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

Q:
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?

STUDENT FEEDBACK

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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Week 9 OVERVIEW

WHat I did

  • Played with how I can incorporate architectural features into my project
  • Launched an Instagram account
  • Researched London typographers, such as William Morris and Jean Louis Pouchée

What I plan to do

  • Continue to market and build a following on Instagram
  • Think about how I can display the large collection of images that I already have

TYPE design

Previous post/Next post. Walthamstow has a lot of industrial spaces that have roofs like this:

The sawtooth roof, with its glass panels facing away from the equator on the steeper side, blocks the light and heat of direct sun exposure and provides uniform, natural light over a large area. It was particularly useful in design factories and manufacturing buildings and can be seen in designs as early as the 1830’s (thanks Wikipedia).

The name reminds me of the angles used in half-tone printing The smoothness of the edges of the box changes as its angle relative to the halftone screen angle changes. The ragged appearance of edge of the last box is referred to as “sawtoothing”.

And I like the idea of incorporating the design into my final outcome. I’ll use the shape and position text around it:

I like both examples. One uses the outside of the shape and highlights the outline and feels lighter, whilst the right one forms the shape itself and feels blocky. I’m not sure which one feels appropriate yet, but I will experiment with this further.

Social Media

My project will have people getting involved, and so to promote the project I have an Instagram account. I’ve had it set up for a while, to nab the hashtag before anyone else, but haven’t posted because it felt too soon. Now, I have an idea where my project is going and I have spoken to local people about it, and thus it is time to establish myself. I might not be calling for volunteers yet, but a base of a couple of months and posts will instil a sense of trust from the community and maybe potential funders. It’ll be a way to promote to people and the design industry outside the area too.

Currently, my social media strategy has three types of post:

  1. Reflect on the lettering around us in Walthamstow and the circumstances in which it was made⁠
  2. Engage the community and local design practitioners to discover how lettering affects our sense of community⁠
  3. Create new lettering that speaks to us.⁠

The language of us and our is intended to warm and draw people in. The three types of post give me a theme and structure rather than an random mix of posts and has given me interesting opportunities.

Social media tires me out when I do it constantly, so I am using later.com to set up the automatic posting for a few weeks. I can create posts in a bulk when I feel like it and then have them post, so I don’t have to be constantly thinking of new things, and I think it creates a sense of consistency in tone of voice and posting schedule too.

Going back to the interesting opportunities, when I’ve started writing posts under each of the three headings I’ve been able to link to a practitioner or part of the community to really champion them. For instance, I’ve included my recent letterpress workshop and included the studio, Paekakariki Press, a letter in a London Plane tree which was annotated my Rachel Summers in her tree chalk facts project. It’s grown in a few hours to be much more than here’s a pretty picture of typography in Walthamstow.

Excitingly, by using the right hashtags, the local archive Vestry House Museum featured me in their stories without me asking for it, so I hopefully will get more traffic from their followers. Building a solid base will give me more engagement in the community.

Of course, social media will only reach a certain portion of the community, and I need to look outside it, but I feel it’s a good start to promoting Stowe Framework. Maybe this week will be Marketing Week for me!

Week 9: Challenge

The Challenge

  • Create an information graphic, or diagram, or animation that, for you, highlights the effective definition and process of a being a design entrepreneur today.
  • Upload your diagram to the Ideas Wall and discuss the pros and cons of how risk, failure and innovation is built into a model for business success;
  • What is the impact of different cultural insights with regard to opportunity and potential?

“DESIGN ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE COLLECTION OF CORRECT SKILLS AND ABILITIES TO DEVELOP THE RIGHT IDEAS AND MARKET THEM AS SUCCESSFUL DESIGN PRODUCTS … [INCLUDING] EXECUTIVE RESPONSIBILITY, BUSINESS PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT AND MARKETING ISSUES”

(GUNES, 2012)

The traditional design process has the designer working for a client, who holds the problem, to find a solution that fits the client’s specification. This holds some advantages for the designer because it allows them to practise their design skills and concentrate on the creative side of problem-solving. All the other tasks of positioning, financing, managing and marketing fall under the responsibility of the client, thus freeing the designer of the hindrance. However, the lack of responsibility is also a lack of power: the designer does not have any control other than what they have been briefed to do.

