Archive for December, 2007

Light Show – recursive animation

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

Here’s a short animation I produced over Christmas that uses recursive patterns to produce an interesting effect.

The music’s “Decisions, Decisions”, something I wrote around 1992.


Eye Forum on Design and Education

Friday, December 28th, 2007

I will be one of the panellists at the third Eye Forum being held at London College of Communication on 22 January.

If you’ve got a question on the topic you can email it to the magazine or contribute from the floor on the night.

If you’re coming along, let me know!

Eye Forum no. 3: ‘Design and education’

The third Eye Forum promises to be the best yet, so we hope you can come. The Forum takes place at the London College of Communication (LCC) on Tuesday 22 January at 6.30pm. Please come along to debate some of the ‘burning issues’ in design education, together with broader issues such as recruitment, lifelong learning, design literacy and the role of self-taught designers. As before, after the main event in the lecture theatre, there will be drinks, canapés and plenty of time to network and socialise.

There’s plenty to talk about, so we are again inviting delegates to submit questions – in the manner of the BBC’s long-running TV show Question Time – which can be short or long, plain or nuanced, serious, heartfelt, flippant or funny. And this time, I’d like to encourage delegates to read their questions from the floor. The chair will open up each question to the audience, so that everyone is free to join the debate, and to challenge or develop points made by the panel.

Please get involved.
To submit your question(s), email by 7 January 2007, or add them to this blog.

Here are some of the ‘burning issues’ already suggested for the Forum:
* Standards: is everyone speaking the same language?
* Do educators select students on their mark-making ability – at the expense of communication?
* Do employers regard new talent as a renewable source of cheap labour?
* Is design art? Is it time to separate the two?
* Is it important to have a visually literate nation (in a post-literary world)?

Our distinguished, expert panel will comprise:

  • Jonathan Baldwin (design historian and lecturer, University of Dundee),
  • Jamie Hobson (head of marketing and admissions, London College of Communication).
  • Lesley Morris, (Design Council),
  • Tim Molloy, (head of design, Science Museum)
  • Simon Sankarayya (art director, AllofUs)
  • The chair will be Alan Livingston (principal, Falmouth College of Arts)

Please come along to join us for ‘burning issues’ and warming drinks on a cold night – Tuesday 22 January 2008.

To book your place, email, call 020 8267 4804, or go online Tickets cost £30 (£25 students) including wine and canapés.

Be seeing you

John L. Walters, editor, Eye

The sponsors for this Forum are Represent, the bespoke recruitment agency and Quark.

"Do let me know if Mr. V. Williams has an important premiere in the future as this findability might allow us to reconsider"

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

There’s a great (and somewhat worrying) article over at The Guardian about a forthcoming documentary on one of my favourite composers, Ralph Vaughan Williams:

One of television’s most imaginative film-makers has condemned Mark Thompson’s leadership of the BBC as a ‘catastrophe’ and accused the corporation of undermining its worldwide reputation by insulting the intelligence of viewers.

Tony Palmer, who has won more than 40 awards including Baftas, Emmys and, uniquely, the Prix Italia twice, criticised the director-general after the BBC turned down a documentary of his. The film, about English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, has been produced by Five instead.

Palmer said he received an extraordinary rejection letter from a BBC commissioning editor explaining that, ‘having looked at our own activity via the lens of find, play & share’, it had been decided the film did not fit with ‘the new vision for [BBC] Vision’.

Bizarrely, Palmer said, the letter concluded: ‘But good luck with the project, and do let me know if Mr. V. Williams has an important premiere in the future as this findability might allow us to reconsider.’ Vaughan Williams died in 1958.

It’s worth pointing out that Palmer is refusing to show the letter to anyone or name its author, and the BBC claims ignorance (and that it is already making a documentary on Vaughan Williams). If it’s true, though, it’s very sad in so many ways, as it suggests that there are people acting as gatekeepers at the BBC who have no knowledge of British culture, and that what Private Eye refers to as ‘Birtspeak’ is alive and well. ‘Findability’? What the hell’s that?

However, The Guardian has a nerve. A later paragraph in the article says “Vaughan Williams, whose best known symphonies include The Lark Ascending and Fantasia on Greensleeves”… Duh. RVW wrote nine symphonies and not one of them was called The Lark Ascending or Fantasia on Greensleeves. They are works for orchestra (the former for violin and orchestra), but most definitely not symphonies.


The good news is the 2.5 hour documentary did get made and will be shown on Channel 5 (the former soft porn channel, no less) on New Year’s Day. Can’t wait.