At last week’s BA Design show M-O-D, visitors had the chance to see an unique eight-minute performance, designed by Liakike Robi for her graduation project and performed by Tru Peñate. #Habitus is a performative dance installation about social media and how it increasingly occupies our daily life, subconsciously affecting our mood and behaviour. Here is the designer herself explaining how the project came to be:
Why did you decide to design a dance performance for your final project?
“I was just following my intuition and passion for dance. At the end of my second year at Goldsmiths University, I knew I wanted to work with dancers for my final project. I’ve also always wanted to continue my practice as a designer in the field of stage and set design. So it made sense to me that the outcome should be something that would combine these two. I had a quite clear vision of what my project had to look like, however, the concept for the performance was more complicated.”
Do you have any experience with dance yourself?
“Before coming to London I was in one dance company back in Lithuania, while on the side collaborating with local artists creating performances in gallery spaces. Here in London, I still go to various dance classes, like breaking, new style hustle, house or jazz. Of course, the preparation for the exhibition and exam slowed down my own practice.”
What was it like to work on designing the performance with your performer?
“Working with another person with a different background is absolutely amazing. On this design course, we are encouraged to work in groups and collaborate. The challenging part of this project was showing that a dance performance can also be a design project- and building a language between me and the dancer, building the piece and making her see the project more as a designer, rather than a dancer.”
In 2018, our BA Design graduation show returned to South-East London after many years, taking place at Copeland Park in Peckham on 7-10 June. The class of 2018 presented their graduation projects under the title “Museum of Design”, organised into six themes: Systems, Narrative, Space, Identity, Education and Nature. But if the exhibition was organised as a museum, it was an interactive one, including dance and music performances, a cinema and the opportunity to play a Propaganda-themed board game, designed by Sindi Breshani.
The work on display was very diverse, highlighting the multi- and post-disciplinarity of the BA Design course at Goldsmiths, where students are encouraged to forge their own path. “It was really challenging, but I really got to see how I can expand my practice as a designer, and try out things I wouldn’t try out somewhere else”, said Julio Salguero Rodas, whose project looked at questioning the masculine ideals portrayed in ancient statues. “This course was quite open and led me to doing what I wanted”, said Damla Ozaltin. Damla’s project aimed to inhabit the feeling of being a bird to provide breathing space in the fast-paced city environment.
One of the projects, Lydia Hunt’s work on celebrating human hair, has been featured in Metro and other media outlets. Lydia created objects made of hair based on her book 106 Ways To Celebrate Human Hair, in which she asked people ‘if you had your lifetime’s worth of hair spun in to wool what would you make, why and who would you pass it down to?’.
You can find out more about the other projects from the M-O-D show website. Follow our Facebook page and our Instagram account to see more photos of the 2018 show.
Gabriella De Rosa (BA Design 2017) won the Placement at Kinneir Dufort Award in the WEARING INTELLIGENCE 2.0 brief at this year’s RSA Student Design Awards. The brief asked participants to develop a design solution that utilises ‘advanced textiles’ (fabric that has been enhanced by new technologies) to improve well-being or the quality of people’s lives. Gabriella explains:
“I developed my final year project from Goldsmiths and entered my concept InterWeave: an advanced textile interlaced with plants. InterWeave transforms fabric as we know it, offering a range of environmental inspired characteristics that progress textiles. It weaves nature into an everyday, essential item, immersing the wearer in their local environment in order to reconnect humans with the natural world, reduce our environmental impact and improve our well-being. By creating living fabric as an addition to our own body, I create a connection that enriches and expresses our relationship with nature.”
The RSA Student Design Awards is a global curriculum and annual competition for higher education students and recent graduates run by the RSA. Each year the Awards challenge emerging designers to tackle a range of design briefs focused on pressing social, environmental and economic issues.
The 2018 BA Design show MOD opens next week in Peckham, bringing you this year’s batch of innovative graduation projects pushing the boundaries of design. Here is another peek:
“Ananya Patel’s project Reclayming Territory is mapped around the position of traditional, cultural craft in a world driven by modern, westernised design. The project began with an interest in a ceramic studio, the Ceramic Centre, in her hometown in India, which became a platform to explore the agency of craft as a vehicle of social empowerment and decolonisation. This contextualised the work in the wider polemics of colonisation and the hegemonic relationship between the coloniser and the colonised, which is explored specifically through the connection between India and Britain.
This investigation takes place through a dual practice. One part involves material experimentation with clay, a process generated by craft methodologies in India. The other involves extensive research into archives and colonial historiography, which is then used to inform the objects made from clay. The clay is collected from the River Thames in London before being transported to the Ceramic Centre in India for making objects. The river acts as the thread that weaves these sites and histories into a narrative that highlights the spiritual, cultural and political role of the river in shaping civilisation and empire, and the design process developed around the physical exchange of clay between the two countries becomes a metaphor that highlights the notion of stolen, borrowed and shared territory.
Patel brings together both aspects of her practice in focusing on a particular act of decolonisation in British Indian history, through which the hierarchy was challenged. In telling this narrative, she developed a portable archive of decolonised historiography. It is built through collaborating and starting conversations with the institutions and individuals who contributed to the collection of research, and through engaging Indian craft practitioners in making ceramic objects that historically mobilised social, political and cultural liberation. The collection was set up as a pop-up archive at sites along the Thames where the London clay was collected, and was used to generate conversations about colonisation and to document the significance of decolonisation to various individuals and communities in today’s sociocultural landscape.”
See more work from the show on the MOD Instagram account. The show will be open to the public 8-10 June at Unit 8 Copeland Park in Peckham. The Press and Industry private view takes place on the evening of 7 June.