‘Pan African Railways’ brief to Royal College of Arts students

26 October 1964

An important brief from Jock’s teaching at the RCA asking students to design a luggage-labelling system to be read by railway staff of multiple languages between South Africa and Egypt

Image supplied by Richard Doust

The ‘Pan African Railways’ brief set on 26 October 1964 was undoubtedly inspired by Jock’s own 1957 luggage-labelling project for P&O Lines.

Jock began teaching at the RCA a month prior to this brief on the departure of tutor Anthony Froshaug. Student Gert Dumbar’s had just begun his second year. When the Jock Kinneir Library discussed this brief with Dumbar in May 2017, he said

You must emphasise this. It goes further than Anthony… First: analysing. Second: program of requirements. Third: design things – a labelling system.

To me this proved him and Anthony as modernists. There were very few others around with this broad public, global, people-centered communication perspective.

Thank you to Richard Doust of the RCA for the image contribution and to Gert Dumbar for the discussion.

The Library is actively seeking any briefs which Jock set, as well as responses or dialogue around projects.