Staff Profile:Professor Eric Kindel

Professor Eric Kindel
Job Title:
Head of Department

In addition to my role as Head of Department, I teach studio-based design practice and lecture on topics across the undergraduate programme, supervise BA and MA dissertations, and supervise research students. I also serve as Department Director of Studies for Postgraduate (Research) Students, and as curator of the Otto and Marie Neurath Isotype Collection.

Areas of Interest:

My research takes in several areas of interest: the graphic design of information, with an emphasis on aspects of Isotype; informal and alternative print methods, with a specialism in the history of stencils and stencilling; and the inventive intersection of design and print production.

Graphic information. Between 2007 and 2011 I served as Principal Investigator for the AHRC-funded project 'Isotype revisited' (together with Co-Investigator Prof. Sue Walker). The project's main outcomes included Otto Neurath's From hieroglyphics to Isotype: a visual autobiography (Hyphen Press, 2010), the exhibition 'Isotype: international picture language' (V&A, 2010-11), and the multi-authored Isotype: design and contexts, 1925-1971 (Hyphen Press, 2013). During the project my own research focused on Isotype activities in British colonial West Africa. This research is summarised in 'Isotype in Africa: Gold Coast, Sierra Leone, and the Western Region of Nigeria, 1952-8', a chapter in Isotype: design and contexts.

Research in this area is presently focused on Isotype contributions to British publishing in the context of postwar reconstruction and economic development, with an emphasis on 'Future Books' and Future magazine (1946-52). The research encompasses a comparative study of graphic information made by leading designers for other mid-century periodicals, most notably Fortune magazine in the USA.

Stencils and stencilling. Research into the history of stencils and stencilling as used principally for lettering and marking out texts has been in progress since 1999 and is wide-ranging. My aim is to establish a reliable account of such work across a wide expanse of time, context and location. I regularly publish investigations into individual episodes of stencil work that will eventually form a summary history. The research has extended to collecting artefacts and reconstructing techniques to support historical and physical interpretation. Aspects of the research have been funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, American Philosophical Society, Printing Historical Society and University of Reading's Research Endowment Trust Fund, and has involved long-term collaborations with Prof. James Mosley and Prof. Fred Smeijers.

Research in this area is presently focused on three topics: the development of stencil-making in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, highlighting the work of Jean Gabriel Bery; the stencilled poster in France in the 19th century (with Pierre Pané-Farré); and the typical French stencil letters and numerals made famous by painters, architects and designers. For a presentation on early stencil makers in Europe, see here. For a presentation on 19th-century stencilled posters in Paris, see here. For a presentation on the typical French stencil letters and numerals, see here.

Research groups / Centres:
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  • Kindel, E. (2011) Reaching the people: Isotype beyond the West. In: Heinrich, R., Nemeth, E., Pichler, W. and Wagner, D. (eds.) Image and Imaging in Philosophy, Science and the Arts. Publications of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, new series, vol. 17, 2 (17). Ontos Verlag, Frankfurt, Paris, Lancaster, New Brunswick, pp. 175-193. ISBN 9783868381160










This list was generated on Mon Mar 30 06:21:37 2020 UTC.




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