Artefact: The Wild Issue available for Green Week 2016

artefact landscape

A+ The Wild Issue. Illustration by Mala Mutinta, BA (Hons) Illustration & Visual Media.

UAL students, alongside artists and campaigners from beyond the University, have collaborated on a special edition of Artefact magazine for Green Week 2016, during which the College is also hosting the WILD: ReNaturing the City symposium. The magazine is available across UAL sites from Monday 8 February.

Simon Hinde, Programme Director for Journalism and Publishing, introduces The Wild Issue.

Wilderness is often associated with a jungle-like scene of either coniferous trees or vibrant green palm leaves. However, to be wild can also mean to be out of control, extreme or uncultivated. In this special edition of Artefact we explore the multiple definitions of wild and the possibility of bringing wilderness back into the city and on a larger scale, the world.

Wild is often used to describe situations as out of control – imagine unkempt vines, climbing and engulfing an abandoned country home. However, this edition of Artefact suggests that Rewilding a city is not an abandonment, but a liberating, empowering possibility for human beings. Nature is a gift, especially in the city – raw, untamed, unpredictable, exciting. A city full of really wild places would be great for our health and mental wellbeing.

A reintroduction of more species of plants and animals would allow Nature to manage with more wisdom than human city management has ever achieved. As human beings we are part of Nature, and our city planning must take this into consideration. We cannot exclude wilderness. To take humans out of nature we’d first have to take the Nature out of humans.

artefact portrait

A+ The Wild Issue: front cover. Illustration by Mala Mutinta, BA (Hons) Illustration & Visual Media.

In an effort to battle climate change at home, Joshua Potter and Jasper Wilkins provide information on how Londoners can go green. Joshua gives a practical guide to going green, from recycling to e-cleaning for the complacent out there. Jasper Wilkins discusses the benefits environmentally and individually of going vegan.

We explore the wilderness of certain relationships with our university, the areas around us and the creative industry. The BP funds trickling into the Tate Galleries has become a cause for concern; Jazmin Turner talks about Liberate Tate, a collective of artists on a mission to crush the squalid relationship between art and the oil company.

David Cross sheds light on UAL’s relationship with the Royal Bank of Scotland, self-branded as the ‘Oil and Gas Bank’, and Richard Reynolds discusses the damaging effects of Elephant & Castle’s regeneration. We look at how these relationships can unconsciously stifle our ability as city-dwellers and creatives to be environmentally friendly.

Vesa Puosi and Penelope Sonder talk to artists on a mission to provoke a change in our environment. Penelope discusses green graffiti and how art and design can be an influential way to educate and promote sustainable lifestyles. Vesa talks to LCC lecturer Lewis Bush whose latest exhibition Metropole explores gentrification throughout London, essentially ridding London of its wilderness.

We look at the entrepreneurs exploring innovative ways of changing our city or the world as a whole for the better. Barbara Lanzafame and Fabiana de Giorgio explore the realm of sustainable farming methods such as underwater farming by the Ocean Reef Project. These techniques are created in an attempt to correct destructive farming techniques that could land us in a food crisis by 2050.

Read more by visiting www.artefactmagazine.com

Words by Simon Hinde

Read about the WILD: ReNaturing the City symposium

How WILD should we go? LCC’s Green Week symposium WILD: ReNaturing the City

WILD logo

On Wednesday 10 February, LCC hosts the symposium WILD: ReNaturing the City as part of Green Week 2016, which also sees the distribution of the brand new Artefact: The Wild Issue across UAL sites.

The symposium features speakers including Green Candidate for London Mayor 2016 Siân Berry, Rewilding Britain’s Carlo Laurenzi OBE, and Chair of Design for Social Innovation at UAL Ezio Manzini.
Read the rest of this entry »

LCC launches new public programme with trio of exhibitions and installations for spring 2016

fb_banner_2.fw
Opening with a launch event on Thursday 4 February, three new exhibitions and installations at London College of Communication mark the start of a new public programme based at the College.

Imprint explores the development of the College at its current site in Elephant and Castle from 1964 to the present day.

Using material from the University of the Arts London (UAL) Archives and Special Collections Centre, including magazines, posters and photographs, the exhibition is structured along an informal timeline.

The show highlights the experience of discovering items in the archive as a way of celebrating the heritage of the College, its alumni and presence in local history.

Gallery_panels_press.2_small

Promotional poster for London College of Printing. Art direction by Tim Hutchinson, photography by Graham Goldwater.

Student magazines from the 1980s report on protesting students disrupting traffic on the Elephant and Castle roundabout. Slides from the 70s and 80s showing students using equipment and images of the College have been digitised and are shown here in public for the first time. Exhibition and degree show posters celebrate the evolution of trends in typography and graphic design.

