Design Graduates 2005 — Parklife

Well it seems that London design students have been feeling very urbanized of late — there is a definite theme running through the graduate projects this year — which is the desire to get back in touch with nature. This desire will resonate with Treehuggers everywhere - we loved to be encouraged to open our eyes and be more aware of the beautiful horticultural elements of our cities. This can be a relatively simple matter of noticing small details, as in the Amazingness project, or turning urban eyesores into gorgeous fertile objects, as in the Reenchanting The City project. The graphic designer James Eade has approached this theme from an illustrative point of view, taking the London tube map and transforming it into a network of flora and fauna.London is one of the greenest cities in the world with huge amounts of lush, verdant parks dotted all around the capital, but while the large central parks are well known, not everyone is aware of all their local patches of grass. Transforming maps, that people are so used seeing everyday day, such as transport maps or street maps is an effective way of bringing things to people's attention. You might have heard of the Green Maps project which is gradually spreading across the cities of the world. It seeks to mark all the places of environmental and ecological interest in your local areas. James Eade's Parklife project tells us that over 30% of London's surface area is made up of green space and public parks. "As technology, traffic, artificial light and noise increasingly dominate our capital city, a park or green space can be an oasis of tranquility and calm that is clinically proven to have a genuine result of stress reduction" (Urban Parks Forum). James's green tube map is a beautiful and simple illustration of how easy it is for Londoners to get in touch with their inner Treehugger. He advises us to 'take Ctrl, Alt what you would normally do, Esc and Del your normal routine'. And as one famous Londoner once sang "Its got nothing to do with your Vorsprung durch Technik you know!" Altogether now " all the people, so many people, and they all go hand in hand, hand in hand through their parklife."
With many thanks to ::James Eade and of course Blur! [Leonora & Petz]

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