Works/Almost Works

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This booklet documents the ideas developed by Emma and Kirsty whilst studying at the Royal College of Art—some of which were realised, and others which were not. One such realised project was The Grey Blanket, the idea for which came at a time when we were cycling across central London every day, and had become very conscious of how polluted the city was. The intention of the project was to transform a public space, and to disrupt the grey monotonous routine.1

We created four-metre-long typographic messages on the city streets, which were revealed by cleaning off areas of carbon emissions built up on surfaces around the city. They revealed buildings, walls, and tiles which have been hidden for years under the grey blanket of pollution. The project had an unexpected, positive impact—as the borough councils considered these interventions to be graffiti, they were obliged to remove each design, taking with it the pollutants we had aimed to draw attention to, and in some small way cleaning up the city.


  1. The project was also informed by an extract from the book Fragments of the European City by Stephen Barber. “… so that the faces incorporate the city as a surface of lines, textures, marks, scars. The dirt of the city rapidly builds upon the surface skin of the city’s inhabitants, and any face caught in static in the street will be encrusted with the expulsive languages of the city as pervasively as is the surface of the city’s buildings.”