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ADM-HEA Teaching Fellowship 2010-11 The Museum of (x) – Collecting as Creative Practice Cathy Gale // Senior Lecturer BA Graphic Design/with Photography.

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Presentation on theme: "ADM-HEA Teaching Fellowship 2010-11 The Museum of (x) – Collecting as Creative Practice Cathy Gale // Senior Lecturer BA Graphic Design/with Photography."— Presentation transcript:


2 ADM-HEA Teaching Fellowship 2010-11 The Museum of (x) – Collecting as Creative Practice Cathy Gale // Senior Lecturer BA Graphic Design/with Photography Kingston University

3 What is a collection? 1. One is a thing 2. Two is a couple 3. Three is a set 4. Four is a collection Museum of Online Museums at


5 Noticing linguistic local accent in the written word (‘arfters’)

6 Noticing unusual content in a familiar format

7 At art school, information gathering, such as the collection and archiving or visual materials in sketch books or collections of ephemera, are part of the acquisition of visual skills often regarded by more academic disciplines as eccentric. These practices constitute a method of learning that carries on through the working life of most designers, juxtaposed, for many designers with more formal learning. (Edwards, Lockheart, Raien: The Codex Project, 2002)

8 Aims of the museum of (x) 1. To increase visual awareness of the everyday environment 2. To actively explore and re-position materiality in the digital age 3. To demonstrate the attributes of primary research beyond the internet 4. To explore common ground and specialisms across disciplines through the same collected object/subject

9 Example 01. spray paint in diverse contexts 1. As official street scripture 2. As protest graffiti 3. As happy but unofficial statement 4. As official home-made signage






15 Process and Purpose of Collecting 1. Collection as a source of information and inspiration 2. Collection valuable through transformation of original source 3. Collection understood through taxonomy (LATCH) 4. Collection drawn from the everyday (familiar) 5. Collecting as a process encouraging increased visual awareness

16 Example 02. sign to an unknown person 1. On a Post-it note, hand-drawn rapidly 2. On an A4 sheet typed in Times New Roman, using A LOT of exclamation marks 3. In chalk, directly into the space where the person lives




20 Example 03. elastic typography 1. Observation of elastic bands as letter forms 2. Collection of whole alphabet made from chance shapes of elastic bands



23 Example 04. numbers 1. From elastic band observation 2. As 3D devices and/or toys 3.As one of a series of tickets 4.Hand-painted where digital form is impossible 5.Hand-painted and painterly by accident 6.As 3D letterpress forms








31 Rules: 1. The collection must be acquired or observed directly (primary research) 2. The subject/object may be scanned, photographed or collected physically 3. The subject/object should have little or no monetary value 4. Always collect far more material than you think you’ll need, using all 5 senses

32 Information and inspiration 1. Collecting can facilitating collaboration across disciplines 2. Collecting can enable identification of common ground and specialisms 3. Collecting can be a non-specialist activity 4. Discourse of shared interest but diverse methods builds bridges across disciplines and practice

33 Transformation and interpretation 1. The collection is a means to an end: it has a purpose 2. The subject/object is a starting point for research and analysis 3. The more mundane the original subject/object the better 4. Encourages personal research methodologies beyond discipline constraints and notions of the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer

34 Primary research in the digital age 1. Challenging the dominant role of the internet as the primary or sole source of information and knowledge (ref. Donald A Norman Emotional Objects) 2.Exploring the role of materiality, psychogeography and the haptic indesigning and perceiving the socio-cultural role of the (collected) object 3.Connections built with artists and designers in the commercial sphere, eg. IDEO’s Tech Box

35 Taxonomy // classification and order 1. Collection understood through a system of taxonomy (LATCH) 2. Subject arranged in several ways to interpret object/subject from multiple perspectives 3. Taxonomy system itself as a research methodology 4.Systems of classification contribute to individual methods of cognition, editing and planning through order

36 Taxonomy // LATCH LLocation AAlphabet TTime CCategory HHierarchy

37 Animals are divided into: (a) belonging to the Emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) suckling pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (l) et cetera Describing a certain Chinese encyclopedia from Borges in The Order of Things by Michel Foucault Without a system of taxonomy or classification, random objects have little meaning.



40 The Museum of (x) is a work-in-progress. The (x) stands for anything and everything. The museum is intended as a multi-institution site for debate and exchange of research methods. The designer/curator (Cathy Gale) will retain control of content (using creative commons agreement) until partner-curators can be found. Content and structure ideas are welcome.

41 Cathy Gale // Kingston University This project was funded by the ADM-HEA Teaching Fellowship 2010-2011

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