MA Design and Environment graduate on her work and experience at Goldsmiths

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Genine setting up her space at the graduation show

Genine Ching Loo is a 2014 graduate of our MA course in Design and Environment; back in September, at the MA graduation show “NOT THIS”, we interviewed her about her work and her study experience here at Goldsmiths, for an upcoming print brochure on MA Design programmes. Here are some fragments of the interview:

“What kind of design work do you do? What’s it about, who is it for?

In summary, my interests are in the intersection of ‘culture’ and ‘nature’, and this manifests in different ways. In one of my projects, for example, I looked at using a phone app to improve relationships with house plants. In others, I focus on patterns of consumption and their impact in social and ecological environment. Food seems to be a recurring motif in my work! (And life.)

How did you end up studying at Goldsmiths?
Well Goldsmiths is a famous college for art and design, so to be honest I didn’t look far when I was choosing colleges. I knew I wanted to study sustainable design, and when I read the course description for Design & Environment I was intrigued by its approach which seemed to combine philosophical debate, sociological research and practical design experience. That seemed like a good mix to me!

Genine's work at the show
Genine’s exhibition at the show

How did your work evolve over the course of your MA?
I started the course hoping to learn about clever technical solutions to environmental issues. When it became clear that so-called “environmental issues” cannot be as simplistically dealt with as I thought, I started to rethink my entire perception and approach to design, as well as my design processes.”

So what has Genine been up to since the graduation show?

“I stayed on in the UK after the course to involve myself in some pretty cool projects – I was working with some researchers on a project to turn local food waste into biogas and a digestate. My role was to carry out trials for the use of the digestate as fertiliser, to see if there’s any viability in commercialising it. I also worked once a week on an urban farm that supplies the local community with an organic mixed salad and veg box. Then before I left UK for Singapore, I spent a month on an organic farm in Devon. My final project for Goldsmiths was on sustainable and ethical food production and consumption, and that led me to find these projects! I guess learning and research doesn’t stop at the submission date, and UK is awesome because there are so many opportunities for such involvements. Apart from that, I also wanted to further my design skills, so I was also designing a temple garden for a design charity, and we came up with a landscape design for their temple grounds.”

You can see some of Genine’s work on her website.