Goldsmiths Design Festival 2017: Maurizio Detomaso investigates air pollution in London

For his graduation project from the MA in Design & Innovation, Maurizio Detomaso designed a device that maps the user’s exposure to air pollution:

“The concept is a wearable air quality sensor which can track your personal air pollution exposure. The aim of the project is to raise awareness about the impact the over polluted environment has on human health, and to empower people to collect and map air quality data in the urban environments. The portable device can allow people to have an accurate assessment of their daily exposure to air pollution and it can improve the London air monitoring system network at the same time. Making this “hyper-object” more tangible is the key to influencing strong political and individual actions for a cleaner and healthier environment.”Read More »

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 »