Alumna Jodie Chinn brings empathy to political debate

In 2015, a year of general elections in the UK, Jodie Chinn’s BA Design graduation project, “House of Covvens”, attempted to envision a more equal society, questioning the hierarchies of Britain’s parliamentary system and incorporating feminine-coded knowledge. Jodie is now revisiting and expanding the project to fit the even more troubled political environment of today. For two weeks in May, she will hold ‘House of Covvens – South East London’,  an exhibition and event series centred around ten ‘Covvens’, non-hierarchical discussion spaces where everyone’s voice is welcomed and value. Jodie explains:

“When you’re exchanging information in our society, it’s often about the person who can talk the loudest, and it’s hierarchical. This project is about everyone having the space to talk and share what they know, it’s aiming to create a comfortable environment for expression. Halfway through the Covven, everyone is given the chance to reflect on what we’ve discussed, and make a clay object to represent this reflection. We then go around and let everyone explain what they have made, giving everyone the chance to speak and process their thoughts. People can leave their object in the space and these will collect together over the two weeks with a final event on the 29th of May presenting the process of the project. It’s not necessarily about coming up with ideas, but about creating a space for people to share thoughts and learn from each other. As part of this event there will also be foraging walks and sound performances on the new, quarter and full moon!”Read More »

Alumnus Lukas Valiauga on Fabrica residency and work after graduation

Lukas Valiauga graduated from the BA Design course at Goldsmiths in 2015, and he is currently a resident at Fabrica, the Benneton Group-financed communications research centre based in Treviso, Italy. Lukas tells us a bit about his work on the residency and his other projects since graduation:

What kind of work are you doing as part of your residency? 

Personally, the residency is an amazing opportunity to work developing research into how technologies shape our modern living, culture and communication.  Part of the work (and freedom!) is in experimenting with ideas, theories and research-led assumptions as well as specific technology.

Fabrica is at a unique intersection between worlds of art and commerce. Rather than as briefs, projects come as partnerships open to every resident to pitch their idea for; that way shaping and defining what an overall project will be like. A lot of personal research materialises into tangible output this way.

For example, for an exhibition at Milan Design Museum, I’ve presented an installation measuring Milan’s sky colour comparing it to the colour called ‘sky blue’.
Also, together with Jonas Eltes we made a painting which grows its value depending on its popularity with gallery visitors.  We are currently working on a several of web-based information experience projects.Read More »

Musée des Refusés exhibition, MA Design Expanded Practice: Disrupting mass surveillance

2017 was the year the Design department at Goldsmiths launched its new, post-disciplinary MA in Design: Expanded Practice. For their first brief on the programme, students were asked to work in teams and approach museums from a different perspective: Musée des Refusés, a space in which what is rejected by museums, cultural institutions and/or by society as a whole may claim attention.

One of the teams decided to take a deeper look at mass surveillance in public spaces and how it could be disrupted. Fivos Avgerinos, Riya Gokharu, Wonji Jeong, Erin Liu and Anastasiya Vodolagina created masks that can ‘trick’ facial recognition software used in surveillance cameras, and in the process, help us question why we have become so accepting of mass surveillance in the first place.

What does the mask do, exactly?

Erin: “Biometric facial recognition works by mapping certain landmarks onto your face which are called nodal points, measuring the distance between the eyes, the width of the nose, the shape of the cheekbones and the shape of the jawline. The mask tricks facial recognition software into believing those landmarks are elsewhere, which gives them false results.”Read More »

MA alumna writes about her experience as artist in residence in Taipei

Alumna Wendy Lau (MA Design: Critical Practice 2017) recently spent six weeks as artist in residence for the Guandu International Nature Art Festival in Taipei, alongside several international artists. Wendy wrote to us about the experience and its significance to her life and career:

“I have learned and experienced so much in this residency, in both aspects of my profession and personal philosophy. Designing creations for a nature park was a new challenge for me, because I had to consider artwork existing in an outdoor context as well as using on-site materials which should not be harmful to that environment. There were limitations at the beginning, but then I managed to turn them into my inspiration, and re-directed my initial approach to a more explorative one.Read More »