Archive for the ‘Staff’ category

Nigel Carrington on action to improve student experience at UAL

The latest National Student Survey shows many courses at or near the very highest levels of satisfaction… but it also shows that UAL has disappointed students in some important respects.

Overall satisfaction has dropped from 74% to 71%, although satisfaction with teaching is up 1%. Indeed, the score for overall satisfaction is lower than the average satisfaction level across all other indicators. Almost 30% of our students are telling us that, taken as a whole, their experience at UAL didn’t live up to expectations. This matters a lot. We all need to work with our students to ensure there is a strong academic and creative experience at UAL.

I have therefore asked Philip Broadhead, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), to work with Pro Vice-Chancellors and follow up a range of College, School and course initiatives which were agreed last month.

We are well placed to help improve these scores. A number of actions are already underway. In 2013, we put in place a targeted programme, called Making A Difference, for courses with low levels of satisfaction of 60% or less. Encouragingly, this markedly improved results for nearly all participating courses, and we will deploy it again this year for the 20 courses with overall satisfaction levels below 60%.

We have introduced anonymous student evaluation for all units and a new academic support structure, including Academic Support online. Colleges have improved communication between staff and students, feedback turnaround times and access to equipment. We will also put major investment into the student experience through the UAL strategy for 2015-2020, which will be launched soon.

I know many members of staff have worked hard for some time to improve the student experience, and may be frustrated by the recent NSS results. We are doing the right things, and they will work.

In the meantime, I want to make two points on early action and responsibility.

First, we must ensure that students see that we respond to their feedback quickly. This means showing that we are listening, taking immediate action to identify their concerns, and – crucially – telling them when the problem has been resolved. We cannot wait for the National Student Survey at the end of the degree in order to listen to our students.

Second, wherever we work and whatever we do, each of us contributes to the student experience. This is not something which happens in a different part of the university, or only with teaching staff, or just because of management. Our students have delivered a clear message on what they expect from UAL as a whole. Please help to reassure them we are each listening to them and will address their concerns.

Inside the Industry: Imran Amed of the Business of Fashion in conversation with Frances Corner

Inside the Industry with Imran Amed at LCF Inside the Industry with Imran Amed at LCF Inside the Industry with Imran Amed at LCF

Discussing all things creative and commercial, Business of Fashion website founder and editor Imran Amed set LCF’s 2014 Inside the Industry series off with an insightful and savvy start this week.

Since its inception in 2007 as a blog updated from Amed’s sofa, the Business of Fashion (BoF) has become an indispensible daily resource for fashion designers, executives, entrepreneurs and of course switched-on students worldwide.

As a self-proclaimed “fashion outsider” who had spent most of his career in the corporate world of management consultancy, Amed explained he wanted to see beyond the glamour, celebrity and flash bulb realm of fashion:

“That is obviously part of the industry but behind all of that is this magic. I was trying to understand how that magic happened and to show the more serious side of fashion.”

It’s this objective approach that has encouraged critics to not only take BoF seriously as a legitimate source but also the entire fashion industry as a global influencer -

“What BoF has done is provide a new dialogue around what the fashion industry is: how it can be improved, what its merits and demerits are, why it’s interesting and why it’s a contributor to popular culture.”

For an industry often considered trivial and superficial, it was motivating to hear someone with a healthy distance still value the driving force fashion is in society, from the economy to technology. Amed touched upon the excitement over the Apple watch at last month’s fashion shows, for example.

But for all its influence, he spoke as frankly in person about the industry’s failings as BoF. Amed answered students’ questions covering topics from intellectual property (“if creativity is the lifeblood of the industry then as an industry we must strive to protect ideas”) to underpaid internships (“I hope over time there’ll be more balance over how the profits of the fashion industry are shared”) to sweatshop labour (“just think about what it takes for a company to be able to sell a bag for £5, who has been rewarded along the way?”)

Hearing his points from a business as well as cultural perspective was particularly interesting. For budding fashion entrepreneurs, perceptive advice about appealing to consumers and “pro-sumers” (professional consumers taking an active role through social media and brand awareness) in the 21st century was gold dust.

