I thought it might be of interest to a few people (mostly myself) to document how I go about working on a large project. From initial idea, to research, and to production and refinement. But first I must admit I am already well into the research phase. I want to write an illustrated essay to go with the drawings to the research will be more thorough (for non-visual references) then I would normally do for something as abstract as a drawing.
The Initial Idea
I want to doing something about animal use of the city. Maybe something involving edge lands and transgressions. Something to do feral and problem animals. The idea is a tangent from another ongoing project that involved doodads, so I kept stumbling across animal trials (as an animal could be seen as a deodand if it killed a person) and also a pre-existing interest (see the Cat's Paw & Tamohtam). Originally I started it in 2012 with a series of three drawings each involving an animal and city: a tower/crocodile, toad/city and tree/octopus/city. I will revisit these during this project, and it is this style that I want to build upon. While I was researching doodads I kept coming across articles on animals in trouble with the law.
Development of Idea
So I started researching, and reading and researching and as of today (Mon the 8th of June) I am still in that stage. I have nearly 50 articles and books still to skim through to find relevant ideas, arguments and case studies. Some unexpected animals (as transgressors) have started making an appearance (who'd have thought a chicken could be subversive?)
The following are areas that have come up when talking about transgressive animals in the city:
Animals that transgress (or animal behaving badly):
a) cats and dogs that subvert their human defined role companion and tool by going feral.
b) rodents, pigeons, insects, sparrows, possums and vermin that are seen befouling the sanctity of the city
c) misbehaving wildlife: foxes, parrots, monkeys, crows, snakes, bats etc. Animals that are supposed to live out in "nature" somewhere. Not in city.
primarily that of keeping domestic (farm) animals such as chickens and pigs and the laws that result that are aimed primarily at the working class and poor. And are as much about controlling people as they are controlling animals.
such as octopuses and alligators in sewers, Mayhew's boar, etc.
Application of Architecture and Law:
Things used to control animals. For example spikes and nets to discourage pigeons. Building constructed in such a way to minimise white ant infestations. Or secondary controls such as limiting chickens to contcrete and brick floors which is supposed to dissuade rats.