Graphic degeneration/regeneration:the stark contrast of graphic forms in Belfast's interface areas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

53 Downloads (Pure)


Belfast, divided by geographical, architectural, and cultural interfaces and defined as by its edgy interfaces, politics, and resilience offers a stark contract of graphic forms in the environment. This article discusses the impact of graphic degeneration/regeneration in interfaces, the pathology of which is often rooted in historical events and demographics in the modern day city. The postmodern architecture of a culturally neutral city centre stands in opposition to the edgy/often disintegrating interface environments. Redevelopment initiatives since the 1960s have sectioned off the city into exclusion zones exacerbating pre-existing cultural divisions. Peace Walls, constructed to separate interface areas known for civil unrest, are longer, stronger and higher than when initially erected and show no sign of being removed, despite the relative peace contemporarily observed. Cultural boundaries in the city are clearly indicated within the communities through graffiti, murals, and other territorial markers of place. At street level, commercial signage, marks another interface and is often representative of informal conversations of place relating directly to commerce and allowing an additional platform for expression of community identity. This multi-dimensional dissecting of the city is examined through a variety of evidence sources representative of the city's socio-economic and cultural spectrum. This paper uses visual examples to present evidence of the relationship between age value and socio-economic environments and their interfaces.
Original languageUndefined
Title of host publicationFace Forward | Typography Conference
PublisherFace Forward
Number of pages96
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

[This conference paper was given in 2015, when I did not have a full time job in academia and nor did I have access to the UIR. An exception should be added to reflect this in order that I may contribute this body of research towards the REF on behalf on Ulster University, with which I am now employed] Prior to 1-Apr-16.


  • Belfast, interface, signage, built environment, typography, lettering, graffiti, murals, tags

Cite this