Monthly Archives: July 2015

So I’m a bit late putting these up… but I’ve finally decided on what challenges I’m going to do in my 26th year. Should be an interesting (if slightly weird) year…

1. 26 MINI PILGRIMAGES This year I’m aiming to make 26 mini pilgrimages to graves and memorials of people that have influenced the way I think. All have contributed significantly to culture, creativity, art and science. (I’ve got a slightly longer list than the one below, and will swap in and out if the opportunity arises.)

  1. Arthur Conan Doyle
  2. Edward Ardizzone
  3. Isaac Newton
  4. Oliver Postgate
  5. Spike Milligan
  6. Rudyard Kipling
  7. Winston Churchill
  8. Henry Tate
  9. Charles Darwin
  10. Emily Davison
  11. Bert Jansch
  12. Heath Robinson
  13. Farrokh Bulsara (Freddie mercury)
  14. Brian Epstein
  15. Rik Mayall
  16. John Bonham
  17. William Shakespeare
  18. Amy Winehouse
  19. Frank Pick
  20. Ian Fleming
  21. John Venn
  22. Ada Lovelace
  23. Alan Turing
  24. John Peel
  25. Robert Hooke
  26. Christopher Wren

It’ll see me get all over the country:


2. 26 NEW RECIPES I used to be quite a good cook. At one point, I even wanted to be a chef. And one look on instagram will prove to anyone that I love my food. But the last few years, I’ve got quite lazy in the kitchen – and I must admit that Wist ends up cooking more than I do. This year I’m going to try 26 new recipes – and try and rediscover my love for cooking (rather than just eating…) Going to keep it an open list, rather than fixed. And I’m probably going to include cocktail recipes.

3. 26 INDEPENDENT COFFEE SHOPS Less boozy than last year. I’m hoping this will be better for both physical and mental health. Ideally I’ll experience something similar to society’s jump from the middle ages to the enlightenment. That was just swapping mead for coffee – right…? (Couple of rules – I can’t have been in them before. And I’m going to count micro chains etc. Open list rather than fixed.)

As usual, I’m also going to aim to wrap up my year with 26 photos.

We visited Central St Martins the other day for the degree shows. The shows were fantastic, but the thing that blew me away was the Central St Martin’s building itself. They’ve clearly taken the time and effort to think strategically about how the design of a space can impact collaboration and creativity.

They appear to have used raw materials throughout – lots of concrete, exposed metal and floating plywood. Here’s the view on that: ‘Raw materials can be finished to feel less precious. Less precious materials are approachable and malleable and can be a strong signifier for a culture of making.’


The central atrium is reminiscent of Pixar’s HQ in California. A food truck sits in the centre of it, and the student union bar is tucked away at the very end. It makes for the casual collisions Steve Jobs built into Pixar – a fantastic move by CSM.


Variable spaces (like classrooms) are kept bare – offering a blank canvas for those that occupy them. You can imagine just how muddled and marvelous it must get in there when 30 or so people are working on their individual projects.


Fixed spaces appear consciously messy: the typography office looked like it was chock full of wooden block lettering and old reclaimed signs.


The students there should feel privileged somebody took the time to think it all through – hats off to the team behind it.

On Sunday Wist and I popped along to the CSM degree shows in the new KX campus. The sheer number of pieces on show was frightening – it’s scary to think about the number of people trying to break into the creative industries in a given year.

The space itself is fantastic – so much so I think it needs its own post. They’ve clearly thought strategically about how to create an environment that stimulates creativity. They’ve definitely read’s ‘Make Space’.


The calibre of work exhibited was exceptionally high.

But what struck me most was just how polished their presentation skills are. They’ll have no trouble sidestepping the commercial world of powerpoint and pdfs.


I particularly like that each project has a process book to map the journey of creation. That’s something we should all do more often.


Here are some of my favourites projects from the day:

In the narrative environments show, the two pieces that jumped out to me were both dining experiences. The first, by Heng Yi Lin, was a silent dining experience that utilized objects on the table to prompt different tasks between a couple – all designed to help the pair better express their emotions without verbal communication.


The other, called ‘The Curious Entrée’ (by Ching-Fang Chien), invited guests to experience a pre-theatre narrative dining experience that helped the audience gain a better understanding of the play they were about to see. This extension of one experience into another is really interesting – and I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of it in the future. Cinema-restaurants (with food inspired by the film) will be the next big thing in London, mark my words.


The Communications Arts degree section was packed, and fairly disappointing. Two projects jumped out at me.

The first, Emil Kozole’s ‘Project Seen’, introduced a typeface designed to prompt us to reevaluate just how often NSA and GCHQ intercept and filter our communications. Every time a trigger word is written (e.g secret, or punk) the typeface crosses the word out.


The other was a project by Lynn Nie, called ‘My Fashion Style’ that aggregates and analyses a person’s wardrobe, and helps them make sensible and informed decisions when shopping. It got me thinking about the role of personal data aggregation (with apps like Delicious Library) and how we’re only scratching the surface of our own unique data.


In the graphic design show, I loved Violette Chatiliez’ walking tour guides, written from the perspective of different authors. In her own words, her aim is to ‘encourage people to interact with their urban environment differently by suggesting alternative ways to move through the streets.’


Lucy Streule and Ellen Mercer’s NAMESAKE book struck me as a great idea – photographing people who share their names with celebrities.


This piece is called ‘Cultural Desertification’. That particular set of words will shortly be coming to a presentation near you…


This idea by Jessica Hook is probably my favourite of the day. It’s simple, it’s timeless and best of all, it’s actually going live in the dementia ward at Newham hospital. The design builds on actual bus routes from Newham to London, mapping the sites across the ward. It encourages patients to follow the routes, remember familiar conversations and spark conversation. Genuinely inspired.


Finally, this untitled painting from Timothy Tyndale Brockbank was created to communicate something honest and intrinsic within the artist. I like it. And judging by twitter, so do a lot of other people too.