The situation I have described above is where design entrepreneurship comes in. It allows the designer to take control and assume responsibility for the full breadth of the project and provides a more holistic experience for those involved.

Design entrepreneurship projects are initiated for a number of reasons, as a student creating a self-initiated project giving themselves the voice of an imaginary client and their response to best show their skills, an experienced designer following an idea outside of their usual briefs or as a conscious decision of a company to embark on these ventures. It could be any combination of these situations and people, however, the common element is that the business skills are undertaken by the designer in addition to the creative tasks.

I would imagine that the process of developing a design entrepreneurship project (DEP) take on a very similar timeline to any other project, however, the tasks are completed by the same person or company.

First, the idea has to be conceived: the designer has the chance to use their own knowledge of their world to empathise with an audience and build a project around that. It gives them the power to draw boundaries of the project and lead in the development.

At the same time, the designer has to manage the financing, product planning, positioning and marketing, which are skills they might not have had to consider in a pure design role. However, these skills are essential to design entrepreneurship and requires the designer to gain additional skills adjacent to their project and thoroughly connect to the world in which their project is being launched. It challenged the designer to place their project in context and make the executive decisions over such balances such as quality vs cost.

The knowledge gained in producing design entrepreneurship projects will enable the designer to work with new perspective as they understand the cogs working around them.

There does remain the question of authorship if a DEP is undertaken by a company or studio. Does the project have to be under the remit of one person, or can responsibility be shared in a company?

With regards to cultural insights and how they can impact opportunity and potential, I think cultural insights could either help or hinder a project. For a designer to come in with fresh eyes might invigorate a situation because they are able to see the issue from a different perspective. This could lead to startling and innovative solutions that would otherwise not have been conceived due to ‘situation blindness’. On the other hand, knowledge of the situation means that the designer can apply an appropriate solution well.

Infographic

I’ve been thinking about how to represent design entrepreneurship in an easy way, that’s also novel. I don’t want to spend too much time on this week so I can concentrate on the larger project for Brief 3. When the week’s challenge mentions animation I thought oooooooooh what can I do, knowing I can complicate things easily.

Spending some time this evening to practise After Effects following a Domestika course has led to this:

animation

I imagine creative skills and business skills being on two different sides, or axis, fundamentally different but coming together. I see this as weaving fabric. In a traditional design brief, the client forms the warp (vertical) to provide the structure whilst the designer is the weave, (horizontal), making the pattern:

from Wikipedia
Lego man evolution

Or I like the idea of putting together an entrepreneur and a designer forming different lego figures from blocks and putting them together to create a mega figure called the design entrepreneur.

Tripod

Or thinking of design entrepreneurship as three different corners to form a triangle, all essential in order to be a DE.

Or reinventing the wheel in a new combination?

Final Outcome

Resources

Week 9: Service Design and Saving the World

Tasks

One: Research User-Centred Design Processes or Tools

  • Research three user-centred design processes or tools that can be used to discover a core need or problem e.g. customer journey maps, service safaris, a day in the life, cultural probe, double diamond.
  • Select one process and write a short 100-word description to illustrate how it can be used to discover an insight or challenge.

Two: Research Existing Campaign or Service Design Project

  • Research and select one existing campaign or service design project that tackles a social problem and analyse its effectiveness. Please remember to include information about any user-centred design processes that may have been used and the impact it brought about.
  • Write a 300 – 400 word description with screen grabs to illustrate your research findings.

New week, new brief!

One: Research User-Centred Design Processes or Tools

Research three user-centred design processes or tools that can be used to discover a core need or problem e.g. customer journey maps, service safaris, a day in the life, cultural probe, double diamond.

