Dash MacDonald: “ I’m continually surprised at how great Goldsmiths Design students are”

Dash’n’Dem project: “Bedford Voices”

Dash MacDonald is one half of Dash’n’Dem, a design partnership whose work challenges conventions, emphasising creative collaboration and critical engagement with politics and society. Dash has been an associate lecturer at Goldsmiths Design for the past two years, and he recently joined the permanent teaching staff of our department as a third year studio tutor; he will also be involved in the Politics and Participation studio of our new, post-disciplinary MA programme. We’ve interviewed Dash to find out more about his approach to teaching at Goldsmiths:

How did you decide you wanted to join our department?

I started here as a second year studio tutor, and I think that was what really cemented me wanting to get a permanent post. The second year of the Design BA at Goldsmiths is really exciting in terms of connecting Design to the world and thinking about different scales of social, political, economic engagement. Working through that as a studio tutor, and seeing how smart the students were, and how exciting the work they were producing was, made me want to be part of that culture. That year, we worked on a live project with the Centre for Investigative Journalism, looking at public finance initiatives, and how design intervenes in the public understanding of public finance initiatives. I was managing that live brief with Liam Healy and the CIJ, and that showed me the potential of working in Goldsmiths, and the fact that there are so many other interesting research centres and areas here makes it really exciting in terms of what can happen in the future.Read More »

“The System of Systems”: Design graduates launch publication on the asylum process

Goldsmiths Design graduates Danae Papazymouri and Rebecca Glyn-Blanco have teamed up with architectural historian Maria McLintock for “The System of Systems”, a project that investigates the asylum seeking process. The project comprises of an exhibition, whose contributors include James Bridle, Nana Varveropoulou, and Goldsmiths own Jimmy Loizeau and Liam Healy (Design Unlikely Futures) and a publication featuring work by Jack Self, Daniel Trilling, Olivia Head (Bread & Roses), amongst others. The launch of the publication is being supported by a crowdfunding campaign, to which you can contribute until 15 April.

“The System of Systems” interrogates how political powers in Europe are using technologies, from data collection to private companies, in bureaucratic systems which determine the fate of asylum seekers. Bringing together artists, designers, architects, academics, activists and practitioners, working across a range of mediums, the publication responds to the complex and knotty legal framework which individuals seeking asylum are forced to navigate, or, in many cases, elude.

The aim of the project is to open up vital conversations about the legal framework of seeking asylum in Europe, posing questions such as: What policies are we voting for as citizens of European countries, and what is our relationship to this issue? How does the system illegalise people? How are technologies used as processes of making and discrediting evidence?

The book will be a collection of essays, interviews and visual contributions and will be divided into three sections: LANGUAGE, TERRITORY and AGENCY. The exhibition will take place in Athens, 4-21 May at Grace gallery. Join the mailing list on the System of Systems website to be kept up to date with the latest news on the project.