Wednesday, February 17, 2016


I was invited to respond visually to the concept of value in the context of a special issue of the London International Law Review devoted to the topic.

I felt compelled to start at the most basic question: what is the relationship between the concept of value and any collection? I started with a hunt for visual clues in that most prolific of London international collections, the British Museum, and I never fully left (although I did experiment with playmobile for a time)

Key influences in the form and content of the final piece were John Berger's documentary series and book (1972, especially as seen through the eyes of Michael Rock in 2011) both entitled Ways of SeeingAnother significant influence was a quote from designer Jan Van Toorn:
'Museums should relate to the public as a partner in dialogue not as a teacher.'
(Quoted in Poyner 2008, p. 38).  
Below are some images from my initial visit to the British Museum that did not make it into the final version, as well as some other experimentation, and an early draft layout. The final version is accessible via the volume 4:1 of the London International Law Review.


Gift giving exposes/creates value of the gift and receiver
Valuing continuity and change
Valuing humans as property through insurance
Value in quantity 
value evidenced in repair
A possible visual language for value
Experimenting with other formats

Berger, J. (1972) Ways of Seeing Penguin
Poynor, R. (2008) Jan Van Toorn: Critical Practice 010 Publishers

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