Archive for the ‘Random Musings’ Category

Leandro Erlich: Dalston House

July 5, 2013

Another interactive installment from the Barbican, this time in the streets of Dalston. Building upon the success of the Rain Room and other such inclusive art pieces like the Light Show (Hayward Gallery), Erlich’s use of illusion comes into play yet again as he entices visitors to immerse themselves within an otherwise vacant space in Ashwin Street.

Dalston House Entrance

The vacant lot is given a new lease of life

As you approach the site’s entrance, one can’t help but smile at the surreal environment that lies ahead; the sight of people dangling off a Victorian building. Of course this is all done with a mirror (or reflective film) held at an angle by scaffolding, yet what is remarkable is the delight and bewilderment of the users as they crawl around the contours of the facade.

Dalston House Scaffolding

A network of scaffolding used to stop the two facades from meeting

It's the finer details that make it clever

It’s the finer details that brings it to life

Yes, you do feel a bit like a floundering Spiderman…

Dalston House Ground

What other piece of art would get you rolling around on the floor?

Dalston House Interaction

A pretty realistic illusion

Dalston House is also supported by a host of events which explore the themes of “architectural history, urbanism, and perception”.

Pictures really do not do this experience justice. Open until the 4th August, this free event is definitely not one to miss.

Dalston House Falling

Don’t hang around…*groan*…get here now!

More of Leandro Erlich’s work can be found here.


London 2012 Olympic Trail

July 2, 2012

An inspiring title sequence by the BBC promoting the upcoming Olympic Games coverage:

Showing that wherever you are in the UK, the Olympics are literally at your doorstep. As the torch continues to tour the nation and the countdown to the games drawing ever closer, you can’t help but be swept away by the pride of Britain. Although many Londoners are yet to be convinced (judging by the complaints of commuters), when the city is transformed into Olympic colours and the torch passes through the London boroughs, I’m sure one can’t help but feel excited about hosting the biggest sporting event in the world.

I’ve been very lucky to be part of the London Ambassadors and Olympic Games Maker, working at the Olympic Stadium helping out with rehearsals. The sheer dedication of the 10,000+ cast and crew to produce the opening ceremony is incredible, to think that this will be the most televised programme in the world is slightly daunting! Again, people may be questioning the themes and plans of director Danny Boyle’s vision for the opening ceremony, but watching this all unfold; trust this man’s instinct. The UK newspapers may have illegally accessed aerial photographs of the stadium rehearsals and props (making incorrect assumptions of what may happen), but there are so many surprises kept under cover, this will truly be a spectacle that makes you proud to be british.


London 2012: Olympic & Paralympic Posters

November 7, 2011

Last Friday saw the unveiling of the official posters for the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Game. It is the first time since 1972 that artists have created the posters, with a definite emphasis on showcasing London’s cultural olympiad rather than just the home nation. This makes a controversial topic as to whether the public and watchers worldwide will appreciate the individualism of such eminent Brit Art as opposed to the sleek, coherent graphic posters we are used to seeing.

One piece in particular that has divided the critics is Howard Hodgkin’s Swimming poster. Some applaud how he has captured the fluidity and movement of water and “the sensation of swimming”, others remark that it’s just ‘a blue splodge and a squiggle’. I feel it is very emphatic; the boldness of his brushstrokes links with the heightened adrenaline of the swimmer, power exudes from the deepness of the blue, motion aplenty shown by the differential tones and mark making (what lovely “squiggles”). If this is merely a reminder of a pre-schooler smudging paint on sugar paper then let your 5-year old nephew have a go.

Howard Hodgkin - Swimming - Olympics Poster


Fiona Banner’s Superhuman Nude poster uses verbal descriptions to define her subject, in this case a Paralympic cyclist. Yes she uses not-so-family friendly words within her prose poem but her application of typographical treatment gives Banner’s description intensity and impact. Without using imagery, Banner is able to cast the naked form of the athlete into the viewer’s mind, to truly appreciate the strength and also fragility of the competitor waiting for that starting pistol to sound.

