MA student work to be screened at the Swiss Church

Image credit: Yihan Niu

‘Road Movie’ is a collaborative project between the MA Design: Expanded Practice programme at Goldsmiths, University of London and CAMPER. The students participating in the project were asked to explore and engage with CAMPER’s idea of the Walking Society through the discovery and exploration of the city.

“Walking means traveling – going from one place to another. It also means advancing, improving, developing, innovating. The Walking Society is a virtual community open to everyone: to diverse social, cultural, economic and geographic backgrounds. Individually as well as collectively, it champions imagination and energy, bringing useful and positive ideas and solutions to better the world. In a simple and honest way.” CAMPER Walking Society

“Design always acts as an ‘inbetweener’, a narrative connection between two distinct points in time and space. The nature of this connection, its material and conceptual range (how fast, how efficient, how immediate, how long, how ornate, how timely, etc) is informed by the contextual and ideological framework of ‘the possible’, which lies at its origin”. Professor Roberto Feo, Goldsmiths, University of London

Image credit: Xiao Zhu

In road movies, travelling is used as a narrative device that allows the writer or director to piece together a story through a series of chance encounters which obstruct the protagonists’ progress of getting from A to B.  The traveller therefore can never be just an observant, a passer-by, or a flaneur. Their very existence sets off the series of combustions that create the story itself.

A designer’s approach to the production of a road movie must be different than that of a filmmaker. The project began with each student designing a vehicle or device that would enable exploration and engagement with unknown people in an unknown city in the middle of a pandemic. These devices provided the material means to activate and document the search, but also became central to the plot itself.

Image credit: Hyein Yoo

During the actual ‘road movie’ that this project became, a curiosity, a hunger for discovery, and a longing for human contact drove the students to discover the city. Throughout the process, participants discovered parallel digital worlds, challenged ideas of reality, created myths, questioned existence, sought friendship, found cultural connections, danced, and even attempted to fly.

For this special collaborative project, five of the films were selected to be shown for public screening in the window of the Camper shop in Covent Garden, London, coinciding with the London Design Festival 2021 (18-26 September). The full collection of projects will screened at the Swiss Church, also in Covent Garden.

Image credit: Jiwon Son

Participating students: Muting Chen, Linyuan Dong, Minhui Fan, Sijie He, Hai Li, Junheng Li, Yang Li, Qinyu Miao, Hongyu Pan, Yanran Qian, Jiwon Son, Ko-Chieh Tan, Yingwen Wang, Xiaolin Yang, Hyein Yoo, Shiqi Zhang, Xiao Zhu

Tutors: Roberto Feo, Rosario Hurtado and Annelore Schneider