Stand behind the yellow line


Visitors at the Private View (10.09)



Wednesday 1st September 2010 – 19:00hrs

Everything’s done: the curtain’s up, the wall’s all set up, the soundtrack is ready, the publication and postcards are on the shelf and the line has been drawn (both figuratively and literally… I’m referring to the yellow line beneath the curtain).

The wall

The shelf

The line is drawn

“A border is not so much an object or a material artefact as a belief, an imagination that creates and shapes a world, a social reality. Much like a window offers a view onto the world, the material inscription of borders constitutes a strong act of the imagination on the world. Borders select and prioritize social relations.”
B/Ordering space, Van Houtum, Kramsch & Zierhofer (2005)Through this project entitled ‘Draw a Line’, I seek to investigate a plethora of demarcations and boundaries in a purely visual approach: their size, shape, colour, texture and form.Without passing any moral judgement, I want the audience to become aware of these lines’ artificiality and historical-determinism. A border is a socially-constructed normative idea, a belief in the existence and continuity of a binding power that only becomes concrete, objectified and real in our own everyday social practices. Borders are not relevant in themselves as objects but even more as a structure that informs people’s views and behaviour. Borders have not left the scene of human territoriality. On the contrary they have become more socially manifest and asserted not been replaced by globality.


The 24 images are compiled in a spineless book format and held together by a sleeve made of a random arrangement of lines. They range from images of tangible and conventional boundaries (line in sand, police line, fence), to slightly more metaphorical and intangible boundaries (linguistic, image/reality). The 22nd and 23rd images relate to the socially-constructed boundaries of gender and sexual orientation and challenge the audience to question their assumed naturalness.

Redefining research

A redefinition of my design process:

1. Delve into analysis and open up

2. Appreciate the colourful mess of data

3. Take a step back and organise the data

4. Select, trim & reduce

5. Formulate a clear & concise message

A solid understanding through research is only the first step.

By compiling a mass of data, one creates the ideal environment in which a message can emerge, sparks can occur and a realisation can take place. But as a designer, one should not stop here.

A designer needs to possess the confidence and ability to simplify, distil and extract the essence. The intricate ramifications of analysis have to be trimmed and pruned, thus giving them a discernible, clear and concise form. The output of this process (i.e. a laboriously edited and polished message) is the input for the actual design process. Therefore design becomes an effective articulation of the output of the research process. All the decisions about form (how the message is conveyed to an audience) must not be arbitrary but should look inevitable.

Rather than focusing on creating a unique solution, look for something unique about the problem. Getting the problem right (defining what one wants to say) is the hardest part, but a major part of the graphic design process. This gives design a completely new meaning: it becomes the harmonious integration of content and form.

(Bursting balloons: An image of a balloon at the exact moment of explosion captures the essence of my project and serves as an excellent metaphor for a publication on research methodologies in graphic design – images from my presentation.)