skip to main content

Dr Alison Barnes

Course Leader BA (Hons) Graphic Branding and Identity
London College of Communication
Researcher Research
Alison  Barnes


Alison Barnes' current research interests cluster around three inter-related and complimentary themes on the use of creative methods in the context of cultural geography: mapping post-industrial inner cities; mapping football heritage; and multiculturalism, conviviality, commodities and consumption. She has developed innovative interdisciplinary geo/graphic methodologies drawing from graphic design, cultural geography and anthropology in relation to the understanding and representation of everyday life and place in urban contexts. Barnes argues that graphic design has more to contribute to cultural geography and the social sciences generally, than has been evident in discussions to date which restrict themselves to the realms of art practice. Her work frames design as having the potential to act as a method of inquiry and a mode of telling, and that design (and the designer) have the capacity to contribute within all phases of the research process—from data gathering and analysis to dissemination.

Barnes was the recipient of an AHRC doctoral award and she completed her PhD — Realising the geo/graphic landscape of the everyday: A practice-led investigation into an interdisciplinary geo/graphic design process — at UAL in 2011. She has recently published the research monograph 'Creative Representations of Place' with Routledge and the chapter 'Geo/graphic design' in 'Non-representational Theory and the Creative Arts' published by Palgrave Macmillan and edited by Candice Boyd and Christian Edwardes. She is a member of the Space and Place research hub at LCC and current collaborations include work with Dr Ben Coles (Economic Geography), Leicester University, on notions of convivial consumption and multiculturalism and research on graphic heritage and cultural identity in the urban landscape with Dr Robert Harland (Graphic Design), Loughborough University.


Current research students

  • Nadav Barkan, Designing Israel: An Analysis of Israeli National Iconography within Visual Communication, Graphic Design and Corporate Identity (Joint supervisor)
  • Christopher James May, University brand guidelines in the UK: communication and implementation for designers and users (Joint supervisor)
  • Miriam Sorrentino, Can experience of ambient advertising in public spaces be captured and communicated so it resonates with the work of creatives in this field? (Joint supervisor)
  • Elena Veguillas, Why and how architectural lettering was used on London’s public houses in early 20th century (1902–1939) (Joint supervisor)
  • Luise Vormittag, How can illustration assemble publics and constitute the political? (Joint supervisor)
  • Welmoet Wartena, Rivers of White: Cultural Exchange of Typographic Discourse in Monographs (Joint supervisor)


Communication and graphic design