Correspondence from Goldsmiths Design’s Charlie Evans, Designer in Residence in Taiwan (VI)

This summer, Charlie Evans (2014 BA Design graduate, and currently a Technical Tutor in the Department) spent two months in Taipei, on a Designers in Residence program for the British Council in Taiwan. Charlie sent us regular correspondence with impressions from his experience; we’re publishing his sixth letter today.

 

A brief synopsis of the Maximum Knee market stall that I used this week for the first time:

The customer enters the stall and stands facing me.

I tuck a tissue in their sock or around their footwear collar to act as a foot-bib.

I gently clean their knee with soap and a silicon sponge.Read More »

Correspondence from Goldsmiths Design’s Charlie Evans, Designer in Residence in Taiwan (V)

This summer, Charlie Evans (2014 BA Design graduate, and currently a Technical Tutor in the Department) spent two months in Taipei, on a Designers in Residence program for the British Council in Taiwan. Charlie sent us regular correspondence with impressions from his experience; we’re publishing his fifth letter today.

I’m working on an installation and performance for the night market in Gongguan. I’ll be using various types of tape and applying it to people’s knees, a technique that athletes use which I’ve been researching in Taipei.

Why I’ve chosen the night market:Read More »

Correspondence from Goldsmiths Design’s Charlie Evans, Designer in Residence in Taiwan (IV)

This summer, Charlie Evans (2014 BA Design graduate, and currently a Technical Tutor in the Department) is spending two months in Taipei, on a Designers in Residence program for the British Council in Taiwan. Charlie will send us regular correspondence with impressions from his experience; we’re publishing his fourth letter today.

I’m watching David Cronenberg’s adaptation of Crash. There are two sweet spots in the most famous exchange:

James:

What about the reshaping of the human body by modern technology? I thought that was your project.

Vaughan:

A crude Sci-Fi concept that floats on the surface and doesn’t threaten anybody. I use it to test the resilience of my potential partners in psychopathology.

This is a really useful, succinct manifesto for design: a superficial, material territory that allows us to look much deeper into things*. For me, exploring the (re)shaping of the human body is a way of accessing and challenging the more discrete political forces governing us.

I’ve been wondering how best to explain this in a reasonably clear way. A nicer example so far came from a conversation with Ivan Chenh-hou LIU of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee:

Taiwan is a country with an ambiguous international standing which manifests in the obscure title, Chinese Taipei. This is a point of contention for the people of Taiwan, who increasingly identify as Taiwanese. In this context, the Olympic Games becomes a political forum for cross-Strait relations and fundamentally demonstrates how the elite practices of sport render the body as a political object.

 

*It’s why Ballard is so important for designers. He’s all about the external/physical and internal/mental landscapes.

 

Read part one

Read part two

Read part three

Charlie is also keeping a visual blog on Tumblr. 

 

Correspondence from Goldsmiths Design’s Charlie Evans, Designer in Residence in Taiwan (III)

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This summer, Charlie Evans (2014 BA Design graduate, and currently a Technical Tutor in the Department) is spending two months in Taipei, on a Designers in Residence program for the British Council in Taiwan. Charlie will send us regular correspondence with impressions from his experience; we’re publishing the third of his letters today.

During the interval at an outdoor dance performance by Cloud Gate, I watched thousands of people stretch at the behest of three motivational performers. It reminded me of this video I’d stumbled across earlier in the residency, a news report on Taiwan’s Bureau of Health Promotion promoting a daily exercise routine for office workers:Read More »