Critical Practice and Fashion workshop with recent MA graduates

Hannah Korsmeyer and Cyrielle Andre, recent graduates from Critical Practice and Fashion, will be holding a workshop exploring the complementarity of both these fields on Monday 7 December at Goldsmiths. Fashion and Critical Practice students are invited for a collaborative day of learning through making: “Working together in the studio, we will not only be exploring our own understanding of what “critical practice” and “fashion” are, but what unexpected creative insights can be gained from a process of making to question.”

What will the workshop be about? Hannah &Cyrielle provide us with some quotes that reflect their approach:

‘[All] design is ideological, the design process is informed by values based on a specific world view, or way of seeing and understanding reality. Design can be described as falling into two very broad categories: affirmative design and critical design. The former reinforces how things are now, it conforms to cultural, social, technical and economic expectation. Most design falls into this category. The latter rejects how things are now as being the only possibility, it provides critique of the prevailing situation through designs that embody alternative social, cultural, technical or economic values.’
Dunne and Raby, Design Noir, 2001

‘Learning through making, manifesting things in the world, moving away from the narrow notion of “professional” skill in order to produce and manifest. Strategic making is making from below, from the grass roots or the existence of everyday life. It is not a matter of applying means to some utopian end, but instead to manifest new meaning into the current as a proposition, a dialogue”. The Fashion Condition Collective, 2014

Design alumna worked on heartbeat-connecting device

Nowadays technology makes it easier for us to see and hear our loved ones even when they are far away from us, but a new product developed by the start-up Little Riot (which includes Goldsmiths Design alumna Marion Lean) may bring a different kind of intimacy to long-distance relationships: Pillow Talk is a device that allows wearers to share each other’s heartbeats. Comprised of a wristband, app and speaker, the system transmits one partner’s heartbeat directly to the other one’s pillow.

Little Riot, the all-women start-up which developed Pillow Talk, was founded by Joanna Montgomery and also includes Marion Lean, who graduated from an MA in Design: Critical Practice at Goldsmiths in 2012. Marion says: “Pillow Talk offers a way to completely rethink the way we interact using technology today. At Goldsmiths we’re taught to go out and disrup the status quo, and given by the numbers of requests weve already had it seems people are keen for disruption.” (You can read a detailed story on Pillow Talk on the Goldsmiths website).

If you want to help Pillow Talk become a real-life product, you can support it on Kickstarter until 10 December. It seems the idea is already quite popular, and it has been featured in many media outlets, including Wired and the Daily Mail.

MA graduate Yang Song wins A’ Design Award 2015

Yang Song, a 2014 graduate of our MA in Design: Critical Practice, has won the A’ Design Award for “Familiar and Unfamiliar”, a project developed at Goldsmiths and exhibited at last year’s Postgraduate Design Show. “Familiar and Unfamiliar” is comprised of moving furniture with clockwork mechanisms, handmade in the Goldsmiths workshops.

Yang explained for the A’ Design Awards website the idea behind the project: “The inspiration mainly comes from the memories of daily objects during my childhood. We cherish old objects as our close friends, because sometimes they could recall us the old times of ourselves. […] We are surrounded by thousands of fast-food products, our values as well as perceptions become “fast-food”. Consequently, the modern society is a familiar but unfamiliar world to us. Through this design oriented programme “Familiar and Unfamiliar”, I intend to explore the true meanings of daily objects in our everyday lives and the true meaning of life itself”.

You can read a more detailed description of the project on the website of the A’ Design Awards, where you can also find an interview with Yang Song.


Meet Andrew Denholm, MA in Design: Critical Practice student

Let’s start the new year with the last of our interviews with new MA students on their first term at Goldsmiths. Today, we meet Andrew Denholm, who is on the MA in Design: Critical Practice: 


What is your background? What did you do before studying here?

I studied Illustration at Edinburgh College of Art for 4 years. After graduating i have worked as a freelance illustrator and designer. I worked on lots of different projects from magazine illustrations to packaging designs. If you are interested in my work check it out at

Why did you choose Goldsmiths and why this particular course?

I wanted to go to Goldsmiths as i had visited the university and seen the fantastic facilities they have. I also had been to a graduation exhibition and seen the amazing work coming out of the school. The design department had some great courses but the Critical Practice course in particular was what gained my interest. It allows me to do lots of reading and learning while also getting to make new designs in the workshop. I found this to be a good balance for a designer.

How are you feeling about your choice now? What are your expectations for what’s to come?

I am really enjoying the course so far. It has been a huge learning curve but i feel that it is all very relevant and interesting. I hope to learn more computer software and start to get more hands on with making. The models we have chosen for next year will be really good.

What’s the story of your photo from the day of the MA Intro?

The photo shows my group holding up the laser cut masks i made. I put them up around town as street art so i thought they would be a good object to represent what i was doing at the moment as a designer.