Project development- Booklets - make a mud pie, Do the soil dance.

I am working on a non fiction picturebook on the value of soil - and there are booklets that stem off the back off this book, which will be part of my installation for the degree show.

The first one I have been working on is "How to do the soil dance". The booklets are aimed at at adults because my degree installation will go onto the think about future values of soil- its is a speculative design piece of work- and think critically about the idea of publishing and communicating soil to young audiences.. It also will ask questions on the future of antibiotics; What if we become immune to the new developments and strains of antibiotics? I am very interested in the developmet of the human microbiome - with soil as an aid to improving our immune systems. 

My second booklet I am working on is called Make a Mud Pie. Which is potentially going to be animated for  the video/public information film (P.I.F) I will be making. (It will be a jerky/ retro future stop frame animation that parodies the 70s P.I.Fs). 


Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 20.31.01.png
Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 20.30.21.png

Ceramics Experimentation

As part of my illustrated materials for my degree show as part of the fictional government initiative, The Measured Energy Initiative, I am creating posters, a small animated film (public info film) and also illustrated bowl (with wizards and earthworms on the surface) -

The bowl is an artefact used in this fictional world that is used to help the soil grow better crops, for fortune telling and future shaping. I have asked for access to the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic archive (Boscastle, Cornwall)  to gain research into symbols, iconography and existing ritualistic objects and written material on this subject. The link is a search on objects pertaining to soil. 

I have also joined a beginners class in ceramics at Turning Earth E10 over December- Feb 2018, as as it was hard to access the ceramics at CSM to fully explore and understand the fundamentals of the craft, and to make mistakes, and to experiment more- to have space to have a go. 

Scan 4.tiff copy.jpg
Scan 5.tiff copy.jpg

Other potters and ceramicists that have inspired me....

Studio Arhoj

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 20.35.33.png
Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 20.37.10.png
Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 20.38.15.png

Laura Carlin

Laura Bird


Public Information Posters

Mid century




Pastiche, parody - postmodern posters. Scarfolk Council.

 Development of name for fictional government department. 

Development of name for fictional government department. 

I'l be creating a fictional arm to a governmental body and a narrative for it. 


So far it's something like this:


In 2080 the soil is degraded. Top soil- there is less than 1% covering the planet. Synthetic soil is produced. Ants are making antibiotics from soils. 

The audience : Farmers, producers. Schools and teachers. 

The Office of Good Measure have to deal with prevalence of pseudo science and rituals being carried out to help with crop and increased yields. It feels a bit 1970s folk Horror. People believe in magic and ritual and quick science solutions.  The slow movement is still there but needs a boost. The OFGM or The Office of GM are communicators of pragmatic positive science. Dissemination of knowledge that will help farmers and producers in desperate soil times. They release pamphlets, posters, films, videos, statements, picturebooks are inspired by the work. Communicated to schools. 

Science Communication - Soil.

In my research I have ben looking at the stuff under our feet. 

Others call it dirt, much, grime, crud, mire, filth, mud.

The common knowledge that soil enthusiasts amongst us may know is that a single teaspoon (1 gram) of rich garden soil can hold up to one billion bacteria.


Preparing your content & getting your message clear, using lessons from traditional story-telling

Participants will have the opportunity to practice communicating scientific ideas clearly - minimising the use of jargon and maximising opportunities to use imagery, examples, metaphors and analogies - and try out techniques that can be used to generate new content from scratch.

Story. Animation. Public Information Films.

Here is some research, some examples of public information films that have inspired me. 

The reason- speculative film over the summer has inspired me to frame soil and science communication content in a way that is hopefully a parodying, element of humour, mix of fiction and information. Has earthworms. 

Speculative Critical Design Summer school

Limits to Growth? Speculative and Critical Design Summer School 2017 at LCC, London

I written my experiences of the summer school on Medium here with other student's written experiences. Here is mine below...

After a month off in holiday mode, my brain is forming ideas from the fun and rigorous 6 days of SCD Summer School. is bobbing up into my consciousness. The techniques that I was new to such as quick and dirty rapid prototyping, future visualisations and futures poker. The latter Futures Poker, a set of cards developed by Strange Telemetry, 5 of which were dealt to each team and we had to create a scenario around them. They forced several conditions, places in time, locations upon us. Imagine being in 2100, a pandemic of Hikikomori exists and all machines have emotions and feelings?

