dutch government, has only gone and reimagined itself in amazing website form.

Issue 1: Beijing

Concrete Flux 流泥 is a multi-media, multi-disciplinary online journal, (edited by Solveig Suess, Vis-com-des person), which takes as its subject matter China’s hyper-fast emerging urban spaces, their meaning and one’s everyday experiences of them. They believe that a new configuration of space through urbanisation will lead to a new configuration of society. Their aim, then, is to contribute to some understanding of or gain insight into what these spaces, which seem to emerge faster than our minds can log and assess, may mean. Issue 1: Beijing is now live.

Glasgow seen through Singaporean eyes

The following selection of Glasgow observations featured in the research journals produced by Singapore students. They were asked to document and reflect on the ideas they had been working with during the Overseas Immersion Programme.

Re-Brand hype

https://www.facebook.com/artschoolrebrand

http://www.scribd.com/bookings15/documents

POW if you don’t know about me

POW better ask someone quickly

’cause POW!

Speculative Everything

via

Speculative Everything – Anthony Dunne at Resonate 2013 .

The Spirit of Revolt exhibition

As a possibly very interesting source/archive, an interesting exhibition, and, via the video above, an unintended assault on any of the conventions of video-making, The Spirit of Revolt exhibition, presenting one hundred years of Radical Presses Clydeside, and protest literature, photography and recordings at the Mitchell Library this week, might be worth a look.

A Feral Studio: Additional Information

Malcolm

Image: Emlyn Firth

Thanks to Nick, Lizzie, Floris and Malcolm (pictured, as drone) for a fantastic series of talks last night, and a great workshop – If you have research material you gathered, please do upload it to the tumblr.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the emergent architectural forms of Google Dominion, you can read one of Momus’s blog posts about it here. I can also recommend reading up on Heterofascist Park if you want to know which young Scottish architects are going to be forging a new nation in the event of Independence happening.

Thanks too, to Seb and Sophie for the lovely new Feral Studio website.

via #AFS03 – A Feral Studio.

Failed Report

“Field Studies is a four-day summer-school led by three acclaimed sound artists and composers. It explores the possibilities of engaging with places through listening, and working with recorded sound as a creative and practical tool in the context of architecture, the city and art practice.”

The course was organised by Musarc and led by Joseph Kohlmaier who edited Human Space by O.F. Bollnow on Hyphen Press. Three workshops were tutored by artist Brandon Labelle, field recordist Lee Patterson and artist Davide Tidoni. There were also talks from John Dack on Pierre Schaeffer and musique concrète, Soundfjord‘s co-founder Helen Frosi and sound artist Christina Kubisch.

Clockwise from top left, reconstructed overheard conversations, fishing for sounds using DIY hydrophone and the shoe-less Davide Tidoni discusses exploring space with radio static.

I didn’t manage to get the obligatory photo of artists/designers on laptops around trestle tables, it did happen though!

In Christina Kubisch’s talk, she showed films of her electromagnetic induction headphones in action. They pick up electromagnetic fields from electrical devices and convert them into sound using something like this. Reminded me of the sunglasses scene from They Live.

Found Victorian Type

I spotted more examples of late Victorian text appearing on Argyle Street today. A few gems are being revealed from underneath bland modern signage. I am particularly fond of the “A” between “ICES” and “SPECIALITY”.

Akzidenz Grotesk Bold?

When cycling home last week, I noticed the word “STOCKIST” had appeared on Eglinton Street. I liked the composition of the type sitting behind the verticals (apologies for the quality of the photos, a bus was rapidly approaching).

Vis Com 12 Degree Show

Vis Com 12 is the website of this years graduating 4th year students. And representing as it does, a fantastically diverse body of works, has the most tags of any post on the vis-com blog ever.

M’72 Legacy

ian mclaren

M’72 – Design Legacy is a symposium at UCA Canterbury, running from 29-31 June 2012, which explores the legacy of Otl Aicher and the design work for the 1972 Munich Olympics. It’s of interest for a number of reasons, not least that it features Ian McLaren (pictured above, a former head of department of Vis Com at GSA) who worked as one of the small design team creating and deploying the identity system for the 72 games.

The second reason that it is particularly interesting to me is that through another blog I write, I was contacted recently by Alexander Negrelli, a researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie, who is about to publish a book called Kommando Otl Aicher, looking at terrorism, politics, sport and design through the lens of visual identity. It sounds like a really interesting book, but due to funding issues within Dutch arts, its publication has been delayed until later this summer. A trailer can be viewed below.

Little Libraries

Little Libraries and Tactical Urbanism on Design Observer is a really interesting article mulling over the recent past of small independent ‘library’ initiatives, the library as institution, and the varying roles these play in ‘information culture’.

“Libraries are about much more, of course; they exist not simply to store and provide access to information. Advocates argue that libraries continue to serve crucial civic and social functions, and their tenacious faith is reinforced by a flurry of recent street-level library activity. The last few years have seen the emergence of myriad mini, pop-up, guerilla and ad-hoc libraries, which are part of the phenomenon that Mimi Zeiger, in her Interventionist’s Toolkit series for this journal, calls “provisional, opportunistic, ubiquitous, and odd tactics in guerilla and DIY practice and urbanism” — to which I might add, librarianship.”

Image: Reanimation Library, Brooklyn.

Forthcoming Events

TLATEHIIN PAVILION 2012

Monday, 14 May 2012

The island of Tlaethiin rose from the melting arctic ice like a glimmering jewel, establishing itself as a country of wealth and opulence.

To celebrate the unveiling of the new arctic nation you are invited to the opening of:
TLATEHIIN PAVILION OF THE 2012 WORLD EXPO.

Opening to the world from 8pm May 14th.

For more information please contact solveigsuess@hotmail.com

Before this special opening an exclusive dining extravaganza will be taking place, exploring Tlatehiin through the decadence of confectionary. Places for the dining event are limited, with a raffle being held to secure a seat.

If you would like to be in with a chance of experiencing this arctic treat, please come equipped with one gold coin ready to be transferred into your lucky number and contact:

Izzykertland@gmail.com
or come by the office:
Graphic Design,Visual Communication.
floor 2, Skypark 5.

Image: Tlatehiin- Jewel of the Arctic