Trellis / UCL East
Trellis is an exciting cross-disciplinary research programme that creates connections between London artists and UCL academics and researchers.
Since its launch in 2019 I have worked with the team at UCL to create a visual identity that evolves annually, reflecting the organic nature of collaborative research and knowledge exchange.
In the first year, there was a lot of visualising to be done. The new UCL East campus at Stratford was still at the planning stage and there wasn’t much to see yet.
The project was established to create connections in the area, so it felt right to contextualise the identity using site-specific shapes from the River Lea and from the building plans.
I wanted to include a subtle grid and overlapping elements. The team agreed that these visual metaphors were important to reflect how the project provides a framework for collaborative working, identifying shared interests across disciplines and supporting innovative new lines of inquiry.
The outcome in year one brought together the elements in a playful way that lent itself to being used across social media and in printed programmes, and to being deconstructed for a smaller ‘partner logo’ for small spaces.
This year involved a lot of changing plans as we were under another lockdown. Meetings between collaborators had to take place via Zoom, and a much-anticipated physical exhibition changed to an online event.
Despite setbacks the diverse projects that ranged from recycling kitchen waste to sign language and community gardening had a profound impact in their communities. The identity used a ‘growing grid’ to speak of the programme’s evolution, with a vocabulary of abstract shapes that explored key concepts of the work. These created the basis for fun animated content for social channels.
Trellis 3 saw the return of the real-world exhibition, this time at the Pavillion in Mile End. The identity reflected organic shapes and growth, of projects that included AI learning and materials science, geodesic structures and interactive light projections that explored ‘Bubble Worlds’.
Trellis and beyond
In 2022 I developed a mini-identity for a new context as ‘Arbor’, a Trellis collaboration between artists and researchers at the UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL and UCLH National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery.
The Trellis identity has been applied to the project’s name which is a reference to the ‘tree of life’ in the brain – a branched structure that brings sensory and motor information to and from the cerebellum.
Find out more about all the Trellis projects here.