About

My name is Cally Gatehouse and I am a communication designer.

I started out working in the publishing industry but now I work across print and digital media but always with a focus on using graphics and interaction to establish a relationship with the audience.

The emergence of Graphic Design as a profession was tightly bound to the development of the technology, economy and culture of mass communication. As we shift away from this being the dominant communication paradigm towards a model of many-to-many media, the nature of graphic design is changing too.

Trying to understand these changes is central to my work as a designer and I hope that the work featured here reflects that.

If you want to discuss any this you can talk to me on twitter or drop me an email.

Project information

2012 – to present

self-intiated

with Anisha Peplinski

Littledraw

Littledraw combines a lot of my interests as a designer: interaction, crossing the physical / digital divide, creating and curating content, and novel forms of publishing. It also provided an opportunity to learn new coding skills and work with BERG, a design company I had long admired.

Littledraw is a weekly drawing game publication for BERGcloud's Little Printer. It has been running since the Little Printer launched in 2012 and has featured content created by myself as well as collaborators. A typical publication consists of a written prompt and an image to be completed or coloured in by the subscriber.

Working with Anisha Peplinski, we aimed make something where the print aspect added value to the content. We looked to interactive possibilities afforded by paper and turned to anti colouring in books for inspiration. We were also aware that the Little Printer is used by the whole household so we aimed it primarily at children but use content which also appeals to design-literate adults.

We work with illustrators to create content and while the content varies in graphic style we select work in keeping with the playful tone of the format. We also give guidance to the illustrators about what kinds of image making suit the thermal printer so they can make the most of the medium.

Image development

This process of exploring the image making possibilities that the restrictions of thermal printing presents is also something I've experienced first hand in producing a set of publications myself. The printer is only capable of 1-bit graphics and has a lower resolution than conventional printer, so I used patterns from older single colour print processes to add shade and texture to my illustrations.

These patterns also re-emerged in the design the website for the project. The design tries to evoke the look and humour of the publications and showcases the work of the illustrators.

www.littledraw.co.uk

Publishing

I got introduced to design working at Oxford University Press, laying out pictures for ELT dictionaries before graduating to typesetting text books. While working ther, I was watching the way digital technology is transforming the industry and this was the impetuous for MA major project.

While the majority of my current work falls outside what is typically thought of as the publishing industry, it is still about making and sharing content which I believe is is important, powerful and has been never more relevant.

Project information

2010 – 2012

Central Saint Martins

MA Communication Design

Social Publishing
is an emerging form of publishing which invites the audience to participate in the publishing process, blurring the line between producer and consumer.

I had been working in the publishing industry for three years and I could see the way new technology was changing the way content was produced and distributed. I was excited by what these changes could mean so I decided to do a MA Communication Design to explore this subject in more depth. Over two years of study I researched how technology is affecting the relationship between reader, author and publisher.

The outcome of this was a definition of a new type of publishing, Social Publishing one which was being driven by new technology but also represented a shift in the social and cultural aspects of the publishing process. I investigated how elements of the publishing process were becoming ‘socialised’ by collecting and analysing case studies, as well as trying my own practice-based experimentation. I then began to explore attitudes towards these changes by using tools such as cultural probes. The outcomes were presented to an academic audience for assessment as a research paper and symposium presentation, and to a wider audience as a website and an interactive exhibition.

The idea of a social based publishing practice came from my own experiments with making publishing a social event. Inspired by 24 hour comic marathons and Fluxus happenings, I swapped soup for stories to create a comic book anthology in a lunch time, held an evolving exhibition / blog culminating in Karaoke, and orchestrated a group edited book about a research trip to Iceland.

I also made my first steps towards using social media and digital interaction in my work, experimenting with the twitter API to create a site inspired by the occupy movement and anti-austerity protests which were happening at the time.

At the same time I was looking for other publishing practices which had socially located production. I found examples from large publishing firms, internet start-ups or just groups of like minded people who wanted to share their work. This built a picture where my work stood in a wider media paradigm shift and led to me formulating the idea of Social Publishing.

Social Publishing not only provides the tools to make a book, it provide a space for the collective pooling of cultural capital. Cultural capital and social capital become tightly linked creating a virtuous cycle of sharing resources.

As my understanding of the nature and potential of Social Publishing developed, I began to think about the idea of socialising production could applied to research. Using Cultural Probes as a starting point, the Read Write Publish project has two parts: a kit which ask participants to make a book about publishing and a website to publish those books.

The aim is twofold: firstly to inspire reflection and responses about the past, present and future of publishing and secondly to teach the participants to a simple book binding technique and demonstrate that publishing processes aren't limited professionals or experts but within the grasp of everyone.

