In September, a team of students and staff from the MA in Design: Expanded Practice travelled to Korea to display student work at the international Gwangju Design Biennale. The projects were produced a part of the ‘Pataphysical Responses’ brief on the course earlier this year.
Students Stacey Joy Rossouw, Daye Song and Youngsang Kim worked alongside Goldsmiths Design staff members Terry Rosenberg and Martin Conreen to curate, design and set up the show on the ground. Watch the video above to see how the trip went!
Several MA Design: Expanded Practice students/graduates took part in Makerversity’s Re-Making Place Civic Hack this year. The project brought together practitioners with diverse skills to answer the question: “How can we create new conversations around the use of public space in cities in terms of inclusion, interaction and civic good?”
After an initial event in July facilitated by Hefin Jones (an Associate Lecturer in the Design department at Goldsmiths), three teams worked over the summer on their ideas for reimagining the function of urban public space. The outcomes were then presented in an exhibition at Somerset House during the London Design Festival, competing for a chance to put the proposals into practice and win a six month residency sponsored by the Northbank BID.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.