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New Course Discourse // BA (Hons) Information and Interface Design

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Digital installation.

In our latest New Course Discourse feature, we chat to Programme Director Ben Stopher to find out more about the new BA (Hons) Information and Interface Design course.

So Ben, can you explain a little bit about the course and its aims?

Well this new course is highly digital and its design lead, so really the core of the course is about putting information design and interface design in this more digital context. There are three key specialisms that make up the course, UX and UI, data visualisation and graphic and information design.

If you’ve ever want to make websites, or build apps and data-visualisations, or even just something screen based and visual then this is the course for you.

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Gephi network graph, Ben Stopher, 2015.

What can students expect from the course in terms of structure?

So in the first year you do graphic design, typography and information visualisation. You also do graphic design animation coding for the web, which is a really valuable skill to develop.

In year two you start to work in the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design studio, then you do interactive data visualisation and a major industry project. In both of these units we visit studios and also get live briefs from industry.

Why is this course unique?

It’s highly industry aligned and highly digital. We’ve offered this very specific area because there is definitely a gap. No one else explicitly teaches UX and UI design and no one else explicitly teaches interactive based visualisation so those three things are really unique to this course.

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Gesture capture data visualisation, Ben Stopher, 2015.

In terms of careers and futures, where could this course lead its students?

You can be a UX designer, you can be a UI designer, basically anyone who wants to work with how things look on screen; phone apps, websites, any kind of digital interactive content. There’s tons and tons of work for people with those sorts of skills.

One of the main selling points of this course is that it is highly industry aligned, and designers that have those kind of digital skills – that can work with data – are going to be highly sought after.

The industry really struggles to find designers with that digital skill set – and so that’s partly why we developed this course.

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Introduction to Infographics Workshop, 2015.

So what skills or qualifications are you going to be looking for in students?

We take students from foundation but we would also consider students straight from A level, if they know that they want to do digital design then we will look at their portfolios. Students will have similar qualities to applicants for Graphic Media Design, but also an awareness of what UX and UI is.

If you are an A level student who knows what those things are then you are highly likely to be a person that would be relevant for us to look at. I don’t expect schools to have a clue about the nuance of this course, but it’s about if the applicant has enough presence of mind to know what these things are, and thinks they might want to do them, then I’ll look at anything.

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LCC student with digital work.

Any last words?

It’s a super future relevant digital course. Graduates are going to be highly sort after because it isn’t a massive course, there are only 25 places. Students will get a brand new studio and a whole new team of tutors.

Find out more about BA (Hons) Information and Interface Design.

The post New Course Discourse // BA (Hons) Information and Interface Design appeared first on London College of Communication Blog.

UAL selected to host one of seven debates celebrating 10 years of AHRC

University of the Arts London (UAL) has been selected as one of seven universities to participate in a debate series celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Books and the Human

 The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects,  Marshall McLuhan, Quentin Fiore, 1967

The theme of the series is ‘The Way We Live Now’ and the debates will examine key aspects of the human world, the ways in which these subjects are changing and shaping our lives, and will explore the ways in which the arts and humanities can help us understand this changing world.

UAL was selected from over 40 universities to take part in this prestigious series of events, and will be hosting its debate entitled ‘Books and the Human’ in December 2015 at Central Saint Martins. The debate will pose the question: what are the primary relationships between books and knowledge, and between books and human beings? This question will be addressed through expanded debates which draw together the fields of philosophy, history, politics, sociology, literature and creative practice. Additional events held at Central Saint Martins and other UAL colleges will explore how books are conceived, crafted, experienced and shared.

The debate series will be launched with the Curating the Nation debate on 11th  June at the British Museum and will run for several months, with further details to follow over the next few months.

Programme Director and Course Leader of MA Communication Design at Central Saint Martins Rebecca Wright, who was part of the team to put forward UAL’s application, said of being selected for the series: “We’re delighted that UAL has been chosen to take part in this debate series to celebrate ten years of AHRC. The Graphic Communication Design programme at Central Saint Martins has a long and rich history of association with typography and book design, dating back to 1896 as the Central School of Arts and Crafts. Hosting this AHRC national debate provides an exciting opportunity to explore the form, function and future of the book from the perspectives of making and thinking, integrating design with the wider humanities. Our interest is in how the book is intimately linked to the way we live now.”

