Illustrated hoardings for Adventures in Design

Client: V&A Museum of Design Dundee

In 2015 myself and comic author & illustrator Will Morris were approached to design and deliver a 150m-long comic strip to become illustrated hoardings surrounding the construction site of the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, set to be completed in 2018.

The story, entitled ‘Adventures in Design’, in keeping with the museum’s intended positioning as ‘a living room’ for the city, attempted to present the great ‘artefacts’ of design not as untouchable objects handed down from on high, but as the result of successive ordinary people using ingenuity and the materials surrounding them to solve problems. The narrative followed two young, unnamed protagonists as they embarked on a whistle-stop tour of the UK, exploring it’s rich relationship with design, invention and reinvention before arriving ultimately at the doors of the completed museum itself.

The process began with a collaborative research and scripting period, before Will began creation of the stunning comic art and I handled the design & layout of both the comic sequence and supporting information and sponsorship sections, along with fulfilling the role of project manager and handling the logistics of taking the completed comic from A3 page to 150m hoarding.

Title illustration for 'Adventures in Design'

Illustrated hoardings for Adventures in Design

Client: V&A Museum of Design Dundee

In 2015 myself and comic author & illustrator Will Morris were approached to design and deliver a 150m-long comic strip to become illustrated hoardings surrounding the construction site of the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, set to be completed in 2018.

The story, entitled ‘Adventures in Design’, in keeping with the museum’s intended positioning as ‘a living room’ for the city, attempted to present the great ‘artefacts’ of design not as untouchable objects handed down from on high, but as the result of successive ordinary people using ingenuity and the materials surrounding them to solve problems. The narrative followed two young, unnamed protagonists as they embarked on a whistle-stop tour of the UK, exploring it’s rich relationship with design, invention and reinvention before arriving ultimately at the doors of the completed museum itself.

The process began with a collaborative research and scripting period, before Will began creation of the stunning comic art and I handled the design & layout of both the comic sequence and supporting information and sponsorship sections, along with fulfilling the role of project manager and handling the logistics of taking the completed comic from A3 page to 150m hoarding.

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Title illustration for 'Adventures in Design'
Long section of the illustrated hoardings
A section of the comic hoardings about the Union Canal
The start of the Harris Tweed section of the comic hoardings
A section of the comic hoardings about the Falkirk Wheel
The start of the comic hoardings
The end of the Falkirk Wheel section of the hoardings

Comic supplement version of 'Adventures in Design'

The Supplement

As well as existing as possibly the largest comic strip in the UK I adapted the illustrated hoardings to be published in The Scotsman as a comic book style supplement to coincide with the unveiling of the strip and our appearance at the Dundee Literary Festival discussing the project.

The artwork was also created in conjunction with Edinburgh-based technology company Luma3di to turn key panels from the strip into virtual reality experiences accessed via an accompanying app. By holding a smartphone or tablet up to key comic panels the app would ‘recognise’ the artwork and project 3D visualisations of museum exhibits and grant access to fly-throughs of the completed waterfront design.

Comic supplement version of 'Adventures in Design'

The Supplement

As well as existing as possibly the largest comic strip in the UK I adapted the illustrated hoardings to be published in The Scotsman as a comic book style supplement to coincide with the unveiling of the strip and our appearance at the Dundee Literary Festival discussing the project.

The artwork was also created in conjunction with Edinburgh-based technology company Luma3di to turn key panels from the strip into virtual reality experiences accessed via an accompanying app. By holding a smartphone or tablet up to key comic panels the app would ‘recognise’ the artwork and project 3D visualisations of museum exhibits and grant access to fly-throughs of the completed waterfront design.

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Selection for the Milan Trienalle 2016

In February of 2016 we were delighted to hear that the project had been selected to represent the United Kingdom at the Milan Trienalle 2016 and we worked with local company Nomad Exhibitions to turn the comic strip into an exhibition stand featuring the full strip and selected items appearing in the panels.

The international exhibition, which featured objects from the narrative including exclusive Harris Tweed jackets by Vivienne Westwood and a rarely-seen scale model of a Jaguar F-TYPE S Coupé, opened to the public on Saturday 2 April and ran until Monday 19 September, with an estimated 500,000 visitors through the doors.

“Taking such fine examples of design as Jaguar, Harris Tweed and Guerilla Tea to Milan, as well as our Adventures in Design comic strip, is major international recognition of these outstanding designers, companies and the development of V&A Dundee itself.”

– Phillip Long, Director of V&A Dundee

A panoramic photograph of the 'Adventures in Design' exhibition
A second panoramic photograph of the 'Adventures in Design' exhibition

Selection for the Milan Trienalle 2016

In February of 2016 we were delighted to hear that the project had been selected to represent the United Kingdom at the Milan Trienalle 2016 and we worked with local company Nomad Exhibitions to turn the comic strip into an exhibition stand featuring the full strip and selected items appearing in the panels.

The international exhibition, which featured objects from the narrative including exclusive Harris Tweed jackets by Vivienne Westwood and a rarely-seen scale model of a Jaguar F-TYPE S Coupé, opened to the public on Saturday 2 April and ran until Monday 19 September, with an estimated 500,000 visitors through the doors.

“Taking such fine examples of design as Jaguar, Harris Tweed and Guerilla Tea to Milan, as well as our Adventures in Design comic strip, is major international recognition of these outstanding designers, companies and the development of V&A Dundee itself.”

– Phillip Long, Director of V&A Dundee

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A panoramic photograph of the 'Adventures in Design' exhibition
A second panoramic photograph of the 'Adventures in Design' exhibition
Jaguar F-type and Harris Tweed at the 'Adventures in Design' exhibition