Fiona Banner - Superhuman Nude - Paralympics Poster


Then there’s Tracy Emin’s poster, Birds 2012. Surprisingly unprovocative, Emin adopts a more delicate and compassionate approach in her homage to inspiring Paralympic athletes. The scrawly nature of her illustration, in particular her handwritten message, coupled with the two small birds kissing on a fine branch brings a tenderness to the piece. Emin also incorporates the Paralympic logo within the poster, almost disguising the agitos as gently falling feathers or leaves. Thankfully one idea that Emin scrapped was titled “I might not always come first but I do enjoy sex”.

Tracey Emin - Birds 2012 - Paralympics Poster


What is most striking however is how abstract all the posters are as if they could have been for any Olympics. Apart from Sarah Morris’s Big Ben poster (even this well known landmark is hardly distinguishable), they don’t directly relate to the host city or country. With the Beijing Olympics, they pushed the idea of heritage and cultural traditions, and with the Sydney Games there were boomerangs and aboriginal influences. Whether this was a statement to suggest timeless art, inclusion of the world to the London Olympics, or the egotistical nature of British artists, be ready to see these posters everywhere.

disperse 2011

June 15, 2011

So, three years later, my degree in graphic design is coming to an end. We’ve been hard at work since we finished our final projects, managing to create promotional items, generate publicity and produce an (addictive) interactive website.

Currently we are setting up our exhibition, ready for the shows in Bournemouth and at D&AD New Blood.

Promo Poster Image

Laser cut A1 poster

disperse Invites Image

Foil blocked and laser cut invites with hand crafted envelopes

It’s fantastic to see everyone’s work coming together, acting as a reminder to how far we have all come as designers and as individuals.

Taken from the website:

Disperse is a metaphor for our class as a collective. Like the particles of our logo we will fly apart, our various career paths leading in every direction.

There is also a subtle implied metaphor in the way the particles return to create the logo once again just as the strong community created on the course draws many alumni back.

Class of Graphics 2011 Image

We made it!

I wish everyone the best, here’s to a fantastic show and a successful career!

Link to the website and my work:

The Progression of British Television Channel Identities

May 7, 2011

As part of my dissertation in the study of British television channel identities, I created a poster outlining the launch dates of terrestrial and digital channels:

Chart to show the introduction of British television channels since 1922

Starting from the first channel, BBC1, in 1922, the timeline aims to show the progression of television broadcasting and the ever-growing competition terrestrial channels face of current times.

Below is an extract from my dissertation:

Since the introduction of digital television in 1991 with the proliferation of new channels, there has been more of a need for broadcasting companies to keep the original terrestrial television channels, those that are freely available to the public without a subscription, being lost in the sea of the newer digital television channels. With statistics from BARB (2011), the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board, showing that the audience share of terrestrial channels is decreasing year on year in Britain (see Fig. 2), it is ‘paramount’ that these channels stand out (Merritt, 1987, p.19).

Channel identities have always played a part in the success of a television channel. Those that are memorable, iconic, that connects with the audience, it all comes down to the design of the ident. Something as seemingly simple requires a lot of research and thought behind the shifting viewing habits of Britain. Next time you are watching your favourite channel, notice how the channel brand matches your viewing taste, this is anything but a coincidence!


Pride in Bournemouth – Update

March 7, 2011

This lovely lion design appeared about a week after my first blog about the matter:

Have actually started seeing them around, this one was at the AUCB’s Arts Bar, probably chilling, a bit like those statue guard dogs you find outside of people’s houses. Also found one tucked away at Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) at their temporary ice skate rink, no idea why it was there, it was hidden with the machine used to re-smooth the ice…

Pride in Bournemouth Lion Photo

The kids that I’m a teacher’s assistant for have shared their stories about appearing lions at their primary school.

It’s great that the community are really getting involved, of all ages and backgrounds.

Working an event tomorrow about this project so will be able to see how it is developing.

Fingers crossed they will be as much of a success as other towns.

Additionally they are asking us assisting the evening to wear safari glam clothes…

AUCB’s Chinese New Year Celebrations 2011

February 20, 2011

So here’s why I haven’t been blogging recently:

CNY Big Finale Photo

This was the second year that I organised the Chinese New Year celebrations at the Arts University College at Bournemouth, last year went surprisingly well and the uni had a chance to experience a different culture overtaking the campus. We had lion dancers and chinese food served, as well as local businesses donating decorations to fill the Arts Bar and canteen with colour. Also we were giving out lucky red envelopes and prizes for who could say “Gong Xie Fat Chai” to us!

