son emirali

6

Deconstructing Fosters Newsagents 

This is a very rough mock up to show how the content might work within a book, was mainly just a test to learn coptic stitching. Below I’ve written a small synopsis on the project, sorry about the quality of the shots, they were quickly taken on my phone.

Biotopology looks at our relationship with other beings, objects and the context/space around us and plays a large part in society and culture. We can use systems/methods to breakdown the invisible architecture (architectural bodies) that surrounds us, breaking down the architectural body and ones landing sites allows us to examine how we navigate around the space, understand the effects it can have on us.

This is exactly what I intend to do with Fosters Newsagents. Throughout my whole childhood this shop has affected me and many others, effecting the way we navigate around the space, the tactile objects we pick up and interact with, the conversations we have and of course the memory we take away with us.

The book will be an intensive investigation of the shop, from entrance to exit. I’ll be de-constructing the overload of stock and colour, analysing the layout, scale and categorisation of stock, feeding through dialog of conversations and including a full ist of the stock as an index.

The visual direction of the book will be documented through close up photography of each section and sub section of the store, echoing the order and disorder through the uses of layout, colour, orientation, format and texture.

Look out for an update on this project soon.

Architrave front/back cover

Cover design for Architrave supplement. This is how it would come presented with it’s parent magazine (Frieze). I had to screen print the yellow to match Frieze’s cover, then re-printed on the paper to get a nice gradient for the title - matched Frieze’s background too. I’ll upload more spreads when I take better photos, but I’m too tired to do that at the moment considering its 1:19am. 

8

The Social Paradigm

Okay I know these are really low res images but I handed the book in for assessment yesterday so I won’t be able to take beter ones till Thursday and I couldn’t wait to upload this lol. This is my book that I did in ONE NIGHT before my deadline!

I bound the whole book myself and did the type using my letterpress. It’s all about the social shift thats currently occuring and i’m simply showing how powerful and how large this social network shift is growing by comparing their ‘population’ to other major countries. For example, if Facebook were a country, it’d be the third largest country in the world! Facebook has over double the population of USA.

This is a project that I actually started to get very interested in, however more towards the end so it was a tad rushed, hence not the best book binding in the world, but hey it was one night lol! I’m going to push and explore this further more in the summer I reckon, maybe do a book every 6 months so you can see the gradual change occuring? I dnoo not sure yet.

I’ll upload better quality photos by tomorrow or Thursday hopefully.

The Ace’s Duty

One of my screen prints from my obsession on Ace of Spades.

This particular one is from a deck I bought shown in the previous post. Thomas De La Rue was very well known in the British card industry, the design on the ace here developed from the tax duty stamp that was printed on Ace of Spades and sometimes the packaging of the deck.

Will post more updates from this soon with more info.

Dada Book Cover Mock Up

Just finished mocking up of what I think is the final version of my dada book cover. Pretty pleased with it. Going to print it out on some nice paper for the crit today.

Seeing as the only rule with dada is that there is no rules, I decided to just cut off the typography on the back cover for no aparant reason lol. Also why I flipped the image upside down ha. Seems to work pretty well though..

K&K: A Hard Day's Work

I never said it was going to be easy, but this weekend was a bit of a shock and wake up call to me. There’s always talk of what a ‘hard day’s work’ entails, and let me tell you, working in K&K in Lewisham IS a hard day’s work. Attempting to serve and re-stock ‘afro food’ 7 days week, 7:30am to 8:30pm is not easy, especially if you’re Pakistani and most of your customers are Nigerian, Jamaican, Chinese, Polish and some even English (I mean this is England after all right?).

I turned up on Saturday ready for work, I met Nawaz Ali who I had met the week before, he introduced me to another employee called Faisal who works on the grocers section and straight away I was unpacking boxes and stocking the shelves with Maggi seasoning cubes.

Come 10am the shop started to pick up pace and it got really busy, I had customers constantly asking me where certain foods were and of course not only could I hardly understand them but I also had no clue of what food they were after and where it was stocked.

After an hour of re-stocking the shelves and speaking to the employees they gave me a bit more responsibility; Faisal handed me the ticket gun, told me to price each item and make sure I stick the label away from the sell by date. We then got talking about all different food they stock and the amount of ethnicities they cater for. I asked him ‘where does all the food come from?’ he told me ‘each foods comes from many countries’, he pointed out some examples to reveal them coming from: China, Nigeria, Jamaica, Turkey, Norway and more… I asked him about the cow’s feet, turns out they’re sourced from Ireland. He explained to me that they don’t import all the food, but that they source it from many different companies and cash and carries.

By 11:30am Faisal had cooked a lamb curry upstairs in the stock room area, he then brought it down and all the employees took turns eating it on shop floor. By now I had gained their trust so he called me over, put some in a container and told me to choose a drink, took me upstairs to the kitchen and gave me some pitta bread to eat with it. I was very grateful, it was probably the best curry I’ve ever had, no knifes and forks business - hands only.

After lunch I continued to work with them in the grocery section, I could tell the other employees wouldn’t have been too happy with me working in the butchers area or the fruit/veg area as they all had their own responsibilities which I didn’t want to intrude on.

Later on quite a loud argument broke out between one of the butchers and a customer, I remember seeing him pick up the meat he had just cut and bagged for her, slammed it down on the table and they both started shouting abuse at each other. I think she had changed her mind or meant for him to cut a different part of the meat. This is where things get difficult, there’s a lot of dialect and culture clashes, often the two different races find it hard to understand each other and sometimes it can escalade into larger issues. Don’t get me wrong it’s not all bad, for most of the day the customers and staff get on extremely well and you can tell there’s a great sense of community.

What really stuck out for me was the countless amount of material culture that comes from all over the world, forming this multi-cultural hub that generates an atmosphere that you won’t get it in many other cities. I’m sure many of us know that London boasts having a ‘world in one city’ but this K&K shop really does support that notion through food alone.

The next day I focused on collecting more research, finding out where all the food comes from, what ethnicities buy certain foods and learnt some general business knowledge about they operate.

There are many aspects I could focus on, so I might have to drop or ignore other factors later on. I’m currently working my way through 983 photos as well as hours of voice recordings and video…

Genius Loci Space

Found my space for the Genius Loci brief. There’s something about the exterior of this house, got a real quirkiness to it. Colour, grid structure/no structure, how half of it is now an old peoples home with the door being blocked off - got a lot work with. Think it’s time I show some appreciation to the house, going to build a body of visual language that represents it in some way, will get on it this week.