“There’s still aspiration in fashion image but there’s a lot of inspiration in brands that are growing and developing online now. Inspiring people to be interested in your brand, to take part in your brand and to have a conversation about your brand is a much more powerful way of engaging people.”

Amed also took a considered approach to the current, unsustainable speed of design turnover. Reminding us “newness is what drives conversation but predictability, stability, experience, foundation is what drives the business of fashion”. In other words, designers don’t be overwhelmed! Find your own signature Chanel 2.55 bag, Burberry trench or Furstenberg wrap dress!

With BoF’s worldwide outreach, it was interesting to hear Amed’s view of the industry on a global scale. While he believes the four major fashion capitals will remain key, we should “do away with fashion nationalism”. He encouraged us to think of the global fashion centres as “global fashion platforms” rather than rigid representatives of that country’s own fashion tradition.

It’s a good point considering so many buyers and editors were apparently underwhelmed with last season’s collections. “If we looked for creativity beyond our own borders maybe we could make things a bit more exciting and make it justifiable to spend all that money and time travelling round.” Amed’s emerging market to watch out for is Africa and advice to expanding businesses is to always remain respectful of local cultures and traditions.

Of course the ultimate question was: what advice could he give anyone wanting to enter and be successful within fashion? A novice less than a decade ago, Amed has learnt everything he knows along the way and finished with a few simple guidelines. Keep your integrity and professionalism as a business and individual, designers wanting to make a success of their brands should understand the business basics too, find your USP and most of all remain passionate. “You have to care about this industry to be successful in it.”

From someone who’s built an award-winning resource up from mere “passion project”, there are few who’d know better.

The post Inside the Industry: Imran Amed of the Business of Fashion in conversation with Frances Corner appeared first on LCF News.

LCC Research Fellow Brad Butler exhibits at Hayward Gallery

Image: Film still from work by Brad Butler and Karen Mirza

Image: Film still from work by Brad Butler and Karen Mirza

Two films by Brad Butler, a London College of Communication (LCC) Research Fellow, feature in Hayward Gallery exhibition MIRRORCITY, open now until Sunday 4 January 2015.

MIRRORCITY explores the effect the digital revolution has had on our experiences. It includes recent work and new commissions by emerging and established London-based artists who seek to address the challenges, conditions and consequences of living in a digital age.

Brad completed a PhD at LCC under supervisor William Raban and has since become a Post Doctoral Research Fellow at the College.

Brad and his creative partner Karen Mirza have been shortlisted for the sixth Artes Mundi Prize, the UK’s biggest contemporary art prize, and will exhibit with other shortlisted artists in Cardiff from 24 October 2014 until 22 February 2015.

UAL Research caught up with Brad to find out more about his current projects.

Tell us about the work you are showing in MIRRORCITY.

I am showing a new work, ‘Everything for Everyone and Nothing for Us’, alongside an existing work, ‘Hold your Ground’. Shown side by side, these two films speak to each other, though there’s a slight awkwardness about their conversation. They are both about languages of protest, and the relationship of the body to protest.

‘Everything for Everyone and Nothing for Us’ is set in a TV studio, where a protester-in-training listens to audio extracts from a political speech by Margaret Thatcher. Having absorbed the sounds, the protester uses movement to exorcise Thatcher’s voice, retraining the body to resist capitalism.

In ‘Hold Your Ground’, the same protester struggles to turn utterances into speech. Her efforts are interrupted by archive footage of protests in Egypt, Northern Ireland and London. Eventually, she manages to pronounce four phonetic phrases reconstructed from Arabic, meaning ‘hold your ground’, ‘Egyptians’, ‘homeland’ (of the earth, of the Nile) and ‘strike’.

The title of ‘Hold Your Ground’ is taken from the pamphlet How To Protest Intelligently. ‘Everything for Everyone and Nothing for Us’ echoes the slogan of the Mexican Zapatista liberation movement, which began its struggle against neoliberalism, exploitation and racist oppression in 1994.

Why did you choose LCC for your PhD studies, and how did you find the experience?