User Scenarios

The three tools I have chosen revolve around different parts of the process of the service design process. The first one, user scenarios, begins to imagine why and how a user might begin to engage with the service and give context around the service. Personas are a precursor to user scenarios, and then the scenarios take the personas through the service to question whether it would allow the user to meet the goal. It should avoid stereotypes and unrealistic assumptions, and include story items like a plot, context, motivations and how the service allows them to fulfil that. Breaking down the users’ needs like this allows the designers to define suitable requirements for the service that will match the scenarios.

Concept Walkthrough

Later in the design process, the designer will need feedback from potential users so that they can identify what works and what can be improved. Prior to this, the concept might only have been tested within the designers, and a concept walkthrough is an early way in which to test its effectiveness. To make this tool effective, a designer needs mock-ups and images to demonstrate the service to the users. A concept walkthrough is task-specific, rather than heuristic and gives a holistic impression. By slowing down the process and allowing users into the design process at this early point means that each decision can be validated or changed and real-life insight into users minds.

Success Metrics

The previous two tools have been qualitative: gathering information from users. Success metrics are quantitative and measure how users are engaging with the service in real life. The number of users will be higher than can be captured by interviews and can be conducted remotely by questionnaires during and after user engagement. Metrics are vital to how the service is actually serving the users and whether any adjustments can be made to enhance the experience.

Select one process and write a short 100-word description to illustrate how it can be used to discover an insight or challenge.

User scenarios are a tool that begins to imagine why and how a user might begin to engage with the service and give context around the service. Personas are a precursor to user scenarios, and then the scenarios take the personas through the service to question whether it would allow the user to meet the goal. It should avoid stereotypes and unrealistic assumptions, and include story items like a plot, context, motivations and how the service allows them to fulfil that. Breaking down the users’ needs like this allows the designers to define suitable requirements for the service that will match the scenarios.

Two: Research Existing Campaign or Service Design Project

Research and select one existing campaign or service design project that tackles a social problem and analyse its effectiveness. Please remember to include information about any user-centred design processes that may have been used and the impact it brought about.

I’ve always found this campaign to get more women into exercise and sport very inspiring because it shows exercise to be something we enjoy, rather than school PE lessons that most people hate. Exercise is for everyone and is essential to staying healthy. The campaign focusses on different women and reasons why they don’t exercise and shows them pushing through that. For the task I’d like to go more in-depth in the campaign to see how they built different personas that lots of people can identify with.

This is my research which I will distil into the description below.

  • First TV ad aired in January 2015, with hashtag this girl can
  • Created in response to Sport England’s Active People Survey in  2014 that found 75% of women aged 14_40 wanted to exercise in more, with 2 million fewer women exercising than men.
  • The task was to get more women aged 14_40 exercising regularly
  • Research done by Sports England Active People Survey
  • Agency FCB Inferno needed real women what they thought of each response
  • Gathering lots of information, they looked at what was common across demographics: fear of judgement
  • Focus groups at this point to analyse this response, which was positive
  • Wanted to know whether people engaged: “Sport England didn’t just want to know how many of a focus group liked it, they wanted to know the semantics of it, what words they were using, how they expressed they liked it. They didn’t want their research just regurgitated back to them.” DandAD
  • Ability to empathise with women they were aiming it at
  • Relatable women – chased down people outside sports centres to get as much variety in the people involved – Personas
  • Although they wanted to show the barrier they wanted to show people overcoming them
  • Feedback from the hashtag allowed them to see what women thought
  • In the past five years, the campaign has helped more than 500,000 women and girls to become more physically active. Guardian
  • Sports England continue to survey and found that women are still afraid of what people think of them and that they are worried about speaking out about things such as periods and menopause that affect their activity levels
  • Women not told they have to exercise, they are shown ways in which they can overcome, and the positivity it can bring
  • Research affected creative decisions: “It found, for instance, that using photographs of women in the context of the activity rather than actually doing it was more effective in promoting it.” Guardian
  • 2015 Missy Elliot, I jiggle therefore I am, sweating like a pig feeling like a fox, I kick balls, deal with it, same right I look hot
  • 2017, campaign narrative phenomenal women 1978, Maya Angelou, Women Phenonmally – emphases womanhood, mother, grandmother, up the generations. In everyday situations, a wider range. “Unleash your inner beginner’ and ‘Take me as I am or watch me as I go’. The mantras are based on research from a survey of 200,000 people that highlighted common worries such as not being good enough, or overcoming stereotypes about what women should or shouldn’t do.” The Drum “addresses the mental hurdles which people feel when returning to exercise after taking a break, which often makes the idea of exercising all the more daunting.”
  • 2020, Me Again,

