2016-05-16 12.39.30

© Lisa Kogawa

Central Saint Martins were delighted to welcome 12 Art Center students to the Graphic Communication Design studios earlier this month.

Led by Ann Field, Chair of Illustration at Pasadena, these annual visits are an opportunity for students from both institutions to meet and exchange ideas. GCD lecturer Luise Vormittag organised a range of activities for the guests, including a visit to the Materials Library, student presentations and a short talk by Phil Baines, Professor of Typography. Phil opened up the Central Lettering Record to our visitors, introducing them to some of his most prized pieces in this rich and unique archive.

The liveliest part of the day was the afternoon, when students from Pasadena and CSM sat in small mixed groups and discussed their work. Art Center students had spent 14 weeks working on a project in response to Reyner Banham’s iconic book Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies. There was a broad range of different approaches and outcomes to the task of mapping and exploring LA through alternative means – illustration student Lisa Kogawa, for example, had written the letters ‘L’ and ‘A’ on a map of the city, and then eaten at the food outlets along those lines, producing “a zine that focuses on a deep dive into the food culture of the city”.

It was hard to break up the lively discussion when it was time for our visitors to leave. Some of the CSM students decided to accompany the group to their next stop. “Just pretend you’re American,” said one of our guests jokingly, “keep saying HAMBURGER!”

Timi Oladeji-Olanrewaju, MACD said:

I found it a great delight to be able to share our projects and discourse with the students from Pasadena. It was worthwhile to get another perspective and share ideas in general, even from those from a different continent.

Ruby Boddington, Stage 2 said:

I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon with the students from the Pasadena Arts Centre. It was a great opportunity to gain an outsider’s perspective on our work, but also really interesting to see the differences in how they work compared to how we do. All the students were really friendly and interested in what it was like studying and living in London, as we were to hear about what LA is like. It’s definitely something I would do again and I intend to keep in touch with a few of the students from Pasadena.

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