In late 2017 the Visual Communication team from the Sheffield Institute of the Arts (SIA) at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) invited our creative team to work on a module with first year students that asked them to map the city using a theme that interested them. With most of the students new to Sheffield, the project encouraged them to explore their new home and discover some of Sheffield’s interesting nooks and crannies. The maps could be based on whatever took their fancy. They did not disappoint.
We were inundated with excellent ideas and themes that we’d never have thought of in a million years. Shoes of Sheffield. Smells of Sheffield. Death Metal Map of Sheffield. With around 150 students on the course, the list really does go on. The ideas were funny, charming, surprising and incredibly imaginative – and they taught us a fair few things about the city we thought we knew inside out.
We’ve included a few of our favourites here, but really this list could have been five times as long. Its so heartening to see a new generation of curious and talented young folk learning their craft here in Sheffield. Hopefully they’ll stick around after their time at SIA and make a home in our lovely creative city.
You shouldn’t have favourites, I know, but we were totally charmed by Callum Bridge’s Generational Gap Map. Callum’s Dad, Gareth, studied in Sheffield almost 40 years before Callum, and his map looked at their differing experiences in the city through the prism of Sheffield’s social and political changes. Full of memories and stories from father and son, the Generational Gap Map is an incredibly personal look at what the city meant, and means, to Callum and his dad, and we loved getting a peak into their Sheffield world. It looks great too. Callum also made a short animated film about public transport during his dad’s time in Sheffield to support the project.
Visually, we adored Max Armstrong’s The Faces of Sheffield. Observing the facial expressions of people in four areas of Sheffield Max created a map that represented the different atmospheres he felt in these places – from happy to sad, bored to angry. According to Max, we should all be hanging out around Devonshire Green, which saw the biggest concentration of happy faces. The simple, graphic execution of The Faces of Sheffield is a visual treat – top marks, Max!