Write a 300 – 400-word description with screen grabs to illustrate your research findings.

untitled

Sports England identified in their biannual survey of 2014 that women were far less likely than men to engage in regular exercise, even though 75% aged 14–40 said that they wanted to exercise more. The campaign This Girl Can was underpinned by five years of research, conducted in a random sampling of households across England with around 175,000 people completing each survey. Each local authority had a minimum sample size of 500 people, to ensure that the results reflect the English population.

With Sports England, agency FCB Inferno conceived a campaign that aimed to get more women exercising. The survey had given them metrics about why women weren’t exercising, however, they thought that women would not respond well to being told that they should exercise and so they began to GENERATE HYPOTHESISES. Across different demographics, they found a common theme: fear of judgement; that their bodies or skills at sport would be judged. Later focus groups responded that this was true. They dug deeper because Sports England “wanted to know the semantics of it, what words they were using, how they expressed they liked it. They didn’t want their research just regurgitated back to them” DandAD and wrote OBSERVATION NOTES of their focus group feedback.

To find women that people would relate to, FCB Inferno approached people outside sports centres to learn about the barriers that they overcame to be there, because they felt that it wasn’t only about showing the difficulties that women face to get into sports, but how women overcame them. From these experiences, they built PERSONAS that felt true to life.

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The first campaign in 2015 featured taglines like, “I jiggle therefore I am”, “Sweating like a pig feeling like a fox”, “I kick balls, deal with it” and “Damn right, I look hot” that emphasised the features of women’s bodies and what women were afraid of when exercising. The hashtag #thisgirlcan meant that Sports England and FCB Inferno could get direct feedback and SUCCESS METRICS, and the tag went viral in the days after the release.

The feedback was really positive but some felt that using “girl” was demeaning to older women. In 2017 they released a new campaign that built on the success of the previous one but addressed the criticism. They emphasised the everyday act of exercising with a broader range of women, with Maya Angelou reading her Phenomenal Women poem in the advert. From more research, they created mantras such as “Unleash your inner beginner” and ‘Take me as I am or watch me as I go” that highlighted common worries such as not being good enough, or overcoming stereotypes about what women should or shouldn’t do, as well as why women start and stop exercise.

tampon-a733

In 2020, the campaign released a new advert that centres on the defiance of the women who have had to overcome societal barriers to get active. They used real people that their personas would relate to: a woman with three children who struggled to find time to exercise, a woman with painful periods who felt this stopped her from exercising and a woman whose menopause made her feel the same. The film did not shy away from issues that women feel, and affect their exercise but do not feel they can talk about, and brought them to light so that women can start talking about menopause, about periods and about family. The advert showed these women getting back into exercise with the support of their friends, family and community to show that we can all be part of the solution.

The advert reached over a million views online before it went on air and entirely through digital word of mouth.

Over the past five years This Girl Can has inspired nearly three million women to get more active, and over the next year aims to get 250,000 more. From 2015, the campaign has developed from a set of survey results to continue listening to what people have to say about why they wanted to get more active and what was stopping them. By centring on the women they wanted to inspire have built a successful and engaging campaign.

