Field(ing)Study, 2015

An introduction workshop on observational techniques for the MA Graphic Design students taking place at the The Clown’s Church1 and Ridley Road Market, Dalston, Hackney.


It challenges you to review your ability to observe2, record, organise, analyse, interpret, narrate and review. Stepping out of the studio and away from the desk, you will work in collaborative research hubs to draw insights from the real, lived, actual world. 


What observational methods can you employ to get past the obvious to capture the more surprising, unusual and specific aspects of the site/subject you are studying? How does the documentation tool frame your perspective as an observer?


Dutch artist, Yeb Wiersma, will lead a one-day intensive field study introducing a range of observational and recording exercises. Each member will work with a given tool to record your observations in a specific, purposeful and imaginative manner. Singer/songwriter Sam Lee 3 was invited by Wiersma to provide the soundtrack for the day to come. Alongside a reference handout 4 with graphic illustrations and further reading was provided.) 

  1. Fielding_Study_Yeb_Wiersma_2015_7Back handout. The workshop introduction commenced at the community hall of the Clown’s Church in Dalston before the students went off to exercise their field assignments.
  2. Schermafbeelding 2016-02-23 om 20.47.19Observation is the active acquisition of information from a primary source. In living beings observations employ the senses. Image: Quote from Humphrey Spender who was part of the Mass Observation Study Project, UK, 1937
  3. Schermafbeelding 2016-03-27 om 19.28.51Singer/Songwriter Sam Lee performed for the students – singing and playing the shrutibox on his garden doorsteps around the corner from Ridley Road Market providing the soundtrack for the workshop day to come. Listen and Read:
  4. Some references displayed: image43-1 Still from John Smith’s film ‘Girl with Chewing Gum (1970) recorded around the corner from Ridley Road Market – L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E manifesto – A Pattern Language by Alexander, Ishikawa, Silverstein (1977)  – The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces by William H. Wythe – The Pub and The People, 1937 – Wheel of Emotions for Writers – Poems by Yvonne Rainer – The Philosophy of Andy Warhol from A to B and back again.