Interpretive design is a great field of work for a graphic designer. By it's nature you're more than likely to be delving into the printed past for artefacts, references or relics. There's almost always some moment in the past (or for that matter, the present) that leads you to some interesting image, design or whatchamacallit.
I'm all over Dublin at the moment: either fighting the damned oppressive British or annoying the intolerant Irish; ousting uncooperative tennents or trembling at the might of those inconsiderate and really quite rude Vikings.
And, as I've mentioned before, it's hard not to get distracted by the other stuff you pass or trip over along the way.
I think (think) that's me at the top. It's definitely my brother and my Gran. It could be a cousin but it makes sense that it's me. My brother again below, parking the van, just after my Dad jumped out, "Park the van son" (Dad couldn't drive).
I have a feeling that's my Gran and Grandad in the Herald coming off the ferry. Have no idea where they were going to or coming from. Partly because I wasn't born when these photos were taken and partly because even if I had been, I'd have been too young to remember.
I doubt you really want to hear any of this…But for the record, below you'll see my Mum, Dad and brother with Dad's Uncle Cyril and Aunty Vi – clearly before I was born again. Cyril and Vi were lovely; I have really warm, if somewhat distant, memories of visiting them in Sherborne St John, near Basingstoke (once I got being born out of the way). There was nothing in Sherborne St John except a Post Office. I think (once I'd got a bit of growing done) I was allowed to buy a Topic from there. The main thing I remember though is Great Aunty Vi; she had this amazing Hampshire accent.
I am very proud of the fact that I introduced her to the beef burger.
One of the really nice things I did when I was back at my Mum's, a couple of weeks ago, was to go through her slides. I was looking for photos of Dad – which I found – but I found some other great stuff too. No slide scanner to hand so I, rather crudely, used my digital compact and this Jumbo 22. The results are coming up next.
Last Friday saw me leaving Thought Collective, almost exactly three years after joining. It's been a good three years but the call of the wild has been growing strong within my soul. Friday 17th January 2014 saw me embarking on an eleven month odyssey to independent practice via a temporary position with Interpretive Design experts Tandem Design.
That day also saw me taking a long overdue excursion to see Titanic Belfast – Tandem were heavily involved in the visitor attraction so this was an R&D field trip. I could and probably should gush about it, it's a suitably immersive (pardon the pun) and moving experience, helped somewhat by me seeing it on my own (without the distraction of children).
These photos give nothing away. Although it's a stunning exterior it's the inside, the experience, that's the real star. If you can go, go.
My dad made this rabbet plane. It's for cutting rebates in wood. Rabbet/Rebate? I can't find any explanation but you have to wonder about that name? A dialectic thing? Or just because it's got that sticky-up bit and reminds you of a rabbit. Well, actually, it doesn't really does it? If it wasn't for the name, you wouldn't think, "looks like a rabbit that does" would you? I've had a dig around but no one on the internet seems to want to talk about it.
I suppose it doesn't matter really. What matters is that this beautiful piece of routed hardwood, with it's decades old construction marks and wear was used to carve grooves and recesses into machined wood. Say for, oh I don't know, perhaps for a glazing bar where it makes provision for the insertion of the pane of glass or to accommodate the edge of a cabinet's back panel or for a casement window jamb or for shiplap planking.
Oh, the word "rabbet" is from the Old French "rabbat" meaning "a recess into a wall".
We ate a lot of mackeral over the summer. Way back at the end of July Noah and I climbed aboard Quinton Nelson's Motor Boat, The Brothers, and ventured out from Donaghadee Harbour to pit our combined wits against a shoal of the slippery silver blighters. And just like lasts year's more corporate expedition our superior intelect won out bagging twenty nine. Quinton's fish tracking sonar might have played a small part too I guess.
The adventure was recorded on Instagram in more pictorial (and gory) detail. A surprising aspect of the trip though was the spooky mist that discended upon our return to shore, at the time I wrote, "…It made the water inky black and shrouded the few boats moored by the jetty in grey cloud so their colours seemed more vivid than normal". The photos below capture it to a certain extent…and there's a few more on Flickr.
The new library in Birmingham opened in September. It looks pretty good. Loads of photos here. And there's a thing from BBC Radio 4 here featuring the architect. The old one (pictured here) was famously described by Prince Charles as looking more like a place to burn books than read them. I can remember loving that place. It felt special. It felt important. There's talk of tearing it down now but not everyone sees the necessity; there are other people that love that brutal building. A lot of them can be found hanging around here or on Twitter at @keeptheziggurat.
If you're a fan of architectural brutalism show your support.