Hello and welcome.
I co-ordinate the contextual studies elements across the graphic design and communication subject area at CSM. I also work with colleagues from the School of Graphic and Industrial Design. So, I’m involved in thinking about communication design, spaces and structures, objects and materials.
None of these things can really be thought of in isolation; it’s all connected. It’s the connection between things that defines the system we’re in.
My approach to context is that it’s part of a conversational strand of learning that complements the work in the studio. Most of our work can begin by watching films and reading magazines. When we need to, we can direct people to the books and ideas that are important.
The blog format is an ideal way to facilitate the conversational format of learning. Now, we can add the University social network and e-portfolio.
I’ve decided to focus this blog around a theme of railways. This is because I’m interested in the graphic ephemera and posters of railway travel, but I’m also interested in railway stations, restaurants and all the stuff associated with the co-ordination of transport systems. In addition and because CSM is moving to KX, it makes sense to begin a conversation about railways, regeneration and internationalism.
I noticed that many of my favourite films have trains in them too. Indeed, the history of cinema begins at a railway station – La Ciotat – filmed by the Lumiere brothers in 1896.
Penguin Books began as an effort to offer good quality reading, inexpensively, for railway travellers. It ended up by changing the world!
The worlds of war and politics has been changed by railways too: Lenin’s sealed carriage to Moscow, Hitler’s revenge at Compiegne and the railway administration of the Holocaust are all parts of this story.