Meet Paula & Adriana: The New UAL Alumni Group in Sweden

Meet Paula & Adriana who are setting up the new Swedish alumni group. Read more about their journey from UAL to Stockholm, and how they want YOU to get involved in this new and exciting group…

Adriana & Paula

Adriana & Paula

What did you both study? & did you enjoy your time at UAL?
Paula studied MA Fashion Photography at London College of Fashion and Adriana studied the Certificate in Digital Surface Design at London College of Communication.

We both had an amazing time, even if completely different experiences.

Paula moved from Caracas to London for the course. Everything was new and exciting, so “fun” and “scary” are good descriptions of those first days in UAL. The university provided a lot of support, so the transition into a happy Londoner was faster and smoother than she had expected.  And having classes in different campuses turned out to be an amazing way to get to know London better as a city.

Adriana on the other hand, had been living and working in Surrey for a while. After a couple of years working in graphic design, she found herself in a bit of a creative rut – taking the course meant meeting some amazing and very inspirational people, finding a new direction for her creative life and finally understanding the true awesomeness of London.

 

How did you meet? Tell us about how you came to set up a studio together?
Their’s is a bit of a random story: after finishing her Surface Design course and moving to Madrid, Adriana set up a little ceramic label. A few years later Paula contacted her, wanting to buy some beer mugs that were sold out on the website. By then Adriana already lived in Stockholm but was travelling home to Barcelona a few days after; coincidentally Paula lived in Barcelona at that point, so they arranged to meet to make the transaction. They ended up having coffee and talking for the most part of an afternoon. And that was that – until more than a year after, when as life would have it, Paula moved to Stockholm as well. They got back in contact and the second coffee meant the beginning of a great friendship and now business partnership.

Last April they launched Nothing Can Go Wrng, a colourful Print + Pattern Design Studio. With Paula’s background in Fashion and Adriana’s past in the interiors market it was the perfect fit. They create photographic and illustrated repeats, both commissioned and ready-made, always colourful, upbeat and fun. They also run the blog Repeattt on design and creative life in Stockholm.

 

What made you want to set up an alumni group in Sweden? & what do you hope to achieve from it?
“After always sighing at the lack of an alumni group here in Stockholm, we decided it was time to change that. The Swedish creative industry, even if buoyant and prolific it can be daunting and very tight knit, especially for those who are new to the country or have spent a significant time overseas. So with the group we would like to establish a creative and supportive network of likeminded people to meet with, get inspired, share memories, seek advice and most of all have fun! We are talking after-work drinks, master-classes, critique groups, collective exhibitions and any other creative input or outlet possible, you name it!

Right now we would like to bring together a core team interested in setting up the group, with the aim of having our first event in May. We are based in Stockholm, but anyone keen on helping will be welcomed! Just send us an email at ualalumnisweden@gmail.com or reach us via the Facebook page.”

 

World Theatre Day 2015

To celebrate World Theatre Day 2015, we asked Course Leader of BA Theatre & Screen: Theatre Design at Wimbledon College of Arts Lucy Algar to tell us how theatre can be used as a positive force for change and understanding.

“For many centuries cultures from all over the world have turned to performance as a way of celebrating change and important events, of marking the passage of time and as a means by which people can question their very existence. Theatre offers us glimpses into other worlds and helps us to make sense of contemporary and historical issues.

From the Olympic Opening Ceremonies to the most intimate one to one performances people are affected and influenced by music, words, moving bodies and extraordinary design. This influence can change peoples’ perception of others and so it is through theatre that communities, both small and on a world scale, can develop new understandings and enjoy life.”

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Image from collaborative project run by Lucy Algar and 3rd year theatre designers with choreographer Angela Woodhouse from Middlesex University and her 3rd year dance/choreography students – performed at Wimbledon College of Arts in February. Set design by Qinzi Huang.

Course Director of MA Theatre Design at Wimbledon Michael Pavelka recently wrote a piece for the Guardian Culture Professionals Network on how to become a theatre designer, listing patience, grit and resourcefulness as essential attributes for budding designers:

“Life in the theatre is not kind to the shy and retiring, so you have to be able to give (consistently) 100%, made up of the clichéd but no-less-truthful 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. What if you don’t find “that spark” in a project? If you want the job, you’ll just have to, to challenge yourself.”

On Wednesday 25 March MA Curating and Collections at Chelsea College of Arts opened ‘Work from the Collections #3: Jocelyn Herbert and Samuel Beckett’, a new exhibition held at Wimbledon College of Arts exploring the working relationship between acclaimed theatre and film designer Jocelyn Herbert and iconic playwright and author Samuel Beckett. The materials for the exhibition, including sketchbooks, set and costume drawings and annotated scripts, have been selected from the Jocelyn Herbert Archive at the National Theatre, the NT’s only archive dedicated to a theatre designer. The exhibition runs until 10th April.

