Freya Purcell is a Social and Urban historian, interested in how people have navigated cities during the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Her work looks at how people across the social spectrum interact with the space around them and in particular seeks to expose the stories of working class individuals.
Freya Purcell graduated from Queen Mary University of London with First-Class honours degree in History in 2017 and has since gone on to work in Leighton House Museum. Her future goals are to continue her work in museums expanding the histories they tell to their audiences. She can be found on twitter @folderolfreya and she lives off tea.
Screenshot 2020 07 02 at 16 02 56 — Digital Discomforts Team
Quarantine, lockdown, social and physical distancing, pandemic: words we usually only encounter in dystopian literature and movies have become the defining motto of our lives. As we adjust to life under new rules, we, as the Royal College and Victoria & Albert Museum’s History of Design programme, like everyone else, have had to radically alter our approach to studying and working.
As first-year students, our contributions to RCA2020 form a work-in-progress encounter with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This serves as a springboard for collecting, discussing and sharing ideas on the topic of Digital Discomforts. The project explores issues brought about by the impact of digitization and the web, such as structural inequalities in digital access, the design of sites and content encountered online, user experiences in the internet and evolving conversation channels.
Resulting from intense weeks of collaborative work, the following diagrams are representations of our practice as design historians, intended to reflect real-life corridor-conversations we would have usually had in person as part of our studies. Impromptu, spontaneous and intellectually unpredictable these conversations embrace spelling mistakes and thematic jumps as characteristic of the method of communication. Our diagrams show the twists and turns of such informal, creative encounters.
You may find them sometimes difficult to navigate, or even difficult to read. This is a deliberate dramatisation of the experience of digital inequality, bringing with it digital discomfort.