HYPHEN show 2017: Annalis Wiramidjaja maps the ‘alt-right’ movement

The digital age has inevitably changed politics, but the complexity of movements spreading online can be difficult for outsiders to understand, especially for those who still see traditional political frameworks as the point of reference. For her graduation project from the BA Design course at Goldsmiths, Annalis Wiramidjaja investigated contemporary far-right ideologies and their 21st century methods:

“I’m looking at the ‘alt-right’, which is a modern form of white nationalism and ethnic nationalism, and I’m trying to contextualise them as a culture. That will help us understand them better, and hopefully, to combat them. I’ve created a series of magazines, which explore the different cultural and social touch points for different aspects of the ‘alt-right’, and a diagram that breaks down the movement into four different factions, using different aesthetic markers, or specific things they care about. I am using the magazines to help people who are not as familiar with the material get a glimpse of its context.”

On what the movement is, and how it fits into the traditional left-right political spectrum: Read More »

HYPHEN show 2017: David Fenton builds empathy for social issues through gaming

The industry that produces chocolate comes with a heavy human cost- yet it’s far too easy for Western consumers to turn a blind eye to injustices and hardships that happen far away from them, out of their sight. For his BA Design graduation project, David Fenton developed a video game that puts the player in the shoes of people affected by the West African cocoa trade:

“My project follows the philosophy that being playful about important issues is serious work. It’s a video game for the mobile gaming market, about a very serious issue, namely child slavery in the West African cocoa industry. The game is called Modern Cocoa Farmer, and we have a website as well, ModernCocoaFarmer.org, which raises awareness and educates about the plight of children in the cocoa industry in West Africa. It is intended to be used as an educational tool for children in the UK, to discuss and learn about these issues, and it’s based on real statistics.

I’ve been lucky enough to work with some friends on the project: a programmer, a musician, who also created the sound effects for the game, and a pixel artist. So I found myself in the role of the vision re-iterator, the person who is trying to keep everyone focused, and turn the idea into a reality. We’re hoping that this form of empathy gaming will take off and become much more mainstream, as a way of talking about social issues.”Read More »

Paper cups are not recyclable: Goldsmiths MA student launches awareness campaign

Have you ever wondered what happens to paper cups in which we take our morning coffees on the go? Did you know that the cups are coated with a layer of plastic that makes them non-recyclable?

MA Design and Environment student Valentina Benito is running a campaign to raise awareness about the issue, and point consumers towards solutions for reducing its environmental impact. You can find out more about the campaign from its website, and download materials to participate. Valentina tells us more about herself and her initiative:

Q: How would you describe your design practice in a nutshell? What are your interests as a designer?

A: I’m a Chilean designer, my title is in integral design, which a little bit of everything, but oriented towards design management and project development. I worked for 5 years as a product developer for a retail company, designing and managing the production of home textile products, but I realised that I needed a big change in my life, I needed to find a way of working on something meaningful, something that I could enjoy and also make me feel like I’m contributing to a better world. I’ve always felt attracted to design projects related to culture, arts and crafts, community development and sustainability. That’s why, when I decided to quit my job and start this new life project, I got interested in London and in Goldsmiths.Read More »

If architecture is frozen music, have I created Devices of thawing? – Reflections on moving a design project from academic to professional terrain

Article by BA Design alumnus Matthew Edgson

When I was notified on the 20th June last year – whilst exhibiting my third year project at the 2016 Goldsmiths BA Design show – that I had the opportunity to expand the work for a more public platform, I was initially apprehensive. The nine months spent developing the project had been a fatiguing coalescence of enjoyment, frustration and discovery. Was I prepared to endure that once again whilst subjecting the work (and myself) to a much wider, and possibly harsher, field of scrutiny? It turns out I was. In fact, all of the enjoyment, frustrations and discoveries that shaped the recent developments of my project have actually galvanised what I learnt whilst on the Goldsmiths BA Design course – not just regarding design as a practice but how I, as a designer, should operate as I transition from the academic landscape into professional terrain.

The project in question, titled ’Building The Cinematic’, stemmed from analysis of existing cinematic work, the majority of which has an anthropocentric (human based) focus. Architecture exists in the background. A large part of the project looks to shift this paradigm; teasing out the sensual, encompassing qualities of architecture using the format of cinema. Buildings are reframed as filmmaking resources through a series of camera rigs, manifestos and films projected directly onto architecture. Architectural input defines cinematic output. Alongside this, the project navigates a series of legislative frameworks regarding filming in London (particularly around the built environment), establishing a critique of those regulations.Read More »