Grime Up the River: the social history of the Lea valley as music

Design partnership Dash’n’Dem (which include Goldsmiths Design lecturer Dash Macdonald) worked with grime artists and local teenagers in the River Lea area to produce tracks about the social history of East London and its significance to our current times. The project, part of the wider Odd Guides project delivered by Create London, includes a video supported by a Goldsmiths Design Research Grant, which you can now watch online in full. Dash explains:

“One of the tracks that we created was a conversation around the history of immigration, particularly with the docks and that area of East London bringing immigrants from all over the world, and looking at the different tensions that happened, from the Irish, the European, Asian, Afro-Caribbean immigrants as they came to settle, and repeatedly how populist politicians have played the immigration card, whether that’s Oswald Mosley, Enoch Powell, or today [Nigel] Farage and Boris [Johnson] with slogans such as: “We want our country back” or Take back control”. In the end, it’s having a conversation with these young people about what those slogans mean, how it made them feel, and how can design challenge that.”

El Ultimo Grito exhibition: MALFICTIONS

The Galería Elba Benítez is pleased to present MALFICTIONS, an exhibition of new work by the London-based creative partnership El Ultimo Grito, opening April 22 in Madrid.

MALFICTIONS — the title is a conflation of the words “malfunction” and “fiction” — presents a series of works that explore the intersection of facticity, fiction and error in contemporary forms of representational experience. As El Ultimo Grito states:

In our digital age, we have all become accustomed to the growing proliferation of “glitches” — transitory malfunctions within the different systems that support our daily existence. But in reality, these glitches are intrinsic to how the system works — they are not real malfunctions but just ‘deficiencies’ of the system that we have not managed or do not really want to change or improve. The notion of ‘malfunction’ aims at perpetuating the representation / fiction of the system itself — hence our “Malfictions.” The capturing of the “glitch” is a sudden window opening onto the reality of the system, and when understood in this way we can start examining “glitches” in other systems in the same light — systems that are not limited to technology, but also politico-­socio-­economic systems, or systems of representation and communication.

Read the full press release


Dash MacDonald: “ I’m continually surprised at how great Goldsmiths Design students are”

Dash’n’Dem project: “Bedford Voices”

Dash MacDonald is one half of Dash’n’Dem, a design partnership whose work challenges conventions, emphasising creative collaboration and critical engagement with politics and society. Dash has been an associate lecturer at Goldsmiths Design for the past two years, and he recently joined the permanent teaching staff of our department as a third year studio tutor; he will also be involved in the Politics and Participation studio of our new, post-disciplinary MA programme. We’ve interviewed Dash to find out more about his approach to teaching at Goldsmiths:

How did you decide you wanted to join our department?

I started here as a second year studio tutor, and I think that was what really cemented me wanting to get a permanent post. The second year of the Design BA at Goldsmiths is really exciting in terms of connecting Design to the world and thinking about different scales of social, political, economic engagement. Working through that as a studio tutor, and seeing how smart the students were, and how exciting the work they were producing was, made me want to be part of that culture. That year, we worked on a live project with the Centre for Investigative Journalism, looking at public finance initiatives, and how design intervenes in the public understanding of public finance initiatives. I was managing that live brief with Liam Healy and the CIJ, and that showed me the potential of working in Goldsmiths, and the fact that there are so many other interesting research centres and areas here makes it really exciting in terms of what can happen in the future.Read More »

Workshop Lates at Goldsmiths Design


Workshop Lates is a thing. They take place in the workshops outside of normal opening times to achieve results outside of normal. They will begin as a series of 4, running weekly on Wednesday nights, 5.30 pm-7.30 pm. Each session combines practical demonstration and material overview with theoretical approaches to making. Session 1 takes place on 9th of November and can be described as an introduction into ideational model making via drawing + steel + bluefoam.

Participation is achieved via email+ request+ response+ confirmation. Places are limited and therefore a moderate policy of first come, first served is in effect. All skill levels are welcome. For additional information, and to book your place, please email e.evans[@] and j.davis[@]