Monday, 28 July 2014

Rock Paper Pixel

In July FAD Barcelona invited me to participate in Rock Paper Pixel, a section within their yearly Fadfest, Barcelona's design festival, where local and international creativity is celebrated over two weeks of exhibitions, awards and activities. On its second year, these sessions of short talks aimed at glimpsing at the present of design and looking for the joy of the immediacy in a volatile communication environment.

Back to back with other creatives and spearheaded by communication design gurus Maria Popova and Debbie Millman, I was then granted 8 minutes to introduce my architecture/character design illustration work at the FAD's new home, the DHUB at the now unrecognisable Pla├ža de les Glories. A bit daunted by the size of the auditorium at the beginning I went over 6 years of work and focused on the key pieces that have shaped this experimental project to this day. It was a delight looking at some of the illustrations go scale 1:1 on the screen towering behind me –not even near that though way larger than my laptop screen…

Cross Section of the DHUB Creature
On my first visit to the DHUB last Christmas I was genuinely fascinated by this geometrical block that seems like an alien spaceship trying to remain unnoticed by taking the shape of a local animal. I then toyed with the idea of the FAD headquarters being housed inside this mighty beast while all the workers indifferently go about their business. So here's my own cross section of the DHUB creature and life as it goes on in its entrails. The drawing is worked to be blown to a huge cinema screen without it turning into a Tetris-cake of pixels. It's to be printed in an A1.

Boiler Room Heart

Board Room Lung

Greenhouse Lung
Thyroid Reactor
Throat Corridor
Kitchen Stomach
Intestines Design Studios and Library
Intestines Dance Studios and Film Club
Rectum Facilities

Friday, 18 July 2014

A Map of Soho

This map of Soho was commissioned by estate agents Greater London Properties. Proudly based in Broadwick Street as the only property shop front in Soho, they wanted a vibrant vision of London's renowned entertainment district that would encapsulate the energy and diversity of an area they have operated in for more than 10 years and have an unrivalled knowledge of.

Together we sat down and went over key moments of its exciting history. From its beginnings as a failed urban development for the 18th Century's wealthiest to the dazzling culture hotspot that is today, without ignoring its recent past as London's notorious red light district.

We then picked a few from a myriad of interesting characters that at some point lived there and, in a bit of a surrealist effort, related them to some of Soho's most popular buildings. Thus, with my bicycle and camera I set out on an exhaustive journey through its labyrinthine streets and crooked alleys.

From the barren to the tourist-barricaded corners I took tons of photos of facades, pieced them together and drew over them to create these quirky characters.

Carnaby Street as Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles' milestone album added a sound track to the commercial epicentre of psychedelic Swinging London.

The John Snow Pub as Himself – even scientists drink beer, especially when 'someone' has dismantled the local water pump.

Brewer Street Car Park as Paul Raymond – one's got to park the car somewhere before a long night out in neighbouring Revue Bar.

The Windmill Club as a Can Can Dancer – these dancers could only legally perform naked as tableaux vivants.

St Anne's Church as a Great War British soldier – it resurfaced from the ashes after being hit by a bomb during The Blitz.

Compton's of Soho as Casanova – the master of romantic suspense had fun in Soho too.

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club as Himself – his saxophone solos still reverberate across Soho streets.

Bar Italia as a Barista – only Italians truly understand the alchemy of coffee making.

Old Foyles Bookshop as Karl Marx – philosophers buy their books somewhere.

The Palace Theatre as an Opera Valkyrie – nothing less than the consecrated home of British grand opera back in the time

Greater London Properties offices as a friendly property expert!

And to finish with, the A5 postcard of the map.