Illustrating Science: The joy of pseudo diagrams (fig. 2)

This is Lucy.

Lucy's feedback

And this is Carl.

Carl's Brain

They like to do things. Things like moving. They’re especially good at intentional moving, unconsciously.

This was Lucy, once.

Lucy's egg legThen I got my hands on her.

And This is Proprioception.

(A project from last Christmas.)

This is Proprioception


Inspired by the ingenuity of the pseudo-educational comedy, Look Around You, Proprioception was a mock 70’s educational manual in which I took a real life bit of, really damn interesting, biology and explained it using entirely non scientific methods. Because I am an illustrator, so cutting things up makes more sense to me than the deeply fascinating intricacies of real life biology.

FeedbackThe pseudo diagrams were designed to portray the importance of this fascinatingly vital sixth sense, so inherent in our bodies most people have never even considered a life without it (and in fact there are only 6 known cases of people having a complete lack. This is a really cool video about one man’s battle.)

The “text book” had fold out elements to reveal new tasks that got people thinking about the impact of Proprioception in their own life.

Opening page 1Opening page 2I wanted to draw people’s attention to it’s vitality to our functioning everyday and used tasks and design choices to create a style reminiscent of an 70’s school textbook/instruction manual with a playful, modern twist.

Carl dancingProprioception allows us to understand our own body’s position in relation to itself without consciously considering where each limb is. It’s why when you close your eyes, you know where both your hands are. It’s super neat and super vital and I wanted people to understand that fact using simple collage techniques and fun imagery to demonstrate the incomprehensible struggle that would be living without it.

Plus it gave me an excuse to cut up my friends faces for a few months.

Seriously, I was picking Carls head out of my carpet for weeks.

Illustrating science: The joy of pseudo diagrams (fig 1)

Hands up if you want to learn a totally amazing fact?What about something entirely controversial?

Or even just utterly trivial?

And who wants to learn them through the medium of…TYPOGRAPHY!? …no?

Well if you raised your hands to any of them you are a fool, because I can’t see you and that was very clearly a rhetorical request. So you can sit down, behave and have all three.

This was a short uni brief: 3 posters to work as a set and detail three facts that fit the above criteria.

The conception of the carbon that makes up all living things.
The atoms that form most of your body’s cells were created in the explosion of a star.
The lifespan of our cells, built from this carbon.
The maximum number of times your body’s cells can multiply and divide before they deteriorate and die.
The life form that housed the carbon is gone, yet the atoms continue.
In reality, the afterlife is nothing more than the continued existence of atoms after the death of the cell they once formed.

So here they are, three posters about the passage of time and our simple, biological place in it. An amazing beginning to the journey of carbon atoms, a trivial definition of our cells’ lifespan and the true, if not hard to swallow fact that we are nothing more beautiful than a temporary home for ongoing carbon.
Some may see this as a dark concept. I think it’s an utterly beautiful one, although the project itself is not one of my favourites.

Still, either way it’s all pretty interesting