After the pilot year I wanted to include more culture into the celebrations, I wanted it to be bigger and better!

My whole of January was devoted to the organising of the event trying to sort out the entertainment as well as the extra little activities going around on the day (with my dissertation feeling slightly neglected…).

Lions close up Photo

Red Bracelets Photo

Chinese Calligraphy PhotoSky Lantern's Launch Photo

It was quite an ambitious task: I wanted to have chinese food served again, but this year it took the form of a “buffet” style, and as well as decorating the Uni I wanted to have chinese calligraphers to teach people how to write their chinese zodiac with traditional brush, paper and ink. Also I wished to have chinese teas that people could try for free as well as red bracelets to tie onto people around the campus to protect them from evil spirits. Additionally there was celebratory music being blasted out across the campus and sky lanterns that people could write their hopes and dreams to be released later that evening.

And of course the entertainment which was in the form of a martial arts demonstration and lion dancers!

In comparison to the six volunteers helping last year, I was overwhelmed by the fifty that were required for this event, I am so very grateful to all the people who helped with the various roles on the day to make it special for everyone.

Lions in the Library Photo

Lions around Campus Photo

Martial Arts Demo 2 Photo

Martial Arts Demo 1 Photo

We booked Yi Quin Lion Dance club this year and they were absolutely amazing! They brought colour and vibrancy to every part of the Uni including the library with their energetic movements and cheeky characterisation of the lion couple. We were lucky enough to have three martial arts demonstrations too.

Lion surprises spectator Photo

In the evening we had the sky lanterns launch. Ten lanterns bearing the wishes of the Uni to face typical windy British conditions, what could go wrong…

The ideal of releasing all lanterns simultaneously in a circle formation quickly dissipated, it became an elegant battle of determination and group encouragement to get the lanterns floating to the skies. Most lanterns flew more horizontally than upwards, nevertheless we managed to will on nine lanterns on their paths to heaven, with every lantern urged with anticipation and gusto!

Sky Lantern Wishes PhotoSky Lantern's Launch PhotoSky Lantern in the Sky Photo











Thank you to everyone who helped out, the Student Union and International Office for their support and everyone who participated and was able to share what millions of us celebrate every year.

Photography by Nauman Abdul-Hafeez.


Pride in Bournemouth

January 14, 2011

First blog of the new year, hopefully more to come. Been inspired by a recent talk held at the AUCB so fingers crossed the things I blog will be more current and show elements of what I’m interested in.

Was welcomed today at uni by this peculiar sighting:

Pride in Bournemouth Lion photo

At first it seemed as if the space vacant from the removal of the Christmas tree needed filler, and what random and bizarre choice as a replacement.

It was an instant reminder of those pigs that featured in Bath, the colourful, decorated ones by numerous designers. That or Anthony Gormley’s surveillance statue pieces dotted around London some time ago.

This was a plain, life size-eque lion model, just waiting to be given a personality!

Upon investigation I discovered that this in fact is a new project Bournemouth is holding which is doing a similar thing to Bath and asking locals to give the lion’s life, to which the lions will be placed around Bournemouth town in a ‘trail’.

AUCB has been invited to submit some designs, and as it’s an art university there will definitely be some barmy designs.

Set to be staged throughout the summer 2011 tourists and visitors are definitely in for a treat when they come visit the seaside this year.

Blank canvas…

October 5, 2010

Back to university, final year of graphic design, first briefing of the year, we received the following:

Image of paper

A bit like A-level Art, being greeted with a blank piece of paper and not having a clue in what to do with it.

Where to begin? What to represent? How to manipulate the most generic stationary item that so many take for granted?

Could be something symbolic, environmental perhaps? Could be practical and direct? Could even be a weapon (damn those paper cuts…)?

Could be playful, artistic, pointless?

Good thing is that we only have a week on this otherwise we could really go on forever on such a simple thing.

