I have an unhealthy curiosity for mobile masts disguised as trees, which led me to Lisa Parks' work. Following in her footsteps, this project experimented with controversy mapping and questioned the legibility of media infrastructures. Mapping the Mast, an article I wrote about the project, has since been published in the Journal of Communication Design.
With my colleague Andy Lapham I recently set-up an interactions, prototyping and research lab at Winchester School of Art. Our aim was to demystify technologies through hands-on making workshops on physical computing, coding and a biscuit fuelled reading group. We were delighted to work with Avril O'Neil and John Nussey at Onn Studio to get the lab off the ground.
As designers are increasingly called to work with data, I've run a data physicalisation project with students to enable them to analyse, sort, visualise and tell stories using different data-sets. In 2015/16 we asked students to explore data on the subject of electronic waste and their work was recently displayed as part of a data visualisation symposium at Winchester School of Art.
Working with Luke Thompson from Kin Design we set a critical design project for students to examine existing 'smart' city technologies. Through quick lo-fi drawing, collage, role play workshops and using Flaws of the Smart City kits, the teams created future scenarios, interfaces and artefacts to embody their concerns. We self-published a book about the project.
As studio space in higher education comes under pressure I undertook some primary research with designers and educators to explore the implications. The project questioned the value of studio practice and explored new formations in arts education and the creative industries. Contributors included; designers at Yahoo, Kin Design, Bond & Coyne, Thames and Hudson and staff at Kingston School of Art and University of the Creative Arts.
Drawing on urban ethnographer Suzanne Hall's Ordinary Streets (2013) research, I ran a project with MA Communication Design students to map five streets in east London using variety of media. Taking up Hall’s call to develop a multilingual vocabulary for describing everyday public spaces, the students used sounds, smells and visuals to represent a range of innovative perspectives on street life.