Updated December 2020

December 2020 – I am working with the Health Science Doctoral Training Centre at King’s College London, and will be running two online training sessions, covering the material from the ‘Graphic Design, Practice’ workshops that were originally run (in-person) in February 2020. These sessions will be held on Tuesday 8th and Friday 11th December, with up to 11 participants in each. They are currently fully-booked, with a waiting list of 34 people.

The training material used in the in-person workshops (including presentations, pdf handouts and demonstration videos) is now available to King’s staff and research students, via the King’s E-learning and Teaching Service (KEATS) website.

Screenshot of the KEATS webpage

In early January, Dr Mattia Veronese and I will record a video where we talk about our collaborative work at the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences and how the workshops came about. This video will be added to the KEATS webpage. Much more detail about the workshops can be found on the Workshops (2020) page of the Neuroscience & Graphic Design website.

Tuesday 1st December 2020 – I presented my work (via Zoom) to the PG Cert & PG Dip Design for Visual Communication course at London College of Communication, as part of their Professional and Academic Practice unit. I was representing ‘academia’, and I aimed to show how important graphic design practice can be in research, and how that research can then be applied in professional practice.

October / November 2020 – work is ongoing on the Patient Information Sheet project, in collaboration with the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences at King’s. Updates on the project can be found on the dedicated page of the Neuroscience & Graphic Design website, which has links to individual blog posts giving details of meetings, etc. The aim is to submit example PIS modules to FAST-R at KCL in December, to gain feedback from patient groups.

Wednesday 16th September 2020 – I attended an online meeting with Dr Nordio and Dr Veronese of the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, to discuss work on the patient information sheet project. The outcome of that meeting is documented on the blog of the Neuroscience & Graphic Design website and can be found here.

Although the project as a whole will not be documented in detail on this website, insights from the research I will be conducting into clinician / patient visual communication will be included as posts on the Research page.

September 2020 – I produced illustrations of dock beetles that could then be adapted for use in a logo, etc., to promote a business. Starting from an illustration based on a photograph of a real dock beetle (left), the images of the beetle and a dock leaf were revised and modified to reflect the name of the business and to create a usable identity.

A sequence of these images, showing the progress of the work, have been added to the portfolio webpage.

July 2020 and ongoing – I am working with Dr Giovanna Nordio and Dr Mattia Veronese of the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences on creating illustrated information sheets for patients and clinical trial participants. This is an area that I have been very keen to work in, as it will expand my research from peer-to-peer scientific visual communication to communication between scientists and non-scientists.  Thanks to a grant from the Wellcome EPSRC Centre for Medical Engineering (CME) Public Engagement Grant Scheme, our aim is to create a visual and modular patient information sheet for generic PET/MRI studies. Each module will represent a separate stage of the study, allowing for easy adaption to different studies. My job will be to produce adaptable figures and images to go along with the sheet, while also ensuring that its graphic design makes it accessible to all readers.

This project is scheduled to be completed before summer 2021, and will be documented in detail on the Neuroscience & Graphic Design website. This site is dedicated to my collaborative work with King’s College Hospital in general, and with the CNS in particular. Edited highlights will be posted in this News feed, with links to the website where appropriate.


April / May 2020 – Following on from the Graphic Design Workshops given at King’s during January and February, and with considerable help from the Online Distance Learning division of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, two presentations given during Workshop 1 have been recorded remotely.  These presentations cover Good Graphic Design Practice and A Methodical Approach to Building Figures. A live demonstration of the two ‘hands-on’ Adobe Illustrator exercises, performed in Workshop 2, has also been recorded remotely during May.

These recordings will be made available online for staff and students at King’s, via their KEATS online learning website, together with all of the training material that was provided to the workshop participants as digital pdf handouts.

Update December 2020 – all of the training material is now available!


April 2020 and ongoing – An illustration and information design ‘work-in-progress’ for the Neurology Department at University College London, creating conceptual figures that demonstrate the communication between neural circuits in the nervous system. The emphasis will be on producing adaptable visual elements, both anatomical and diagrammatic, that can be combined to produce a sequence of conceptual figures, for use both in print and in PowerPoint presentations. Part of one of the anatomical illustrations, to represent skeletal muscle, is shown here.


April 2020 – As a change from drawing human body parts, I have been working on figures for a friend (and former geophysics colleague), who is looking at the impact of biochar bedding on a rural farming economy. I have drawn various visual elements to construct figures representing a ‘biochar cycle’, including some cattle and their remarkably clean shed.

More examples of the elements, and the completed figures, have been added to the portfolio webpage.


Wednesday 4th to Thursday 12th March 2020 – As part of UAL’s annual Research Season, taking place throughout February / March 2020, current and recently completed PhD students, who are based at LCC, held an exhibition of work-in-progress. Some of my own work was included in the exhibition and more details, and pictures, can be found in this blog post. All of the participants were also filmed talking about their research work and their PhD experience at UAL. A short video of these interviews, which also includes images of the work on show, can be found on YouTube.

January / February 2020 – My graphic design workshops at King’s College London have completed, with 30 participants attending Workshop 1 on 31st January and a total of 35 participants attending the four sessions of Workshop 2 throughout February. For more details, see this webpage.

Due to the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic, there are no plans to repeat the workshops. However, there were a significant number of people on waiting lists for both workshops that did not get the chance to attend, so this may be reviewed when circumstances allow. In the meantime, the workshop presentations, etc., will be recorded for online viewing – see the News entry for April 2020.


Wednesday 26th February 2020 – I attended Between Design Research and Policy Practice, an event held at Chelsea College of Arts and organised jointly by UAL’s Social Design Institute and Policy Lab. This was an evening of conversation and idea exchange, for people who use design to explore public policy and social issues.

I joined the group discussing Health, wellbeing and sustainability, with two other groups discussing Social systems and culture change and Services, communities and publics. Interesting points were raised, particularly with regard to the term ‘co-design’. As for the London LASER event (below), the topics covered will be discussed further in a future blog post.

Illuminating the self, Susan Aldworth

Wednesday 19th February 2020 – I attended London LASER 30 – A Picture of Health, held at Central Saint Martins. This was an evening of talks and discussion exploring the relationships between art, health and medical research, involving artists curators, scientists and health professionals. Although focussed on art, rather than design, a lot of the points raised during the talks resonated with my graphic design work with scientists working in the area of health.

Thursday 23rd January 2020 – At the first of a series of talks organised by the Design School at LCC, I was one of two former post-graduate students to give a 5 minute talk about our research. My talk focussed on the importance of graphic design practice, both in my own design research and as a means to gain insights when used in other disciplines.

These short presentations were followed by the main talk from Rick Poynor, on the designer, activist and visual historian David King. More details about Rick’s talk, and the Design School series of talks in general, can be found at this website.

January 2020 – I was officially awarded my practice-based PhD in January 2020, having passed my viva examination. My thesis, Visual Elements & Visual Paradigms: re-thinking scientific conceptual figures through graphic design’, has been uploaded to the UAL Research online database and the British Library EThOS online repository.

For older news and events, see the News Archive.