I only heard about Speculative design as a methodology at the beginning of my MA last year, when I was asked to frame my work in a critical space. As for illustration being a practice that is mainly brief led, but many practitioners now are using research through design I can see the value that SCD had in interrogating the practice of illustration and pushing it to its boundaries in fine art and design space. My MA sits in this boundary and I find it problematic sometimes where sometimes fall down the crack between disciplines.

I my work I develop narratives for illustrations, think about characters, composition, symbols, objects and how they play against and or complement. our Limits To Growth brief led myself and my other teammate, Ania to develop our story The Measured Energy Initiative. A ‘quick and dirty’ almost two day turnaround got us making, thinking and filming. About the same time as an editorial illustration is made in. Communication and simplicity in colour, line and character.

My assumptions and idea of SCD had expanded and changed for me. I initially thought that I would need some science knowledge as I recently finished a project where biological principles were important. But I am surprised by how illustration is a bedfellow for this way of working. Base your ideas from what is happening now. In the news. In illustration draw from life. Because a speculative fiction pack so much more punch if it is from the seed of reality. Then extrapolate out possible truths.

I think that the quote at the top of the course resonates with me, SCD is a “way of thinking through the world”. We as designers have positions, rather than simply answering briefs, we have the ability to be illustrators as well as commentators. With filmmaking, with politics.

 Fictional data vis workshop with  David Benque  and  Ben Stopher

Fictional data vis workshop with David Benque and Ben Stopher

My Professional Practice Diary

I have been approached by a company that fit really well with my research. They are called Hullabalu and their new software is called Lightwell. They are a company that have a new software that lets artists make interactive, animated apps without touching any code. 

It is avbout creating narrative-driven playful experiences. I will be able to create custom animations, interactions and dialogues before publishing your project directly to the app store - all within a Photoshop-style interface. 

I have had some simple ideas. The first being the development of the deep mines/caves stories. 


My main project idea for my practice is currently entitled Dictionary of the Deep. I aim to create an immersive. experience as well as a book experience. 


My three goals and My statement of intent that I have for my Unit 2 practice. (REFER TO MY NOTES) 


My focus is illustration, animation for an interactive picture book – I am interested in how young people interact with science books, and I am looking at this in a museum and public engagement context. How the science museum is a space of play and how can this play space be extended into the book, can or the parameters of a page be extended- can storytelling be extrapolated into physical space- is the function of the picture book a successful way of storytelling. I am writing my research paper on the meta book- the self-referential picture book that is aware of its functionality.  

The project I am working on is called the Dictionary of the Deep. It will be a projected book which works as a companion piece to a situated exhibit a (fictional one for the purposes of this course). Dictionary of the Deep will use two cameras and a laser light source projector to create a dynamic, animated experience that is both tactile and rich. A depth camera mounted above the book will track visitors’ hands and allow them to trigger animations simply by touching the page, bringing the book to life. Printed decorative designs on each page are also tracked, allowing the correct digital content to be projected on to the book’s pages whenever a visitor turns a page. 

Dictionary of the Deep will allow visitors to learn more about each deep Earth dwelling plant, creature, and habitat and the relationships between them. Additionally, the book dives deeper into how scientific systems work, the science behind the project and provides additional perspectives and tips for exploring the fictional museum. 

I learnt Ideation strategies and the 7 pillars of ideation at a recent Academic Support session – this are skills that I can use in my design practice.  

I believe that illustration and being an illustrator is evolving and I wish to be a part of this industry change. For it is becoming a more multidisciplinary career, whereby illustrators are collaborating with other people, such as scientists, rather than working in isolation. The need to know coding and UX design is seeming to be an ever-more important skill, and collaboration with minds in the visual communication field- such as people in the science communication world –as well as scientists from different disciplines is important to solve creative problems and integral to the industry.  

I am going to be producing animations – and thereby pushing my visual language to work across various digital platforms. I will use After Effects as a medium for bringing my illustrations and stories to life.

Bear Abouts - Week 6

After our 2nd creative lab- I started to make amends to my project after the feedback i received from the team. 

I have added an infographic image to represent the depth the character travels down into the mine. (image)



I've started to add copper tape to my sensors (images)

I have a created a code cracking page for the beginning of the book. (image)