 

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Week 9: Concept Development

The Tasks

  • Select one of your design concepts, which you think will successfully answer your chosen project brief.
  • Research innovative design thinking, format, media and production methods to gain a fresh insight into your project direction.

orgchart

Idea Two – Game experience using objects

Using the objects to go on your own adventure! By building challenges to navigate from one linked object to another, whether by type of object, material, date of origination or other criteria, the user will build up a knowledge of the collection and how its objects are related in history.

Objects could include: navigate from a spoon to a religious icon, from a catalytic converter to the baby weighing scales in fewer than six steps. By gameifying the experience, it presents a challenge to the viewer whilst subtly showing them the collection in its entirety.

SD_Map

How the images could be linked with multiple paths and branches to the finish.

SD_object

An idea for the object page, with linking objects to the right.

Research innovative design thinking, format, media and production methods to gain a fresh insight into your project direction.

St Paul's and the City of London on fire - actual game footage.

Museum of London: The Great Fire of London in Minecraft

Minecraft, the immensely popular building game, has been used to create an immersive experience by the Museum of London to allow players to get into the thick of the Great Fire of London of 1666.

Three maps offer immersive experiences, allowing players to enter the City of London in 1666 and explore the story of the Great Fire like never before. Uncover the causes of this terrible event, help fight the fire and eventually try your hand at rebuilding London. Each map includes challenges to help players delve deeper into the story and experience what it was like to be part of the Fire of London.

It would be so cool to create something so immersive, however I feel that I don’t have the experience of gaming or the edge of the concept to make it work in this instance. I really rate it for bringing historical experiences to a new generation!

kunisada1

“Showdown! Kuniyoshi vs. Kunisada” at Museum of Fine Arts

At the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, visitors were able to view woodcuts from 19th-century Japan and to take a quiz to discover which artist of the discipline they favoured.

The two artists, Kuniyoshi and Kunisada, were friendly rivals under the same artistic master, whose work is often pitted against each other and this exhibition does that. The curators chose 49 pieces of art from each artist, to ensure an even presentation.

Usually, exhibitions try to avoid bias (this exhibition also does) and present an even view, but this goes further to bring to life the artists rivalry and asks the audience to choose which was their favourite. At the time the art was produced, it was used in commercial settings so audience preferences would have gone a long way as to who was commissioned and therefore earned money. The quiz echoes the types of quiz now found on websites such as Buzzfeed where the audience answers questions on Friends characters to find out their favourite kind of potato (imagined concept, but it’s not far off the mark.)

Ideas Wall

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Week 9: Critical Research Journal

McAlhone, B., Stuart, D., Quinton, G., Asbury, N. (2016) A Smile in the Mind; Witty Thinking in Graphic Design. London: Phaidon.

From the book, I resonated with a few different phrases. From Michael Bierut, I like the idea that “if you show people a completed picture it doesn’t engage them as much as when they connect the last few dots, and have the moment of discovery”. I like having Easter eggs in my book work, like one hundred fish images in an author’s one-hundredth book, and want to learn how to do that graphically too.

From Aziz Cami, “What is great about wit is that it triggers questions in people’s minds. They start imagining – what would a person be like who has a van like this? … Curiosity must be satisfied”. How can I use my graphic design to represent myself and others that only makes people more curious about us?

I most see myself in the wisdom from Alan Fletcher:

  • I see wit as cerebral acrobatics
  • Other times I go to bed without an idea in my head, and I wake up to find it’s all there – and I’ve written the caption too.
  • If an idea is not coming as quickly as it should, my mind takes off somewhere else… I actually have to discipline myself.
  •  I have to set up my own boundaries, and fence myself in

I think I could learn from this, especially the confidence to give myself the boundaries and produce something within that, rather than keeping my approach too open and not committing to anything!

Austria Solar: Annual Report

awardpappe_120410_1

I mean, WOW! I love new printing technologies but I’d never heard of this one. The design by ServicePlan brought the report to life in the right way as it demonstrated the company’s values: the light-reactive ink isn’t just impressive, it’s intrinsic to the report’s value. How graphic design should be used.

