Students and staff returning to Camberwell after the Easter break this term were greeted by a bright hoarding at the front of Camberwell’s Peckham Road building. Designed by BA Graphic Design students Sushmita Paija Pun, Xiao Lin, Huiyao Guan and Likun Zhu, the new hoarding has been put in place while work is carried out to create a brand new, fully accessible entrance to the college.
These works are part of the two year development at Camberwell which will see new and improved teaching and research facilities launch in the Autumn of 2017.
We spoke to the hoarding designers about the project and how they found inspiration for the design in the facilities and freedom provided to students at Camberwell.
Please tell us about the design for the hoarding and how you came up with it? What was your inspiration?
The design for the hoarding came about as a response to our wayfinding project in the second year of our course. The brief asked us to understand the history of Camberwell College of Arts as well as being aware of what makes the university special. When we saw the brief for hoarding competition, we further developed our idea and it was both challenging and exciting to turn it into a long wall installation. I think we can all agree that because of the facilities and freedom provided at Camberwell, we get to explore different approaches in design and art-making. We felt drawn to the idea that a lot of how we work is very hands-on and practical.
Being Graphic Design students, we were able to not only explore the digital but also traditional processes such as letterpress, printmaking and 3D workshop. This is why the illustrations of hands became the centre of our design. The way in which these hands worked flexibly to show the different courses allowed us to find a coherent visual language between each course and it also worked to illustrate all the practices as one. We wanted to represent a community of thinkers, makers, designers, artists… In summary, that’s what the university teaches: to challenge ourselves and push our creative limits.
What was it like, working as a group to create one final design? Have you worked together or on group projects in this way before?
Our course has always made sure that group projects were central to our learning from the beginning and so, it was instinctive that we formed a group when the way finding project was handed out. As a group, we all brainstormed ideas in the beginning without any end goal, and as we took our initial ideas and began developing them through further research, we started to see our final design emerge. I believe that we work well together because we were all in the same frame-of-mind of creating a flexible but fun system. After completing the hoarding design, it was exciting to see it all come together as one final design installed in front of the building.
Have you worked on a live brief of this kind before? What was it like managing the process?
There have been a couple of opportunities for us to work on live briefs within our course, but not exactly to the scale and time constraint of the hoarding design competition. The process was fast-paced and required a lot of back-and-forth discussions with the construction team and Associate Dean, Amanda Jenkins. This taught us about clear communication between designer and client. Listening and responding to various requirements gave us the right amount of limitations which helped us focus our way through to the final design.
Can you tell us about what you’re enjoying about the BA Graphic Design course at Camberwell?
The BA Graphic Design course at Camberwell has been both challenging and exhilarating, given the variety of briefs that we have received. It pushes us to think of new concepts, executions and to try out many processes and we believe it has helped us all to become well-rounded designers.