From LCC to Hollywood, alumnus Henry Hobson talks to us about his work on the Oscars, his feature film and more

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Oscars graphics 2015, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Henry Hobson.

Since graduating from the BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design course at LCC, Henry Hobson has gone on to make it big in showbusiness. From leading the graphic designs for the Oscars, to directing his own feature film ‘Maggie’ starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Henry has worked his way to the top.

In the week that the first trailer for his Tribeca Film Festival-nominated movie is released, we caught up with him to find out a little more about his journey from LCC to Hollywood.

Can you tell us a little bit about your time at LCC. What were the most important lessons you learnt here?

I studied at LCC, or LCP as I knew it, for my Foundation course and BA. From the outset the focus on design was what drew me in, even on Foundation my tutors helped me explore the possibilities of design, and this was just before computers were becoming truly effective design tools.

Handmade and crafted techniques that I learnt, testing out colour and thinking critically meant that when I got to the BA I already had a shorthand in place.

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Oscars graphics 2015, The Imitation Game, Henry Hobson.

During term time I would do internships – I worked in my first year with Why Not Associates. I found the first couple of weeks a bit dull, but doing small tasks and little pieces of work helped me understand how valuable the creative experience I was getting at LCC was.

I learnt to push as hard as possible with projects, answering the briefs how I wanted to answer them. I learnt there is no incorrect answer if you have navigated to it from the brief. I still stick to that open way of thinking now, when a brief comes in.

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The making of the Oscars graphics 2015, Interstellar, Henry Hobson.

Can you quickly talk us through your journey from graduation to where you are now in your career? Were there any key opportunities that you feel particularly grateful for? Formative experiences?

By the time I left LCC I had done so many internships that I was able to get a job at Why Not Associates almost straight away. I worked for them for years, before getting a place at the Royal College of Art. Whilst studying at a postgraduate level, I still found that my experiences at LCC, and the lessons I learnt there were fundamental in developing my ability to think creatively, even though they were hard to get my head around at the time.

What made you move to America, and is there a difference in the culture of design in the UK and the US?

The move to America came a little bit out of the blue, after my work was spotted. I found the design culture intensely different. Even my first week in the States when I was asked to pitch and I was presenting concepts and theories, the Americans wanted finished designs in the pitch not theories. The technical skill level is insane here.

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Oscars graphics 2015, Boyhood, Henry Hobson.

How did you get into films, and can you explain a little about what led you to your feature film, ‘Maggie’?

I chose LCC because of the late Ian Noble, who sat me down when I went to a D&AD event in Holborn. I wanted to study film and Ian convinced me that design was a secret backdoor into cinema, telling me that Hitchcock, Ridley Scott, Kirostami and others all started as designers, and that the British film industry is so closed off it would be so difficult.

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The making of the Oscars graphics 2015, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Henry Hobson.

So my long game always involved film, using moving image and design as a creative outlet to try and tell stories. Why Not Associates had their foot in all sorts of doors and shortly before arriving I was able to be mentored by David Ellis in directing, going to shoots and being behind the camera.

I learnt the technical terms and ways of working and this allowed me the confidence when I moved to the states to tell bigger stories. It was a few of those bigger stories that led me to Maggie.

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Oscars graphics 2015, Birdman, Henry Hobson.

With your feet so firmly in both the graphic design industry and the film industry, where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time, how will you maintain that balance, or do you want to move more definitely into one area?

I love being in both areas! Creatively design allows for a more spontaneous outlet and film is the slow fix, you have to have immense stamina to build and work on films, because they take so long to make!

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Oscars graphics 2015, Maleficent, Henry Hobson.

What advice would you give someone graduating from a graphics course this summer?

I left LCC and my website was filled with conceptual thinking and graphic projects, which was an exciting position to be in. However, I soon realised that to get where I wanted to be I needed to tailor my portfolio into a language that design studios could see as applicable; to show proficiency in the core software and subtlety within my designs. My advice would be to keep this exciting conceptual stuff on your websites, but think about sectioning them off to show the different ways you can work.

Find out more about BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design.

Read Slate.com’s fascinating interview with Henry about his graphic designs for the Oscars.

Read Artofthetitle.com’s interview with behind the scenes pictures of the Oscars graphic design process.

The post From LCC to Hollywood, alumnus Henry Hobson talks to us about his work on the Oscars, his feature film and more appeared first on London College of Communication Blog.