Lighthouse Exhibition 2010

This post is about my involvement in my degree show, held 16-20th June 2010 at the Lighthouse in Glasgow.  It was the first time during my time at the University of Strathclyde that my department had held an external exhibition, open to the public.
Me putting up the wall graphics in the Lighthouse

There were only really three of us students who were involved throughout the whole process from initial design through to installation of the exhibition, although we did have a lot of help from staff and more students during the final few days when we needed the extra pairs of hands!

My main role was to design the wall graphics and to calculate how many posters we could show on the available wall space in the gallery.  This process was greatly aided by the fact that I was able to get a copy of the architectural wall elevations.  Importing these into Photoshop, I was then able to design the wall graphics to scale.  During earlier team discussions, it was decided that a mosaic pattern would be used on the invitations and promotional material, so I incorporated these into the design of the wall graphics.

Once this plan was drawn up, the next stage was to make the graphics to the scale 1:1 to be printed onto sticky-back vinyl.  As you can see, there were individual squares that were to be applied to the wall.  These were simply printed as a big block of colours and then a guillotine was used to chop it up into squares of the correct size.  Unfortunately I didn't take into account the limitation of the width of the printer, so everything had to be scaled down slightly, but luckily this didn't affect the overall design all that much and I was able to quickly change things.

When it came to actually applying the larger sections of vinyl to the walls, a bit of trial and error was involved.  Ola and I discovered that oven gloves came in handy (excuse the pun...) when it came to smoothing the vinyl onto the wall.  Once we had made sure that the top of the panel was level and adhered to the wall, we carefully pulled away the backing of the vinyl, smoothing it down as we went along and taking care not to stretch and warp it.

The individual squares were a lot easier to apply, although slightly more measuring was required.  I'm proud to say that apart from about seven squares, I applied all the rest myself!  Although it was repetitive, I found it really rewarding to see what I'd designed move from my laptop screen, to coming out of a printer, to finally being installed in an exhibition space.

Everything to do with the wall graphics went to plan apart from when we discovered a phantom air conditioning control panel that wasn't shown on the architectural plans I received...  Luckily a little bit of shuffling about with the poster spacing on one wall was enough to sort things out.

Other jobs included printing and sticking all the name tags to foam board and building and painting plinths, helped along by other students and staff.

I was really pleased with how my wall graphics turned out and I think that the team did brilliantly, building plinths, loading and unloading models, helping put up the posters and manning the exhibition while it was on.  All in all, I think the exhibition was a great success and it was brilliant to hear that university staff and visitors thought the same!

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