Emme Jacob – Any > Which > Way
“With ruins a city springs free of its plans into something as intricate as life, something that can be explored but perhaps not mapped… An urban ruin is a place that has fallen outside the economic life of the city, and it is in some way an ideal home for the art that also falls outside the ordinary production and consumption of the city”. Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost.
A surge in short-let temporary office and retail spaces testifies to a continuing climate of precarity since the global financial crisis of 2008. Temporary spaces (pop-up shops, ‘nomadic’ co-working hubs for freelancers in a ‘gig economy’) are the logical progression in a market bent out of shape by persistent job insecurity, corporations gone bust and underemployment. Survival in the ruins, at the very least, has come to mean flexibility and adaptable business practices.
Emme Jacob’s MA Communication Design project, Any > Which > Way, addresses the neccessity of rising to the challenge of these new and changing conditions, for new growth and beyond, for both businesses and communities. Taking note of the prevalence of these spaces in London’s urban landscape, Jacob has been working with a question of how design can provide better modular systems to support the varied and frequently-changing purposes of buildings while providing a budget-conscious signage solution ideal for those starting up or for smaller companies and community groups.
Any > Which > Way is an affordable, adaptable signage system, designed to accommodate the growing demands of these spaces. Allowing occupants of a space to flexibly install and rearrange signs with ease, Any > Which > Way uses a custom-designed stencil typeface, coordinating pictograms and a modular three-piece signage system. Jacob’s product has had positive feedback so far and is currently being refined under the auspices of the co-working space, Camden Collective. Using this prototyping phase for further development, Jacob is committed to presenting an eco-friendly communication tool which evolves and changes to reflect the current spirit and function of the space to which it’s applied.