GDE720 - Week 7

GDE720 – Week 7 : Workshop Challenge

My initial research took me down a path of looking into York’s history and the changes and developments to architecture along the way. However, the more I researched, the more I realised there are SO many books out there comparing York’s past and York’s old buildings. It’s been done time and time again and it’s always going to be the same.

So I decided to go down a different route, in Week 6 I researched Children’s books and tone of voice and I remembered how much I love the tone of voice in children’s stories. How can I combine this fun, lighthearted element to a book about York’s history and buildings…

I chose 6 main streets in York and began writing down their individual features, personalities, strong points and weaknesses. Through this, I realised I was writing in a different tone of voice for each one, as if it was an interview. This breakthrough led me to writing paragraph after paragraph as “the street” in question.

I’ve decided to write this book as York – as this historical city, how does it feel about the changes made? Would the streets agree with it’s assessment? What would each street have to say if it could? It’s been a bit weird and fun to get my head around and chances are this will be a risk that won’t work.

But I wanted to take this time to push myself, to write something more than an academic article about the history of York and really explore a lot of different voices and opinions that shape an article that’s interesting to read.

As in our research this week, it’s vital to have a good structure and flow to ensure the writing is enjoyable to read and keeps the reader’s interest. Hopefully I’ve achieved that. I’m about 500 words away from 3000 but I want to include a conclusion which is the brick wall I’m hitting.

You can follow the link below to read my 3000 word article :

My next stages for this project will be to start making a moodboard of the ideas I have for displaying this work.

Design Developments and Choices

For me, I want the type to be the priority here and for images to take a back seat, but just highlight the words. This is about the city, from the city’s perspective and it needs to reflect the changing nature of this city.

My intention is to be bold, dramatic and powerful, it’s produced to show the impact the developments have on this city, how we as citizens of this city feel about the ghosts of York’s architectural past. I’ve taken quite heavy references from Matt Wiley but I feel balancing these heavy fonts and large type with be counteracted with the tracing paper, used to create a blurry, hazy, ghost like feel to the book. It would also result in the book being almost see through, to be able to see into the past. Readers are immersing themselves in the City and this is a way to really draw the reader in. Also, the photos on tracing paper reflect the delicate nature of our historical buildings.

I also believe this has the power to be used as a projection installation around the City, with the words from the book projected onto the streets. Perhaps even use old images of York projected onto the existing buildings or the derelict buildings, it could be a powerful wake up call to the Council to try harder to protect our builldings.

I’m also considering including pull out maps or inserts into the book to add to the tactile nature of the book, however these would impact on the see through vibe I’m aiming for so will need some consideration.

I also really want the front cover to be powerful, to encompass the book as a whole, in both the ghost like nature and also the way this book is essential a “hug” to the city. I’m hoping I can use either black or white with the same colour font – very much similar to Craig Oldhams book of Kenya Hara’s white cloth hardcover with embossed type.


England’s North East. (n.d.). York City history explored through its streets. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2021].

Anon, (n.d.). Piccadilly plans, Banana Warehouse | York Stories. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2021].

York Press. (n.d.). This photo was taken in York more than 100 years ago. But where is it – and what’s happening? [online] Available at:—happening/ [Accessed 12 Mar. 2021].

Character Area Fourteen: Piccadilly. (n.d.). [online] . Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2021].

YorkMix. (2014). York’s golden half mile: the story of Coney Street. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2021].

York Press. (n.d.). 65 fabulous old photos of Coney Street as it once was. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2021].

Anon, (n.d.). Coney Street’s coaching inns, and what replaced them (part 1) | York Stories. [online] Available at:

York Press. (n.d.). How York’s “market wars” led to the building of a whole new street… [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2021].

York Press. (n.d.). Now that’s what you call a market: 7 old photos of central York. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2021].

Anon, (n.d.). Parliament Street, 1960s | York Stories. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2021].

York Press. (n.d.). 8 historic photographs of York’s Shambles. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2021].

SUMO Design (2019). The Shambles: History of York. [online] Available at:

James, D. (2016). The Shambles—York’s Famous Medieval Street. [online] Britain and Britishness. Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2021].

York Press. (n.d.). Bishy Road: The high street that came back from the brink. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2021].

York. (2019). Discover the History of Bishy Road in York – York | Independent Life. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2021]. (n.d.). Clements Hall Local History Group – Bishopthorpe Road shops. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2021]. (n.d.). Valley Press – Independent Publishing. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 May 2021].

Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel. (2011). York, England – History, Stunning Architecture, and Great Folk. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 May 2021].

Anon, (n.d.). The York Knowledge: The Buildings and Architecture of York – York Civic Trust. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 May 2021]. (n.d.). York Conservation Trust | Trust History. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 May 2021]. (n.d.). Risk of “losing soul” of York if empty shops are turned into flats, says councillor. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 May 2021].

 Simon O’Sullivan (2018) Fictioning the Landscape, Journal of Aesthetics andPhenomenology, 5:1, 53-65, DOI: 10.1080/20539320.2018.1460114

Dodge, M., Kitchen, R. and Perkins, C. (2011). The map reader : Theories of mapping practice and cartographic representation. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Psarra, Sophia. Architecture and Narrative : The Formation of Space and Cultural Meaning, Taylor & Francis Group, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central,

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