2012 Olympic Mascots Unveiled

May 20, 2010

Exciting stuff, the new mascots for London 2012 Olympic Games:

I was not exactly in awe of the mascots initially after seeing press photos of them, looked really random and appear to have no cultural legacy tied to the design. (Why the “Mandeville” and “Wenlock” names!?)

It was only after watching this endearing video that I understood the story, the chosen names, and what the characters represent. I can see this appealing to primary school kids, which is the target audience as they are meant to inspire children to be more active, but to everyone else I’m not too sure…they are just blobs of steel.

Hopefully it can make up the £4 billion revenue it needs to create to save us from debt…got 2 years and counting…


2012 Landmark Sculpture – ArcelorMittal Orbit

April 1, 2010


Sculptor Anish Kapoor’s design has been chosen to be the monument landmark for the London 2012 Olympics games.

The receiver of the Turner Prize in 1991 has created a 115m high structure which will allow users to capture a panoramic view of London.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit Image

The ArcelorMittal Orbit - London's future monument

“I am deeply honoured to be invited to undertake this challenging commission,” Kapoor said.

“I am particularly attracted to it because of the opportunity to involve members of the public in a particularly close and personal way. It is the commission of a lifetime.”

“Anish Kapoor’s inspired art work will truly encapsulate the energy and spirit of London during the Games and, as such, will become the perfect iconic cultural legacy.”

Kapoor also mentions in an interview (found via the link below) that the “sensation of unstability” is to suggest the continuation of movement as opposed to the stereotypical pyramidal tower structures.

He’s working alongside Cecil Balmond who will work out how to make it stable. I hope he succeeds.


Imaginary Business makes Business

March 5, 2010

A quick article about combating recession and the knock on effect it has on business closures.

Shop Front Picture

A new market for graphic designers perhaps? Or more for the visionaries? If this is able to entice new businesses to set up then this is a great approach to combating the uninspiring, white frosted (or that weird gunk they put…) windows, and spam letters piled up at the door flap.

Some quotes from the article (for the full report, click on the link below):

A smart delicatessen that caters only for window shoppers has sprung up in a Tyneside town after the council decided to put up fake shop fronts to cover empty units.

“We need to ensure that the remaining businesses continue to survive and that means ensuring our high streets look attractive to both shoppers and potential business investors.”

The colourful fake shop fronts are either taped inside the windows or screwed to the fascia so they can be removed and re-used as required.

“Other empty units have been decorated by local artists and we had one painted in the team colours of Whitley Bay after they won the FA Vase last year.”

Ms Goldfinch said the Chamber of Trade, the council and a local property consultant had worked together on the window design, which she said was a first of its kind.

“It’s an excellent way of promoting how a unit can be used, making you think about it in a different way to what you’ve been used to seeing,” she added.

What would happen if all the stores in the highstreet were just window dresses? Confusing times indeed.


Creative Family

January 30, 2010

Another design job related website which seems to be more focused to uni graduates and A-level students.

Offers lots of advice and guidance in a clear and easy language for readers to follow.

One of the features is “Portfolio of the month” which is quite handy, a chance to see what other students are submitting to design agencies in respect to work placements and jobs.

Below feature the work of Paul Folliard, a graphic design graduate from the University of Gloucestershire.

Paul Folliard Image

Example of Folliard's portfolio - Haribo packaging rebranding



Hedi Kyle

January 27, 2010

Was browsing around the net and came across this nifty little book.

April Diary 1979 Picture

April Diary 1979, otherwise known as the "Flag Book"

This looks so intricate and engaging, where would the reader begin!?

Despite being dated back to the late 1970s, this book making technique has been adapted by contemporary designers to give their work an edge.

There are websites that teach you how to make such a mechanism, a simple one can be found here.

Aren’t books great!


January 25, 2010

A typographical website which sells fonts, made by a range of type designers and presented in a novel way.

Lineto Typewriter Screenshot

Play around with type!

The site allows you to experiment with the type in a simple way.

The navigation bar replicates the finder on PCs/Macs, a clear breakdown of what the website has to offer.

There is a lot of clicking around to do, you might get lost and confused with the many pages, but you can always use the navigation bar to find yourself back to normality.

Worth a visit.