Michael Spencer Talks Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Moon is the Sun of the Night directed by Laurence Dollander, photo taken by Carmina Dragusin

The Moon is the Sun of the Night directed by Laurence Dollander, photo by Carmina Dragusin

Michael Spencer, Course Leader for MA Performance Design and Practice, spoke to us about his time at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the graduates and students to look out for and his future plans for the course.

So, earlier this year you spent time at the Festival Fringe?

Yes, having not attended the Edinburgh Festival for many years I spent four days up there researching performance practice, which related to MA Performance Design and Practice. On the course, students initiate and develop their own performances, often on a modest scale and from a personal agenda.

Over 3,000 events took place in this year’s festival so planning what to see prior to the trip was essential if I was to achieve my aim. I focused on venues and organisations where realistically the graduates might find an opportunity to further develop their work. This involved not only seeing shows throughout the day but also talking to venue organisers in order to understand their agenda. 

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CSM Foundation Invited to Collaborate in Italy


In the Summer of 2015 a group of specialist Graphic Design Foundation students were invited to Opificio della Rosa, a castle in Italy, to take part in a collaborative printmaking residency project with students from the University of Fine Art in Rome.

The students took part in a 12-day experimental workshop exploring colour woodcut and letterpress techniques while living and working together in the ancient castle. They reinterpreted and developed a new setof Major Arcana tarot and together created a deck of the 22 hand crafted cards.

The project was coordinated by lecturers Maria Pina Bentivenga University of Fine Art in Rome and Umberto Giovannini from Central Saint Martins in London.

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Students Envision Wearable Payments for 2020

Small Change

Small Change

Visa Europe has teamed up with Central Saint Martins, challenging MA Industrial Design students and graduates to imagine a wearable payment device for the year 2020.

Nick Mackie, Head of Contactless at Visa Europe, said: “We envisage that contactless technology will become a standard feature on many wearable devices by 2020. In fact, there’s no reason why the payment function on a wearable device wouldn’t become as ubiquitous as the alarm function on a digital watch.”

The designers – Marta Monge, Maxime Moreaux, Gareth Ladley, Marina Mellado and Bronka de Sage – worked under the guidance of tutor and designer Silas Grant and Programme Director Nick Rhodes. Three co-created design concepts were presented at the Visa Europe technology partner forum, as part of the London Design Festival 2015.

The three concepts are entitled ‘Budgeteer’, ‘Small Change’ and ‘Thread’. They explore wearable tech experiences that are useful, express personal identity and provide small everyday pleasures.
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Futuro House Lands in King’s Cross

Futuro House, The Terrace, Central Saint Martins, King's Cross © John Sturrock

Futuro House on the Terrace at Central Saint Martins © John Sturrock

Is it a bird… is it a plane? No. The unidentified flying object on our roof is a Futuro House, due to host a year-long series of events.

The spaceship-like construction is the project of artist and Central Saint Martins BA Fine Art alumnus Craig Barnes. His vision is for it to be an active space, open and provocative.

Craig says: “My Futuro has led a nomadic existence. Following its initial siting at Matt’s Gallery last year, it was a delight to be invited to land it on the roof at Central Saint Martins, an equally progressive institution.

“I look forward to a year of inspirational activities in it with Captain Till and his crew at the helm.”
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The Intelligent Optimist: Luiz Conceicao

Collaborative Cally - Luiz Conceicao, Urban Strategy

With The Intelligent Optimist exhibition well underway, recent BA Architecture graduate Luiz Conceicao spoke to us about his local project ‘Collaborative Cally’ and his hopes to challenge people’s traditional understanding of architecture.

Tells us in a bit of detail about your project.

How can local economies adjust to take advantage of underutilized locations and the skills of local people along Caledonian Road? ‘Collaborative Cally’ develops a framework for a new sharing network based around the redevelopment of a series of currently vacant corner shops along the High Street. Read the rest of this entry »

The Turner Prize: Central Saint Martins Takes Over

Granby Four Streets 2014 © Assemble

Granby Four Streets 2014 © Assemble

Central Saint Martins is no stranger to Turner success – indeed, it was only two years ago that alumna Laure Prouvost won the coveted prize. This year is different though. This year, all of the nominees have links with the College.
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Jewellery Graduate Wins EC One Competition

Jewellers EC One have named our BA Jewellery Design graduate Hoonik Chang as winner of their Unsigned Platinum competition.

