Hydrants: London (2014)

May 2014 was my first time visiting London as an adult, and as a designer. After spending four years photographing the little street details in Melbourne, I was curious to find something that resonated with me in this historically multi-layered city. I found these standardized ‘H’ signs, designed to help locate hydrants all over the UK. Each one had a number at the top representing the size of the main that feeds the hydrant (in millimetres), and another at the bottom, indicating the distance from the sign to the location of the hydrant (in metres). I took a few reference photographs in my short visit, but seeing them again in movies such as Harry Potter and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy added to their glamour.
Going back to London four months later scanning through the city’s West End street by street for almost a week, I found many signs that were decaying and vandalized and/or positioned against colorful walls and textures, collectively representing a vibrant microscopic view of London. Tourists may not notice them, but they are iconic as red telephone booths or hackney carriages.