Aidan’s research interests are wide and probably thin rather than specific and deep but this is perhaps as might be expected for a generalist multidisciplinary practice like graphic design. These interests are mainly centred around the role of writing within graphic design and typography – Walter Benjamin wondered aloud in One Way Street what would happen once writers gained control of the means of communication rather than seeing writing as a separate autonomous activity. He writes prophetically ‘the precision of typographic forms has entered directly into the conception of books. One might suppose that new systems with more variable typefaces might then be needed’. Practically this means I write and design small typographic chapbooks of my poetry, make typographic projections onto buildings and make film essays that emphasise the written and typographic form, particularly looking at the notion of writing with images through montage. Aidan also writes more critically for magazines like Varoom about illustration and specifically most recently about abstract children's book design. He also writes a blog about post-war brutalist architecture and graphic design and am in the process of writing a book called Standing Still which involves a critique of graphic communication as it is encountered in a number of distinct physical and virtual environments.
Aidan has taught on Graphic Arts and Design since 2001 and has been instrumental in attempting to integrate the students' practical studio work with their critical and contextual knowledge through the introduction of Critical Study in all levels of the course. In this capacity, he lectures regularly to all levels on the course particularly on specific areas of interest, including Modernist graphic design and architecture, satirical illustration and animation, the propagandist and protest poster, the history of artists magazines, post-punk graphic design and typography, narrative and sequential art and experimental animation.
He has also written articles for Grafik magazine [amongst others] as well as having contributed to Street Talk; the Rise and Fall of the Poster and Public Address System, discussing the politics of typography in a book of typographic treatments of famous political speeches.
Aidan is Level 4 Coordinator for Graphic Arts and Design and teaches on all first year modules.