In this assignment students map an issue they want to explore, anything from the intimately personal to the social. The map must be typographic in nature, and the role of metaphor as a tool for understanding and engagement must be considered. Tutor: Jason Grant
As humans become increasingly separated from the natural world, the linguistic relationships between phases of evolution are gradually discarded, mapping a potentially terminal alienation.
John writes: “Our current unsustainable existence is the result of a series of unknowing actions. Our ‘development’ from an anthropocentric to an increasingly techno-centric mode of being ensures that we move further away from a reality that supports the natural resources that sustain us and, therefore, our own well being. Throughout modern history the world that we have designed has also designed us, resulting in a series of unconsidered steps that have lead to this point of instability and ungroundedness. A Series of Steps aims to chart this journey and the ramifications this unthought process has left us with in the present and, potentially, in the future.”
John’s posters map the diminishing similarity of the words labelling our evolving modes of existence. A few letters are introduced and substituted but there is a discernible continuity: animal > human > manual > manufacture, until we get to technology, which breaks from these relationships.
The first poster is blank and the final poster has no words, just abstract diagrammatic marks, an indecipherable technological code. This absence of typography is in itself unsettling for its sudden absence of humanity.
No shirking the big themes here. And the outcome is so assured and restrained. There is an imperative to render critical ideas in an accessible and engaging form, without flattening them altogether.