Jos Skeates, EC One Managing Director, said: “Hoonik’s work is outstanding and we are delighted to be able to help him in the next stage of his career. We love seeing the huge amount of creativity from our entrants and it is a privilege to be able to work with such talented individuals.” Read the rest of this entry »

London Design Festival: What’s On

© Caroline Angiul (MA Material Futures), Mind Wandering Bloom

© Caroline Angiul (MA Material Futures), Mind Wandering Bloom

As you’d expect, Central Saint Martins students and graduates are well represented at this year’s London Design Festival. So, where can you find their work?

The Intelligent Optimist
This month-long exhibition explores the various futures for design. On display in our Lethaby Gallery and Window Galleries, you’ll find everything from guerilla communication platforms to excessively long shoes designed to slow your pace of life. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of events. Read the rest of this entry »

The Intelligent Optimist: Yuxi Sun

Yuxi Sun - Image 4

With The Intelligent Optimist exhibition and event series officially open, Yuxi Sun joined us to talk about her inspiring project ‘The Diary of a Couchsurfing Host’ and how she came to create 62 pendants that tell their own individual story. 

Tells us about your project

For the past year I acted as a Couchsurfing host. My project was sort of a social experiment, I wanted to record the interaction between my guests and myself but also create something that would reflect my personality and attitude towards life. I made 62 pendants, one piece for each of my guests to record the experience. It is a social experiment and this is essentially a piece of evidence.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Intelligent Optimist: Oliver Thomas Lipp

Oliver Thomas Lipp

As part of The Intelligent Optimist, devoted material explorer and BA Textile Design graduate Oliver Thomas Lipp will be exhibiting his project ‘Extending the Body, Skin and Hair’. We spoke to Oliver about the future of textiles, his investigation into unconventional materials and the importance of innovating design. 

Tells us about your collection and what inspired you. 

The skin, the body and hair inspired the whole collection. I was really interested in how you can take something that you usually apply textile to and use that as the main focus of inspiration. I wanted to look at different structures and different textures and reapply them back on to the body in abstract forms to distort the silhouette or change the structure of the skin. Read the rest of this entry »

BA Ceramics Invited to British Ceramics Biennial

Work by Sun-A Kim, 2015, Photo by Sebastain Zimmer

Our BA Ceramic Design course will showcase three collaborative research projects at this year’s British Ceramics Biennial.

Each of the projects engages directly with the ceramics industry, revealing the potential of creative design ideas when working with innovative materials and new technologies.

Once Fired, supported by Endeka and Dudson, asks students to explore the potential of working with ThermEco. This new material is ethical and sustainable, only needing to be fired once at a lower temperature.

Second-year BA students will present their initial responses to the challenge of once-firing, also known as raw glazing.

Work by Jose Maria Salgado, 2015, Photo by Sebastain Zimmer

Artfood is a collaborative project with Marek Cecula and Cmeilow Porcelain. It explores expressive tabletop products and acts as an antidote to the tradition of tableware in manufacturing.

Four students from Central Saint Martins, plus students from Poland and the U.S.A, will exhibit at the Biennial.

They produced the work, which re-imagines the act of dining from a more sensual and playful perspective, in a factory in Poland.

Artcode for Johnson Tiles, designed by Bridgette Chan

Artcode for Johnson Tiles, designed by Bridgette Chan

Aestheticodes is a project to develop a domestic interactive tile panel. It has grown out of collaborative research between designers based at Central Saint Martins and computer scientists from the University of Nottingham.

The new interaction technology relies upon drawing and creativity to drive it. Called ‘artcode’, it has all of the interactive properties of a QR code but with an inbuilt aesthetic quality.

Visitors to the Biennial will be able to interact with a decorative tile panel. Using a free app on their smart phone, they can access hidden content within the displayed imagery.

The British Ceramics Biennial opens on 26 September and runs until 8 November 2015 in Stoke-on-Trent, England.

More Info:
BA Ceramic Design
Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design Programme
British Ceramics Biennial

Anna Driftmier Talks Designing For Festivals

Anna Driftmier - Arden Creatures

We talked to Anna Driftmier, MA Performance Design and Practice student and designer whose ambitious work has appeared at multiple festivals and productions from Camden to Edinburgh. 

Tell us about your practice.

Recently a director jokingly commented that she could spot one of my shows in an instant. I work towards creating spaces where there is a dialogue between the performer and the designs.

Every design decision has to be backed with knowledge of how I will budget, schedule, build, and deliver that idea. By the time the objects enter into the rehearsal space I know them so well that I can demonstrate their uses and start conversations about further ways to explore their potential. Read the rest of this entry »