Call for contributors: MA student looking for interdisciplinary design work from the Global South

MA Design Expanded Practice student Ghaith Hilal is working on an open source map of interdisciplinary* design projects from across the world, and needs your help to find work from the Global South**:

I believe that the best way to discover new and interesting design practices is through word of mouth, and personal conversations. Hence, I want to have conversations with as many of you as possible, (in person if you’re in London, over Skype, or via email).

I would love to hear about your work, all about designers and projects from the Global South. The information gathered will be used in producing an open-source map of design practices from around the world, something similar to the Pinhistory LGBT+ Map providing a tool for tutors, students, and practitioners. The map that will be built with your help, and will continue to grow with time and with our input and information.

*Interdisciplinary: using more than one discipline of Design/knowledge.

**Global South: A term denoting countries/communities that have historically been colonised, marginalized, and undermined, by countries of the Global North, resulting in poverty, inequality, and weak economies.

Get in touch with Ghaith via email, at gnass002@gold.ac.uk.

MA Design Expanded Practice student projects: “Pataphysical Responses to the Most Urgent and Intractable Problems of Our Age”

On 11 July, MA Design Expanded Practice students displayed in the MA Studios the outcome of their work on the 10 week-long project “Pataphysical Responses to the Most Urgent and Intractable Problems of Our Age”, in a show titled “HA HA! (Hinting At Having Alternatives!)”.

An Ouvroir de Design Potentielle (OuDePO – Laboratory/Workshop of Design Potentiality) was instituted in the Design Department. The OuDePo was formed to initiate a pataphysical curriculum in order to have a playful, yet critical purchase on design and designing- and, in particular, the part design plays in enacting neo-liberal programmes.

The quixotic programme of ‘pataphysical design’ effects deviance, disruption and, ultimately seeks to detour what is deemed the ‘proper’ way to think, imagine and act in design practice; it does so in order to circumvent the blocks (blocs) produced by design orthodoxies, finding ‘alternative’ methods and ‘imaginary solutions’ (of which pataphysics is the science).

The work presented in the show issues from thirteen ouvroirs (laboratories), which were formed to research, explore and propose responses to the most stubborn (intractable) and pressing, urgent (used ironically or seriously) problems and questions of the day.

Here are a few examples of the projects on display:

Ethical Botany and Cultivated Elysiums (Team: Keer Wei, Wei Peng, Yaoyao Tang)

The program of this ouvroir is to explore the increasingly important spiritual-ethical bond between the plant world and the human world. In this instance, the concept of the divine force of nature was used for a pataphysical program tackling the plastic islands of the Atlantic currents. The ouvroir developed an apparatus that afforded the opportunity to mix human breath (chi) and mycellium spores and introduce the mixture into 1) a rubber-duck like float that would take up to a year floating on the ocean currents before reaching the plastic island and/or 2) duck egg-like bombs that could be thrown from a passing ship or dropped from a plane directly on it. In both cases the objects are designed to release the spiritual-botanic mixture so that it may start to grow on and/or attack the plastics that are accumulating in our oceans and which, pose a threat to ocean life forms and, ultimately, humanity.

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Fashion Narratives: MA DEP exhibition

An exhibition of work emerging from the Fashions and Embodiment studio of the MA in Design: Expanded Practice was on display by appointment in the Constance Howard Gallery between 31 May-21 June. Responding to objects from the Goldsmiths Textile Collection, the work presented open conversations between making and unmaking, global and local, ethics and aesthetics, objects and system, bodies and clothes.

More photos can be found on our Facebook page.