As peoples’ lives have become increasingly urbanised and reliant on digital technology, a disconnect has emerged between us and our natural environment. With The River Beneath Your Feet Amy Lowing explores how graphic design and digital technology can be used to provide opportunities for the public to both engage and participate in their natural environment as well as contemplate and reflect upon it.
“Learning about the natural rivers that were built over and hidden from view in Sheffield city centre during the Industrial Revolution, initiated this project. In it I have aimed to increase public awareness of these hidden rivers with site-specific posters placed along the course of the culverted river Porter. These posters have additional animated, digital layers that describe the surface patterns of the river and can be accessed using augmented reality technology from a smartphone. I intended therefore that these physical posters provide a sort of portal that works to engage the user with their immediate physical environment – rather than distract them from it.”
Lowing is a graphic designer with a particular interest in the social effects of technology and how interactions with digital media can be grounded in the physical world. She uses the methods of graphic design – to research, question, make and collaborate – to define and address problems and work with typography, colour, animation and illustration to produce solutions that are engaging and thoughtful.
Lowing completed an undergraduate degree in graphic design at London College of Communication in 2003. Since then she has worked as a graphic designer within the cultural and education sectors, returning to education to complete an MA in design at Sheffield Hallam University in 2017.