A tour of the workshops with Andrew Weatherhead

After taking a tour of the Design workshops with Senior Workshop Tutor Andrew Weatherhead, it’s easy to understand why students tell me about how much they love this space. It’s filled with a sense of wonder and innovation, and Andrew Weatherhead’s enthusiasm about the tools and technology available is contagious.

andrew weatherhead 4

“The workshops reflect the interdisciplinary nature and creative critical practice of the programmes themselves”, he says. Unlike other universities, where students are specifically taught furniture design, for example, here they can and are encouraged to try their hands at a bit of everything. Whatever your material of choice, you’ll find some tools to help you experiment: there’s a room for heavy metals, one for woodwork, one for clay and other soft materials (where we found some tiles of green ceramic freshly out of the kiln, made by a student from the soil of her homeland), a room for textiles (where 3rd year student Hefin was busy putting together a woolen space suit for his final project) and, of course, the student favourite- the digital lab. Continue reading “A tour of the workshops with Andrew Weatherhead”

Olivia Clemence doesn’t take smell for granted

Behind a red door in a very old building works Olivia Alice Clemence, our BA Design graduate whose work has made it to the pages of Wired recently. She shares a small and cozy studio with two other creative people, where she was kind to invite me for hot tea (in a Michael Jackson-printed cup) and a chat, on a rainy evening – because we can’t leave all the good stories to Wired, can we?

Scent_bottles

I had barely stepped inside and Olivia was already showing me the tools and ingredients of her craft: the distilling kit (custom-made for her) that she uses to capture scents, and her cabinet of around 60 wonderful and unusual smells bottled in small glass containers. The principle and instruments of the steam-distilling process are very old discoveries, but to untrained eyes like mine it looks as if I’m taking a peek at a bit of magic and alchemy. She allowed me to get a whiff of one of her recent works, a perfume designed for the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. “What’s in it?” I ask, unable to pin down the unusual tones hidden under the pleasant surface. She tells me: the combined smells of beer, coffee, peanuts, carpet, wood, Subway sandwiches…the essence of the Centre itself in a nutshell (or, a glass vial). Continue reading “Olivia Clemence doesn’t take smell for granted”

All about The Design Marketplace with Emily Gardner

emily gardner

It’s not a secret for anybody trying to make a living out of creative work: having a good idea is just half of the road- the even more difficult part is turning your idea into money. Second year BA Design student Emily Gardner (who goes by Nemii) had some work she wanted to sell, she knew other students and friends had marketable products of their own, but she didn’t know of any possible route or opportunity of marketing them through the university. So she took the matters into her own hands and The Design Marketplace was born, an organisation that Nemii started from scratch as a personal project and that she still runs mostly by herself. Continue reading “All about The Design Marketplace with Emily Gardner”

Design as storytelling: Blair Francey

Blair Francey is a 2012 MA Design: Critical Practice graduate at Goldsmiths; when it came to chatting to him about his work here and beyond, we had to resort to Skype, as he has already returned to his native Canada. We had quite a bit to talk about: Blair runs his own design startup, BFDesign, offering branding, print media, consultations and social media planning services. The firm has been going for 4 years and Blair told me he was very pleased with how it was going. He also had good things to say about his time at Goldsmiths, which he called an “eye-opener”, expanding his idea about what a designer is and does, and giving him the chance to be around designers from so many different backgrounds and specialties, and…well, here’s some of the actual chatting:

Q: Tell me more about your graduation project, “Public Transit Remixed”.

A: The more politicians talk about expanding the transit network here in Toronto and the province, the more I realized how little they talked about the actual experience of being on transit. It was always centered around moving people further and faster. So I wanted to approach public transit from the experiential standpoint … what does it mean to ride transit and how can it become more than just jumping on a train to get somewhere? How can it become engaging for everyone, more inclusive, easier to use … Continue reading “Design as storytelling: Blair Francey”