Week 9: Brief 3

Studio Practice

How can a message be enhanced through the medium in which it is implemented?

Communicate an emotion that you perceive your city or a chosen location to be ‘about’. Take the word and use an appropriate material/form/medium whether 2D, digital, 3D or immersive.

Communication design challenge

Take an emotion and create a material response to how you communicate that emotion in material and form. You may choose to communicate the word directly or you may choose to create a juxtaposition if there is a contradiction or tension, i.e. New York is Tense.

 

Walthamstow is mosaic

Walthamstow is incredibly rich in history, creativity and industry, as well as being very multicultural. Waltham Forest is Borough of Culture this year, so I’m finding ways in which the people of Walthamstow are coming together. There are signs hanging from the streetlights to advertise this, and I love how they are highlighting how culture is beneficial to all of us.

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Mosaic is an ancient art form, and maybe not technically an emotion, but it’s the word I feel best describes Walthamstow. Each piece is worthy in its own right and together makes a rich and detailed image. I will be taking parts of the cultural history and bringing it together to make a new piece that represents Walthamstow as it is today.

week9map2

Here’s a map of Walthamstow, for context! In the past, the waterways to the west of the area were used for various industries. In the 14th century, the River Lea was diverted to the Coppermill Stream that powered the mill to grind corn. In the late 17th century, the mill was used as a paper mill, and the name of the stream was changed to Paper-mill River. It might have also been used as a gunpowder mill in the English Civil War, as other mills in the Lower Lee Valley were. Late it was used as a mill to roll out copper ingots transported by canal and river from Swansea to flat sheets of copper, which were then used pressed to become coins of a local currency.

Now, the view is different, with homes being bought over by city workers and land being developed into properties not many can afford.

In reality, our well-being came second to the deep pockets of private developers. My home—an area so rich in culture and life, a place I’ve built memories with for over a decade—will be demolished, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/other/no-place-like-home-what-its-like-to-be-forced-out-by-gentrification

Process

To make my project, I planned to make a mosaic using pieces of food packaging from different cultures and using different languages on the packaging. Walthamstow is a diverse area, as I talked about in a challenge a few weeks ago, and I noticed many food shops catering to cultures on my walk along the High Street. Food is also a unifying element in many lives: we eat together to build bonds, no matter where we come from. Cutting up the packaging is deliberately destructive, but bringing it together creates a multi-cultural meal.

With a little more time, I would have sourced delicacies from each culture and featured these, as well as attempting an in-depth conversation with the people I met in the shops about their experience of Walthamstow. As it was, it was close to closing time and I wanted to ensure I was able to get to as many as I could. I didn’t find as much food packaging with Tamil or Urdu on, so I bought locally-produced newspapers in those languages.

The image I planned to make a mosaic of is the doorway of a Warner house: two doors brought together in an archway. As I explained above, Warner houses and flats were affordable housing in the 1940-60s that brought many new people to the area, and they were welcomed into the community. In this article a longstanding resident of Walthamstow points out that even at affordable rates, the person on the average income of the area cannot afford the new properties being built. As white, middle-class and working in the media, I feel like I am perpetuating the problem of gentrification wherever I move. The choice of using the Warner house of time gone past is a symbol of a time when Walthamstow was genuinely affordable and how these properties are now coveted by people moving into the area.

Here are images of the packaging and food I bought:

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Stumbling Block

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This is the point I have got to thus far. I was cutting up my packaging and started to arrange it, and hit a huge block of self-doubt that I couldn’t move around. I feel it looked like a school child’s art project.

What do others think?

In the seminar, Kris said that the liked  the flat lay, and that it reminded her of images like this:

If I were to do this project again, I would completely forget about the mosaic of the Warner house fronts, and instead, concentrate on my visual centre being a flay lay.  I would interview the people working in the shops and ask them to pick a food item that meant a lot to them and to describe the story behind it. The flat lay image would have rollover portions where you could listen to the people talk about their chosen food.