Week one is always a challenge, the group had a few weeks to begin working before having to give a presentation on our initial ideas in front of the other students and the tutors and for myself week one included gathering as much reference, mainly from the internet and books, and then to get pencil to paper as quickly as possible.
The search for reference material was as much looking into historical documentation from the age as well as visual reference. As I found it is extremely difficult to find any accurate visual reference from the 17th century other than in paintings and old maps. I had to consider the fact that the project is titled 'Off the Map' so I tried to gather as much reference material from the maps I could find as possible. Although the maps gave me great ideas on the actual layouts of the streets, it was hard to gather an idea on what the streets of 17th Century London would actually look like from the ground. Some of the maps I came across did have hand drawn or engraved cityscapes of London on them such as James de la Feuille's map of London c. 1690 and the engraved panorama of London by Visccher 1616. I also gathered as much imagery I could of old 'tudor' style buildings to help aid with the concepting.
In our first weeks meeting we were all full of ideas from the reference collected by each of us. It was great to be able to share each others ideas and talk about the individual pieces of information we had gathered and we began to accumulate all of this giving us a glimpse of the direction in which we thought we might want to take this project. We then discussed where we would take our initial ideas and continue to develop them further into the next week.
Below is one of the first maps I added to my reference, James de la Feuille's map of London c. 1690.
Below is a selection of reference images collected in week one.
Below is some of my initial sketches developed from week one's reference, some I kept quite serious but I also experimented with the 'wonkiness' of the buildings.