HIGH STREET REGENERATION | ILLUSTRATION | MESSAGING

SOUTH RUISLIP STORIES

BACKGROUND

Designed By Good People was commissioned by the London Borough of Hillingdon to create public art for South Ruislip to brighten up an area near the station under the railway bridge. We went and met with the local Councillor on-site to discuss the project. Initially, they thought about painting directly onto the entire wall, but the brickwork wasn't in good condition and there were poster sites which are expensive to move. We suggested using sections of the wall which were cleaner, but ideally, a fixed panel would be better, similar to the project we did in West Drayton with Links Signs.


We presented mood boards and examples of what could be achieved to brighten up the space, and eventually, after much discussion with various interested parties, our idea of celebrating local stories in the style of travel posters was chosen. These were narrowed down to 6 large enamel panels that could be fixed to the wall and removed if TFL or Network Rail needed to inspect the wall.


We researched all the stories and engaged in conversations on social media to find out what stories people found the most engaging. We tried out some facts and stories with people we knew who lived nearby to gauge their reaction. All this was done in general conversation without telling them what it was for. If you ask people, they will start designing it. It's better to get a genuine reaction to an interesting fact to see if it will resonate. These became the 6 finished panels.

SOLUTION

We love making art nurture a sense of place and pride. As the station and local area owe a great deal to pre-WW2 growth, we used the design style from that era to tell those stories in enamel panels. The enamel panels (lovingly manufactured and installed by Links Signs) are easy to clean and allow the wall to be inspected and won't be affected by any seepage from the wall.

The six panels were based on:

  • Metroland, the name given to the area of urban expansion in the 1920s and 30s.
  • RAF Northolt, which is just behind the Station.
  • St Mary's Chuch, an interesting local slice of Ove Arup-engineered architecture (His company engineered the Sydney Opera House).
  • BEA (British European Airways) was stationed at Northolt when it was the busiest Airport in Europe.¬†Northolt Airport, which was the main Airport in the UK after WW2.
  • The Comet aircraft, which was used by BEA was the first jet-powered commercial airliner in the world.
  • South Ruislip Train Station, which was designed in 1948, but not completed until 1960.

The project included idea generation, research, illustration, artwork and liaising with Links Signs, the supplier.

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