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High Street

A university project reflecting on society, commerce and the everyday.

High Street was my all consuming final study project during the last year of my Masters degree. 

The every day has always been of interest to me and drove almost all of the work I produced during my masters; High Street was the culmination of that interest.

I decided to examine five high streets across the country to compare the economic and everyday issues that effect each unique location.  I chose high streets in Hampstead (Central London), Stevenage (New Town), Ashwell (Hertfordshire rural village), Wellington (Telford, West Midlands), and Wolstanton (North Staffordshire).

I went into the project expecting a gloomy response from the poeple I spoke to that was centred around the econmic downturn and the consquences of globalisation with local areas evolving into clone towns.

What struck me the most was that every area had its own individual problems and stories; be that the arrival of a new tesco, parking restrictions, a lack of funding in the area, or a wealthy population that were simply not using their local shops. 

I wanted to approach the project from a graphical point of view but also create a socio-document; a snap shot in time. I achieved this by bringing together cartography, icon design, photography, and book design to create the final outcome.

The imagery above shows the aerial maps of each area, a statistic poster displaying relevant information for each high street, a streetscape print which displays both sides of the street from street level, a series of icons I created for each shop or business I documented, and a hand-bound book featuring interviews and photography with local business owners.

Overall I'm extremely proud of the high street project as it created the snap-shot of normal every day life that I wanted to achieve... and it don't look half bad either!