Gallery_panels_press.3_small

LCP prospectuses. Art direction by Tim Hutchinson, photography by Graham Goldwater.

Weaving Migrations is an audiovisual installation about cultural interactions between the students and staff of LCC and workers and visitors in the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre.

The installation by Patricia Diaz and Ximena Alarcón showcases three short films, interweaving everyday observations, feelings and memories about both places from members of the two communities. The installation follows the permanent closure of the pedestrian subway which once physically linked the two spaces.

Weaving Migrations

Former pedestrian subway, Elephant and Castle.

Weaving Migrations will be displayed simultaneously in two spaces: the Upper Gallery at LCC and La Bodeguita restaurant and café in the Shopping Centre.

In an accompanying event before the Private View, speakers from LCC and leaders of the community will talk about the changes that are taking place at the Shopping Centre and the importance of memory, space and place.

Five Hundred Flowers and the Mother Plant, an exhibition by Corinne Silva and Eva Sajovic, considers meshes and networks of human beings and plants through texts, photographs, performance and an artwork made from geraniums.

Five Hundred Flowers_small

Installation photograph from The Red Jan Line, shown at 198 Gallery in December, 2015.

Through the connections between the different components in the exhibition, questions are raised about the plant-growing industry, plants as receptacles for memories and how we might fully understand plants as active agents.

This exhibition is partnered with Five Hundred Flowers and the Mother Plant: Opening the Archive at PARCspace, Room W224, LCC, which runs from 27 January to 26 February. Please check opening times with c.silva@lcc.arts.ac.uk.

Future events in the Spring 2016 public programme include interactive walks and workshops, an evening with performance poet John Cooper Clarke, and tours of the University Archives and Special Collections Centre.

LCC Spring 2016 public programme
Launch night: Thursday 4 February 6-9pm
London College of Communication, Elephant and Castle, SE1 6SB.

For full exhibition opening times, please check individual event listings.

#LCCImprint

Interview // MA Arts and Lifestyle Journalism Course Leader Dr Lucia Vodanovic

thumb_P1030252_1024

Dr Lucia Vodanovic, Course Leader MA Arts and Lifestyle Journalism

Dr Lucia Vodanovic arrived at LCC in 2015 as Course Leader for the College’s new MA Arts and Lifestyle Journalism. With the course now into its second term, we met Lucia to find out more about being a Chilean columnist, creating a new ethics, and journalism as creativity.

Can you start by telling us a bit about your background before coming here?

I grew up in Chile, South America, and I studied journalism there. It was 20 years ago so, of course, journalism was quite different. One of the key differences was that you would train to work in print, TV or radio, whereas journalism today – and so our MA – is totally multimedia. It is very unlikely that you will have a career only in print or television. But writing was really my thing so I specialised in that.

I worked first on the arts section of a Chilean newspaper, and later in the weekly style magazine, which was different to some of the style magazines that you find in the UK or elsewhere. We would cover fashion, beauty, food – the usual things – but there were also lots of articles about women, careers and family, with a fairly feminist agenda.

I wrote features and interviews, I had a beauty column, and I also wrote a column called Vida de Soltera (A Single Life) about life in the city, restaurants and dates, not using my real name. Actually, even though it was supposed to be fiction, most of the stories were taken from people I knew, or from my own life, so it was a lot of fun.

Then about twelve years ago I moved to the UK to do an MA and later a PhD, both in Cultural Studies at Goldsmith’s College. I also taught at Goldsmith’s for a while, then I worked in different universities including Brighton and Middlesex – I was Course Leader for Journalism at Middlesex University – and then I came here.

So I have both an academic and a journalistic trajectory, particularly in the arts and lifestyle area. Most of my recent published work is research-based academic writing but I also still do non-academic arts writing.

For example, I was recently working on some artist profiles for a big exhibition of South American art in New Zealand – they are like mini-essays that are both academic and accessible to a larger audience. I have also done some translation work – a bit of everything. My profile is quite interdisciplinary, which is also something that I really want to bring to the course.

What can students expect from the course? And what are your particular aims for it?

The course has two main elements. One is Multimedia Practice, which rigorously prepares students in all aspects of the creation of feature stories, from the generation of ideas to production, with particular emphasis on what makes a compelling story and the application of appropriate multimedia techniques. This unit is taught by Simon Hinde, Programme Director of Journalism and Publishing. That’s another nice aspect of the course, the fact that Simon is very involved in the teaching.

