A Line Which Forms A Volume #3

8.90

A critical reader and symposium of graphic design-led research, conducted by MA Graphic Media Design students at London College of Communication.

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The fluorescent yellow cover stands out right away when you pick up A Line Which Forms a Volume 3 (ALWFAV 3). The project, which aims to bridge the gap between academia and the public sphere of design, just published its third issue; again bringing together the research of graduates from MA Graphic Media Design (MA GMD) at LCC, with interviews and works from established practitioners.

Edited, designed, written and published by course participants, ALWFAV works as a reader of design research. Alongside visual essays, poems and critical texts from graduates, the last issue features contributions from guests Evening Class, Anja Kaiser and Rebecca Stephany, Legrand Jäger, and Paul Soulellis.

Guest edited by Billie Muraben, ALWFAV 3 focuses on collaboration and interdependence, taking the roundabout — once a landmark of Elephant & Castle, where you can find LCC — as a metaphor, which forms the backbone guiding editorial and visual dynamics in unexpected and amusing ways. The book embodies the roundabout as a performative stage, one that fosters collaboration between emergent and established practices, cultivating a network of interdependence and cooperation rooted in the MA GMD course.

The references to the roundabout, the road, traffic, not only inform the organization of the features and the ways of reading, but also provide a collection of visual cues that enrich the engaging design of the book: justified columns, like roads, turn and swerve when faced with “obstacles”, either images or captions that deepen the reach of the research. Decontextualized intersections cross the text unannounced to come together at the centre of the book as an archive of personal interpretations of the editorial theme – a monument at the centre of the roundabout. These connections extend to the production of the book, as the reflective silver sticker on the cover printed with the index is produced by a Chinese-based printer that works with transportation and road signs.

The range in topics is immense, from an archive of queer spaces in China, explorations on alternative ways to visualize gentrification or considered reflections on the connections between design and technologies like neural networks or the Internet of Things. Features are alphabetically divided in chapters as Entries on-to the roundabout.  The design drives the reader through these texts and authors, complemented by Exits off the roundabout, little inscriptions that indicate alternative routes of navigating the volume by theme. The vast diversity of texts doesn’t yet distance the book from a reader of design, but accentuates the potential of graphic design research as a critical tool to investigate the complexities of contemporary society.

 

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