Spray it on thick

You know you’re a graphic designer when your first instinct is Ctrl-Alt-Z. As a writer, I know when I’ve been working too hard because I start playing a game whereby I think if I can save letters from a word I am deleting, and use them in the replacement word, then I am somehow doing the planet a favour. Saving pixels perhaps? The commonality is that in recent times new technology has effected the way we create words. In a short space of time the means by which we can express ourselves are greater than ever – but are we really exploiting their potential? A Recent History of Writing and Drawing is an interactive exhibition conceived by designers Jürg Lehni and Alex Rich, which explores that question and others. For the show, which will see the ICA lower galleries become a kind of workshop, a number of ingenious new machines and contraptions will explore the potential of graphic technologies and demonstrate some new ways to have fun and mix up the virtual and real worlds: from Hektor, a spray-can drawing machine which will take an image customised in Adobe Illustrator and spray it autonomously on to a wall, to Dots on Demand – an ingenious custom hole-cutting service. Rich and Lehni’s investigation of drawing and writing devices promises to see the digital and actual collide in ways you never imagined.
A Recent History of Writing and Drawing runs from 9 July to 31 August at the ICA, The Mall, London SW1

Latest articles

Remembering Jon Daniel: 1966-2017

We look back on the life and work of the Design Week columnist, independent creative director and social activist “who helped put black participation on the political map”.