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 »
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 »
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 »