The other element of the course is the Critical Perspective Units 1 and 2, in the autumn and spring terms. The usual questions of journalism and society arise – its relationship with democracy, technology, representation and so on – but we’re also really trying to push the boundaries of how we think about journalism, interrogating how it relates to the creative industries, identifying new players in the field, discussing issues of participatory culture and the role of bloggers and YouTubers.

Ethics is another important theme in the course. It seems to us that ethical boundaries are very well defined when you’re talking about ‘hard’ news, such as politics or finance, but it could be argued that there is more of a grey area when you think of arts and lifestyle journalism.

There is a different relationship between journalists and brands – when they write about fashion, for instance. Or when a travel journalist gets their accommodation paid by the hotel that he or she is reviewing. So we also want to think about creating a very rigorous ethical framework for arts and lifestyle journalism.

We need to remember that this is the only course like this in the UK, and one of very few in the world. My students are going to be writing about things that people haven’t previously been writing about. That’s exciting, and it has worked very well so far.

Students also do a collaborative unit, a work placement unit, and then a final major project, which will be very ambitious. They’re going to spend about six months working on that. We really want that final major project to reflect the identity that we want to give to the course – the fact that we are creating new frameworks for arts and lifestyle journalism. And the students might end up with something that doesn’t look like traditional journalism, but that’s precisely what the course is about.

We are also very excited about a public engagement event that Simon has planned for the summer term. It’s not directly attached to the MA, but many of these ideas will be part of that programme, and we are hoping that students will also take part in different capacities.

It would be a ‘festival of creativity’, not a traditional conference but a mixture of different events over a one- or two-week period, with exhibitions, workshops, a publication, artists talking about journalism and people talking about new ways of publishing. We will be trying to understand how creativity, that people tend to associate with subjects such as art and design, is also important for journalism.

There is a kind of synergy between what’s happening in culture more broadly and what’s happening in journalism. This is why it’s so great to have a course like this in this University, which traditionally has been a very important institution for the creative industries in Britain. It makes sense to have the course here, it’s almost surprising that they didn’t have it before!

So what are the academic or professional backgrounds of the students on your course?

Our first cohort arrived in September 2015 and is incredibly diverse. They are all really strong students. A number of them come from very traditional academic backgrounds – their first degrees are in disciplines such as English, archaeology or social research – and others do have a background in journalism. Some have already started their careers in journalism– they have written for publications or edited magazines.

One student has received a scholarship from the Financial Times, which apart from being a very well-known newspaper has a very interesting lifestyle section. They offered a £4,000 bursary to one of our students, and the person who won it comes from a fine arts background at Central St Martins.

We have students from all over the world: Italy, Germany, France, Denmark, the UK, Asia, Qatar, Canada… We are blessed with a really good mix of people with very different backgrounds. The seminar discussions are always really lively, with people coming from various perspectives.

When they do presentations for my unit – which is the theory unit, but not always taught in a traditional lecture-based way – some of them might do a mini-film, or they might think about music when responding to a text. So that interdisciplinarity is also reflected in the seminars, which I really like.

And what would you say about possible future careers for graduates from this MA?

In terms of career paths, some students will go on to traditional journalistic careers, working in print, online, multimedia etc. The MA prepares them to work on all sorts of different platforms. Some of them might be freelancers, and some might work as permanent staff.

But also they might work in a slightly different role, they could work for art galleries, for instance, or museums. They can produce content for different agents, not just for traditional media or news outlets such as the Guardian or the Independent. Some students would go in that direction, others might not. Remember that art galleries, museums, record labels etc. all work with journalists if they want to produce meaningful content that doesn’t look like PR.

The fact that students are prepared to be very rigorous journalists, as if they were covering politics or finance, is key for this course. They are prepared with those very important journalistic skills, so they are ready to work in a wide variety of places.

Read more about MA Arts and Lifestyle Journalism

Interview // MDes Service Design Innovation Course Leader Omar Vulpinari

omar vulpinari landscape

MDes Service Design Innovation Course Leader Omar Vulpinari

We recently caught up with Omar Vulpinari, who recently joined the College as the new Course Leader for MDes Service Design Innovation, to hear more about the course and the future of service design, from emerging technologies to networking and how to keep your clients in the 21st century.

private view

Postgraduate Show Three: Private View © Ana Escobar

Can you give us a brief overview of MDes Service Design Innovation? And what are your particular aims for it?

MDes Service Design Innovation at the London College of Communication puts an emphasis on creating service experiences that are equally determined by adopting research from co-creation methods and by enhancing the designer’s individual creative role in developing incremental and disruptive innovation.

At LCC, communication is the core interest. In MDes SDI this perspective is a key driver that remains central throughout the trajectory of the Discover-Define-Develop-Deliver process.

