Sunday, 15 February 2009

For the Public, by the Public

In a bid to engage with local community shop owners and allow them to voice their opinions on their environment, 'For the Public by the Public' was a social design project undertaken by UK graphic designer Chris Clarke.

Chris plunged himself into the community heart of Bristol, setting out to uncover a new communication catalyst that would enable a community of local shop owners to voice and share their cultural experiences. After asking them to write down messages about their local area, Chris sourced local sign writers to convert these messages into shop signs. The responses (signs) were then placed on discarded shops, and under the project title “For the Public by the Public”, collated into a book and exhibited at Bristol’s Conway and Young ‘Open’ gallery (a previously discarded shop). “The exhibition gave voice to a collection of memories offered by the community, sharing with the public a history of its otherwise invisible environment.”

Explaining the reasoning for engaging so closely with local voices, Chris notes; “The UK is saturated with regeneration schemes. […] But, so often [they] ignore the strengths and ideas already present in the communities they are actually renovating.”

We are lucky to have Chris on board designing the Affluenza Exhibition print materials. To have a peak at his work, go to

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