In spite of the time that has already elapsed from the unit, I am seriously considering changing my project to correct the problems I have been having with context and communication.
This is probably a bad idea but having given it much thought, I feel more confident in describing my new ideas that I did when trying to describe my first one. If I can’t even describe the premise of it without resorting to ‘Oh, its really odd and a bit complicated but I know what I mean’, I can’t imagine it successfully communicating much to an audience!
By starting with the location and “problem” that my brief could tackle, I think it has been easier to adopt a stance in response to an actual issue that I can research and use to reflect opinion.
Well, heres the new idea.
There are so many empty shops on the highstreet and in towns at the moment. Not only do they look ugly and depressing from the outside but they are a constant reminder of the economic problems and social impact of the rolling crisis that continues to engulf the world. While I’m aware that realistically there is very little to be done about high rates in town centres and the reduced numbers in footfall for many small independent businesses, what I can attempt to tackle is the cosmetic impact of these closures.
Unused shop units have been used creatively for a long time as temporary gallery spaces, but when these have moved out (if indeed some are lucky to be used at all) the exteriors return to their unappealing, unoccupied state. I propose to design posters combining image and text that can be cheaply produced to brighten up the windows of unused shop units. The solution would be applied from the interior, to eliminate the problem of weathering and degeneration that would only serve to counteract the efforts to smarten up a frontage.
I have a inkling these posters could possible use the language of cheap cardboard shop signs/neon labels (words are failing me: example here) and have repetitive patterns or overlaid shapes on them, to reflect the commercial and mass produced nature of the high street these days. Perhaps one of the repeated items/shapes could be different to the others? This could be accompanied by a slogan or statement about shopping local/independent businesses. A few scribbles in my notebook that I’ll upload if they become more relevant.
This would all need to be written up into another formal proposal before my work could properly start on it, but my confidence in it being a more achievable solution has been slowly growing as my research into regeneration and intervention work has started. Luckily some of the existing research from my initial idea was using similar search terms and reference books! Several examples of work in poster style that I would like to examine have already been coming back to mind, that I can specifically mention when tracked down.
I won’t be happy to its been run through the relevant people, but I think I want to make this one work more than the summer wish fulfilment of my previous idea!