Goldsmiths Design Festival 2017: Wendy Lau re-interprets human rights

For her graduation project from the MA in Design: Critical Practice, Wendy Lau explores human rights through a series of activities that question our own perspectives and priorities on the issue, as well as encourage us to understand other people’s perspectives:

“I started with an observation on human rights nowadays, and I initially thought I could come up with tangible solutions or a design strategy to deal with the situation. However, after research, I found that the issue was really complex, so instead I tried to provide an experience to get the audience to understand, or to start thinking about the importance of human rights. So, this is a proposal and it consists of five sections of interaction which explore different perspectives on approaching human rights. The experience is trying to get the participants not only to express what it means to have human rights, but also to question the response of others, and start to re-think the various interpretations.Read More »

Make@MEET workshops with MA Interaction Design students/alumni

This July, Michael Mogensen (MA Interaction Design 2017), Erica Jewell and Julie Parisi (MA Interaction Design 2016) designed and taught Make@MEET, a one day workshop in Jerusalem to Year 3 students from the Middle East Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow (MEET) programme. MEET brings together young Israeli and Palestinian leaders to create positive change through technology and entrepreneurship, in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The summer intensive programme consists of an accelerator for four startups created by the participants. The Make@MEET workshop introduced them to tools to challenge their biases and assumptions, particularly around the user in the context of their startups, as well as to generate ideas and work through problems. The attendees were given a brief (“make someone’s life easier”) and then taken on field trips to observe and choose a subject, followed by rapid prototyping and presentation of their designs.

Images courtesy of Michael Mogensen and Erica Jewell; more photos can be found on Erica Jewell’s blog. Another workshop will be held in December.

HYPHEN show 2017: Eleanor Price brings cross stitch to a new audience

Embroidery and cross stitch are usually associated with femininity, and seen as less sophisticated than other crafts. A keen cross stitcher herself, Eleanor Price is challenging these perceptions through her graduation project for the BA Design course at Goldsmiths:

“I’m looking at embroidery and how it could reach a wider audience. I’ve been using cross stitch to make house plans, using the femininity of shapes, and the skill, on something that’s seen as more neutral. And I’ve been building extensions on the houses, as a fancy element of decorating a house. I started by trying to think of things that were already shown through cross stitch imagery, and house imagery is one of them, but it very much consists of idealised cottages and wooden houses in the mountains. It’s a kind of fantasy that I don’t feel many people have anymore. So I started looking at more achievable fantasies that you could work towards, and that everyone could relate to- and house extensions is one of them. ”Read More »

HYPHEN show 2017: Joseph Thompson disrupts the routine of craft

For his graduation project from the BA Design course at Goldsmiths, Joseph Thompson is trying to uncover the complexities of craft processes:

“I’ve been looking to expand what is meant by the word “craft”, and unpick the problems with it in contemporary culture.  The output that I’ve created is a diagnostic tool for ceramicists to re-evaluate how they throw pottery, which comes from the idea that people who have an ingrained habit find it inconceivable to change, or to progress in their practices. This tool exists to disrupt the process that they normally throw pottery by, so that they can re-evaluate and train themselves to learn different techniques.

The experiment consists of ceramicists throwing under a strobe condition, and there are two ways you can configure the strobe light. One is to act as a stroboscope, where the pot is completely still, so every time it does a rotation, you see the same side of the pot. This makes it really difficult to tell if the pot is off-center. The second way you can configure it is to allow people to set the strobe themselves. I found that when people were throwing under these strobe conditions, those who weren’t as confident would turn up the speed, whereas those who were more confident would turn it lower.Read More »