HYPHEN show 2017: Annie Kruntcheva re-frames longevity as a conspiracy theory

Annie Kruntcheva’s 2017 graduation project from the BA Design course at Goldsmiths started as an investigation into fear of death, and gradually turned into framing increased longevity as a conspiracy theory:

“We’re all being made to live longer because of our fear of death, but in doing so, we also have to work longer. So, an extended human lifespan is for the purpose of capitalist gain. We’re currently seeing more and more people living up to, and past a hundred years of age, but with that come many repercussions for climate change and overpopulation- and if we live longer, we’re going to have to finance that life.

I’m also looking at what happens to human purpose when work disappears. We’re raised to believe in a three-stage life, education-work-retirement, and the value of hard work is embedded into human culture. But what happens when we can’t work? With automation, precarious work, universal basic income, it’s looking more and more like the corporate ladder, and human jobs altogether, will disappear.”Read More »

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 »