HYPHEN show 2017: Annalis Wiramidjaja maps the ‘alt-right’ movement

The digital age has inevitably changed politics, but the complexity of movements spreading online can be difficult for outsiders to understand, especially for those who still see traditional political frameworks as the point of reference. For her graduation project from the BA Design course at Goldsmiths, Annalis Wiramidjaja investigated contemporary far-right ideologies and their 21st century methods:

“I’m looking at the ‘alt-right’, which is a modern form of white nationalism and ethnic nationalism, and I’m trying to contextualise them as a culture. That will help us understand them better, and hopefully, to combat them. I’ve created a series of magazines, which explore the different cultural and social touch points for different aspects of the ‘alt-right’, and a diagram that breaks down the movement into four different factions, using different aesthetic markers, or specific things they care about. I am using the magazines to help people who are not as familiar with the material get a glimpse of its context.”

On what the movement is, and how it fits into the traditional left-right political spectrum: Read More »

HYPHEN show 2017: David Fenton builds empathy for social issues through gaming

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 »

HYPHEN show 2017: Tasreen Rahman turns difficult debates into comics

Comics are generally not taken very seriously as an art form, outliers such as Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer-winning “Maus” notwithstanding. But perhaps they should be: visual storytelling is an excellent tool for making a wide variety of topics more accessible and easier to understand. For her BA Design graduation project, Tasreen Rahman created a comic book based on conversations about difficult, controversial issues:

Read More »

Music, catbots, saliva beer at the Goldsmiths BA Design show Hyphen

Last week, the BA Design class of 2017 exhibited their graduation work at the Truman Brewery. The show, called Hyphen, brought together a wide range of innovative projects, exploring themes from technology to our relationship with nature, from social issues to surprising twists on everyday items.

The exhibition included a number of live presentations, such as a cello performance for Imogen Piper’s project which turns data on airstrikes in Syria into music.

A couple of the graduation projects have already attracted attention from the press. Sydney Schaefer’s alcoholic drinks brewed with the help of her own saliva were featured in The Times; the development of Leah Thompson’s cat-inspired robots made an appearance on BBC One.

You can find more photos of the exhibition on our Facebook page. Videos and interviews with graduates will be coming soon to the Design blog.