On 28 March, MA Design: Expanded Practice students held an Open Studios evening to exhibit their work this term on four Transfocality projects. The briefs were as follows:
Things We Don’t Need to Know
This brief asked students to engage with the potential value of not knowing things. They were required to make things with, around or for hidden elements within society and culture, without exposing the secrets themselves. The aim was not to deny the negative or harmful effects of secrecy, but to look for areas where secret or hidden knowledge can generate positive or playful engagements.
DIY Digital Devices
This project was about imagining technological futures that are open, transparent and empowering. It built on ideas about ‘open source’ design, in which allowing people to make and modify their own technologies is touted as a means to revive democracy with citizens who are informed and actively engaged in creating their technological futures. The brief was run by the Interaction Research Studio and asked students to work in teams of four to design DIY digital devices or services that people can make and modify themselves.
This brief asked students to define their own concept of interlude and developing this into a making process. It explored poetic ways of making through an attention to duration (as a temporal dimension) and position (as a spatial dimension) of the interlude. This is where gaps, diversions, rhythms, imperfections, atmospheres come into focus to investigate our understandings of interlude and how this may be designed into making processes.
Care has recently become a focus of increased public concern, political debate and research in the UK, Europe and the US, and there seems to to be a crisis of care in areas such as healthcare, in social care, migration and the environment. This brief asked students to work through what care might mean in relation to design. Can we unpick, rethink, rebuild, redefine what is meant by understandings and practices of care through our work as designers? Can we imagine new ways of practicing design by examining the role of repair, maintenance, tinkering, growing and mending? Can we craft affective engagement, and attend to the ethics that arise?
Last week we had our first graduating cohort of the MA Design Expanded Practice. The ceremony was specially designed for our programme and was full of happiness and celebration.
As part of the Ceremony, we asked Morgan Thorne, from the Interaction and Technology Studio to give the Graduate Address. Her speech was warm, moving and embodied many of the values we hope to support in the programme. We asked Morgan if we could publish her speech, and she kindly agreed:
Professor Waller and staff of Goldsmiths, honourable guests, parents, guardians, friends and fellow Graduates – I am honoured to stand before you on behalf of all the students graduating today.
I’m originally from Barbados, a small island in the Caribbean. Before moving to London I was in New York City working in Advertising, and although I loved New York, I wasn’t passionate about my practice. When I decided to go back to university I spent a long time thinking about my future and the type of work I wanted to create. So, when I saw the description for our course, the focus on interdisciplinary collaboration from such a wide variety of studios, one that was said to “ challenge the role and norms of traditional design” and “push boundaries of what design can be and do”, it instantly felt like the right choice.Read More »
The first batch of students to graduate from our new MA in Design: Expanded Practice had their degree show last week, under the title “Iterations”. The show was open to the public 14-16 December, with a private viewing for industry and press on the evening of 13 December and an evening for family and friends on 15 December.
The opening night of the exhibition was a multi-sensory and interactive experience: virtual reality headsets, archery, the smell of chicken soup coming from a live cooking station.
MA DEP students chose to engage with a variety of complex contemporary issues, social, environmental and industrial, in their final projects. A few projects have already been featured on the Design blog in previous weeks (follow the Iterations tag).Read More »