The work that follows goes beyond the creation of a seamless service journey. The MDes SDI approach takes into account the power of storytelling, narratives and emotion to create new and engaging service experience values. The final objectives are user empowerment and customer delight instead of conventional customer satisfaction.

In this context the course engages intensely with the digital revolution currently underway. Digital prototyping, digital marketing and emerging communication technologies like the Internet of Things, social media, live data, augmented reality, virtual reality, wearable, sensorial, cloud, 3D printing and mobile are central to the course’s investigations, whether real or speculative.

community and personal request

Student work on display at LCC Postgraduate Shows 2015 © Lewis Bush

Your own professional experience will be especially useful to students on this course – can you tell us a bit about your past roles?

As a multi-disciplinary Creative Director and Innovation Lab Leader I’ve dedicated my career to the sectors of public interest, social and humanitarian aid, culture and business advocacy.

My background is in the strategic direction of innovation-based projects, most notably at Fabrica – the Benetton-owned research centre – where I directed international groups of talented designers and technologists in the exploration of new creative expressions and relational experiences.

At Fabrica I was Director of the Expanded Media Area until 2013, with responsibility for the teams dedicating to visual communication, interaction and online experience, video and sound. I directed projects addressing the big issues affecting our society today (health, violence, AIDS, road safety, child safety, disability, global warming, anti-tobacco and anti-alcohol culture, etc.).

I’ve also had a strong interest in design research. I was Co-editor of the Icograda Design Education Manifesto 2011 and Founding Editorial Director of Iridescent, the Icograda Journal of Design Research.

What do you think are the main ways this experience will benefit your students?

Firstly, my broad experience in communication, design, innovation and education should be “at home” at LCC in addressing the fluidity, complexity and trans-disciplinarity typical of Service Experience Design. Secondly, in 16 years at Fabrica and six on the board of directors of Icograda, I’ve dealt uniquely with international designers, students, corporations and organisations, and this should well match the global scope of the curricula and multicultural studentship of LCC.

What are you looking for in applicants to the course?

I’m looking for the dreamers, storytellers and makers of new and stimulating experiences for the good of all.

I’m looking for people with: the desire to challenge complex social and business needs that have never been approached before; strong team communication skills capable of enhancing collaboration in a multicultural and multidisciplinary work group; an interest in emerging technologies and how these change human behaviour and interaction.

off the track

Student work on display at LCC Postgraduate Shows 2015 © Lewis Bush

What would you say are the benefits of studying this subject at LCC over anywhere else?

I see several important and distinctive benefits.

Firstly, the course has a strong focus on innovation, which enables our students to apply also for important innovation leadership roles. The course dedicates a lot of attention to mash-up culture, start-up entrepreneurship and emerging digital technologies (IOT, VR, AR, big/live data, 3D printing, social media, alternative and digital currency, digital marketing, wearable and sensor-based tech, mobile etc.)

Secondly, being based at LCC — London’s cradle of communication design — advanced communication strategy and technology is core. This makes a big difference when dealing with the specific intangibility of service experience design.

Thirdly, the course will be dedicated not only to the public sector but equally to profit and non-profit cases, and speculative research.

Last but not least, LCC is part of University of the Arts London — Europe’s largest art and design university with six Colleges and 20,000 students — which enables the MDes SDI students to have access to unique transdisciplinary cross-College projects, exhibitions, conferences, workshops and employment networking.

Can you tell us a bit about possible career paths for graduates from your course?

The course is particularly dedicated to fostering student employability and networking for future job opportunities. For this reason it dedicates equally to both the profit and non-profit sectors giving students the grounds to find work as service and innovation designers for public institutions and private corporations, independent service and innovation design consultants, design strategists, project managers, ethnographic researchers, change strategists, event designers, content designers, start-up entrepreneurs, service design and innovation educators.

private view 2

Postgraduate Show Three: Private View © Ana Escobar

And finally, what most excites you about the present and future for service design?

Service Design and Innovation are hot buzzwords these days, but in a global economy where more than half of new businesses (profit and non-profit) are services, these two agents are actually becoming the most relevant and impacting growth assets out there.

In a world where complexity reigns and most products and communications are the same in what they offer (all washing machines wash well and don’t break down, and all airlines get you from place to place), it’s innovative, delightful and efficient customer experience that makes the difference. Companies, NGOs and public institutions are investing less in product development and more in quality customer service because this is where they actually keep or lose their clients, donors or users.

And… in the near future of the Internet of Things and virtual reality, all objects, communications, environments and relations will give birth to an incommensurable number of disruptive service experiences. The internet made it possible for us to know anything, the IoT and VR will make it possible for us to experience anything — here service experience designers will have a big stake.

Visit the MDes Service Design Innovation course page