I also adapted this process to work as a interactive exhibition using customised post-it notes ask the same questions but in a quicker more immediate manner. This was exhibited at the Central Saint Martins degree show and at the 'Design with a View' conference in Florence, Italy.

Research

This is portfolio site in the sense that it here to show my work to the world but I also want it to be more than a list of projects I worked on and skills I posess. I want it to be a manifesto for what I think design is and what it has the potential to be.

This is portfolio site in the sense that it here to show my work to the world but I also want it to be more than a list of projects I worked on and skills I posess. I want it to be a manifesto for what I think design is and what it has the potential to be

Project information

August 2013

Working as graduate consultant

This started out as an investigation into how interactions with Digital Out of Home advertising screens in malls could create brand engagement. However when the advert created failed to prompt more than a handful of interactions the emphasis shifted to simply understanding how interactions in malls could work at all.

The project was a collaboration between Outdoor Plus and Dr Martens facilitated and project managed by the Innovation Centre at Central Saint Martins. Myself and Anisha Peplinski worked as consultants and were tasked with devising an interactive campaign that Outdoor Plus and Dr Martens could implement. We then studied the campaign in order to understand how to create engaging uses of digital out of home screens in the future.

Research report: background and introduction

The report outlines how the project unfolded and examines in detail why the content on the screens failed to prompt interaction. We hoped that while the project had not worked out as Outdoor Plus and Dr Martens had envisioned they could gain an understanding of how interaction with mall screens could work.

Our approach to understanding the problem was was to examine the environment, interfaces and people involved in the interaction. Drawing on our primary research conducted in the several malls, we looked in detail at the user journey and based on that were able to make several recommendations for how to improve engagement levels. Using examples from other arenas of interaction design, we recommended that not only did they improve the interaction by making it more visible, fun and pleasurable for the users but that Outdoor Plus needed to improve their infrastructure and systems to encourage innovative uses of the mall screens.

Research report: understanding user journeys

Project information

November 2013

Designed and built

The same things I looked at while researching 'Interaction is Hard' — environment, people and interfaces — were a key inspiration for this website. Anderson & Co is a family run cafe in Peckham and I wanted to bring the atmosphere of the cafe and their ethos of 'simple, local, delicious' food and drink. The cafe's Instagram feed was also incorperated to reflect their frequent specials and use of local produce.

Project information

March 2013

Self-intiated

Electric Fortune Teller

The Electric Fortune Teller is an interactive fiction and critical design object about our contemporary fears and attitudes towards technology and the future. Inspired by the ancient chinese divination system the iChing and by mid 20th century science fiction such as 2001: a Space Odyssey and The Man in the High Castle, the fortune teller gives advice on how to act in a fast changing world.

I worked with furniture designer/maker Nick James to make the case, he suggested using the legs from a mid-century coffee table. These not only was in keeping with my references but added character to the interface, making it much more anthropomorphic than my original design. The electronics are all open source hardware, controlled by a raspberry pi and a simple python programme.

selected fortunes

I reworked the 64 original fortunes as if they were written by artificial intelligence from a not very distant future. Slightly threatening in tone, they speak of political power, personal gain and revolution, much like the original, and reference pop culture, post modern theorist and the political rhetoric of movements like Occupy.

Project information

October 2013

Comission from Young Women's Music Project, Oxford

Womanity

I was commissioned to create a poster for the Womanity music festival organised by the Young Women's Music Project, Oxford. While this brief was simple, it required an awareness and sensitivity to aims of the organisation: The festival aimed to empower young women through music but it also addressed issues of sexual violence and consent in response to the recent Bullfinch case. As well as producing artwork, I advised one of the young women invovled in the project on producing the zine style programme for the festival.

Project information

December 2013 to present

Working with interdisplinary research group at Durham University

Durham Emergence Project

I'm currently working with a interdisciplinary research project at Durham University to create a public engagement website on the topic of Emergence. As well as designing and building the site, I've been working with project team to create content suitable for their medium and audience and developed a social media strategy that will connect the researchers to a general audience.

My approach has been to focus on developing a design that responds to the complexity of the content but also the needs of a non-expert audience. We've settled on a 'long-reads' approach to presenting what is a very interesting but quiet demanding topic supplementing written text and static images with simulations and interaction to help explain the questions the researchers are addressing.

Rather than building a new platform for engagement, the main site for the engagement will be existing social media platforms, focusing on Twitter and Tumblr at first. This approach allows them to tap into existing communities interested in philosophy and science and to try multiple engagement strategies.