Week 9: Feedback from Panel ReVIew

In Week 8 we had a panel review. I thought mine went well, despaite some technical hiccups! Here is what the panel said:

Mark Rudd

A great presentation and a subject which is bound to be interesting on many levels. I agree with what others said – this will be more interesting if it is aimed towards people who are not designers, more towards local people, with a view to encouraging dialogue and community. Also with a view to historical interest – again, interesting to local people, not just designers. 

It is great to think about this being a model for a project that could happen all over, nationally, maybe even internationally. With this in mind, it would be good to consider the name. Stowe Framework references Walthamstow… maybe there should be a parent brand name, like PlaceType, or CommunityType, or something much better than that! And then you would have Walthamstow, (or Hull, or Rome) underneath the parent brand name. Just a thought! 

Bryan Clark

  • Focusing on vernacular typography – to capture cultural identity place and time of Walthamstow – really great!
  • What else might it show, change in racial balance, political or faiths etc…
  • Good workshops about curating local identity – is it a period of time and how can reveal the unseen – I prefer the idea of working with residents as opposed to designers
  • Is a glyph workshop a long shot – good for designers but interested more in community response
  • Phil Baines and others work in this field – so what could you do that is new and will give them a run for their money.
  • Good to see feedback on the project at the end slide
  • Final question around how lettering and type gives a sense of home – more emotional connections, like lettering on railway bridges and a broader mosaic of visual connections

Anna Mankee- Williams

I like the project and it speaks to the connectivity of life,(and how disconnectedness with our environment can have huge impact. Arguably place and people cannot be separated (although we work hard to do just that!) Consider:

  • Understanding the culture and sub culture of a place through the lens of this project
  • Has Covid altered the sense of place (are people spending more time locally – has that had an impact)
  • What are the threats to the vernacular and will there be a pivot back to protection of the vernacular?
  • Where can this project impact most powerfully?

Rosanna Vitiello

Great borough to work in and work on hyper-local vernacular seems like it’s really missing I would find this very valuable in my line of work

How do human’s shape a sense of place
What are the stories behind the type?
What do we do with this new knowledge of vernacular once we have it?How are we codifying subcultures? And multiculturalism?

Look at England In Particular —
How can you involve community members in something as specific as type?
How can you bring them in? And what might they do differently as a result?


Great presentation and well handled with the technical issues! I really love the look and feel of your project, it already has a strong identity which is great. I’m interested to see how you market this and get people signing up to take part! Do you think this would be somewhat weather dependent and will this impact when you launch the workshops? 

I know one of your external collaborators mentioned their concerns about doing this during the pandemic, but I think there’s plenty you can do to make it work – it might not be exactly as you envisioned it pre-covid but the tweaks you have to make could end up improving it. Will there be any focus on the wellbeing benefits of taking part, a bit like Ella’s project? As it is again encouraging people to connect with their local area, giving people something different to focus on etc. 

– Have you thought of how you will adapt to the current covid crisis in terms of the workshops?
– How can you use social media and digital marketing to enhance the project.
– Will you promote the work produced in the workshops?
– Could you target other industries to attend workshops as group team building activities. How would those industries approach the workshops differently?

My thoughts

It might seem big-headed to evaluate my feedback, but I see it as a way of really honing in on what the panellists are saying and how I can progress with the project. I doubt I’ll be able to do everything that is suggested of me, so I am going to figure out what is the most useful and what falls outside the remit of what I can do.

The common theme is that although the panellists they were interested in local designers’ thoughts, they thought I should focus on the community’s responses. I really do intend to do that! Maybe they were just making sure that I do, or maybe my presentation didn’t emphasise my true intentions. Either way, that’s something that I need to highlight when I next show my project to someone.

Covid also pops up a lot, and it has been always on my mind. I’m trying to balance the possibility vs the reality of what I can do. My workshops are designed to be self-led, and so I need to be able to describe what I want well. For the glyph workshop I have toyed with the idea of making a video-led workshop that people can follow.

The feedback has also suggested I look into the world beyond this project: taking it outside Walthamstow. Mark Rudd suggested changing the name to make it less Walthamstow focussed. I did think of TypePlace and CommuniType as names, but ti seems they have already been taken. While I do see his point, I have shortened the name to its suffix that means ‘meeting place’ and I so like that the name has ties to its origins. Maybe I should explain this more. I do intend to bring in other industries to take workshops, but this is out of my budget right now to facilitate. It’s something for the next stage rather than now. I can use this stage to build and beta-test the project before expecting people to pay for it.


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