I chose LCC based on the supervisors primarily. William Raban and Elizabeth Edwards understood my project and process. It was, for me, a perfect match of expertise and timing, and before I knew it I was in the programme supported by LCC’s Research department to find funding.

From there it was a great experience and formative for my work. While academia may not suit every praxis, it proved to be a chance for me to go deeper in a supported semi-autonomous way.

The links later on to a post-doctorate have felt natural. So far I have been encouraged and I feel I fit. Basically, over the last 19 years of being an artist I have worked out the hard way how important it is to work with the right people. Even great ideas will become exhausting if that is not a priority.

Brad Butler talks about his research at LCC's Graduate School Festival, May 2014. Image © Lewis Bush.

Brad Butler talks about his research at LCC’s Graduate School Festival, May 2014. Image © Lewis Bush.

Read the original interview in full on the UAL Research pages

Read Brad’s Research profile

Read more about Research at LCC

The post LCC Research Fellow Brad Butler exhibits at Hayward Gallery appeared first on London College of Communication Blog.

MA Fashion Journalism students launch #NOFILTER magazine

The newly launched #NOFILTER magazine Inside #NOFILTER magazine Inside #NOFILTER magazine

A group of students from the MA Fashion Journalism course have launched #NOFILTER magazine, a publication that rather than telling women how they should be, empowers women to be happy with who they are now.

LCF News spoke to publisher Caitlin Gillespie who told us about how the publication came about.

#NoFilter came together after a group of us MA Fashion Journalism students got together, it just so happened that 90% of us were female, and over coffee just got to talking about life.  It came around extremely organically, as we knew we wanted to do something on feminism.  At least a few of the girls were hesitant because their understanding of feminism and feminist were not particularly positive, thus #NoFilter came about.

We felt that everything we saw on TV, everything we read in magazines and even the social media we ourselves use is continually coaching us to be someone different, to be someone ‘better’.  We decided then that it was important that we provided something that we felt discussed feminism in the same way we talked about it with our friends, even our male friends, as something that encourages women to be happy with who they are, to have goals and to have aspirations, but to also appreciate themselves the way they already are.  As a new generation of people entering the industry, we felt that we wanted to make our opinion on popular culture, feminism and women known.

At that first meeting we created our manifest statement:

“We are a collaborative of young creatives who believe that the magazine market is inundated with publications that perpetuate an image and understanding of women that we no longer identify with. We embody a new generation of women that view, consume and decipher their world differently.  The prevalence of social media and the never-ending access to information means we exist in a far more global world than ever before.  We are international women looking to be recognised for who we are, not constantly told who we should aim to be.”

Free copies of the first issue of #NOFILTER are available across all LCF campuses and around London.

The post MA Fashion Journalism students launch #NOFILTER magazine appeared first on LCF News.

Guest post: The essential act of drawing by Rob Phillips

Rob Phillips, Creative Director of the School of Design and Technology

Rob Phillips, Creative Director for the School of Design and Technology, @robphillipswork

Rob Phillips, Creative Director for the School of Design & Technology is obsessed with image making and believes, in his own words, “drawing to be the most important, visceral and inspiring skill any designer or anyone wanting to enter fashion should have, not just for their practice but their mind”.

In recent weeks Rob has been using Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to show his speedy sketches of the LFW Spring 2015 international catwalk collections that sit amongst other imagery he creates and finds inspiring. Here the LCF director takes to the LCF News airways to share his thoughts on drawing and fashion.

Everyone in design should draw, and they shouldn’t be afraid. I can draw up to 100 sketches a day and throw them all in the bin because I just don’t feel them. That’s fine. It’s an ongoing practice and I can simply start again.

Images are more powerful than words and the body is the most expressive form, drawing only heightens its power. This is half the reason I became interested in fashion. For designers, understanding the body is so important. With a simple pencil you can connect with the body – feeling the clothes, the creases as your hand moves over the page. It’s an invigorating connection from eyes and mind, to hand, to paper.

I can really understand the frustrations students feel with drawing. Many of them have come from backgrounds that heavily value academic drawing, realistic, almost photographic styles. They are beautiful but as organic creatures we have a series of very complex feelings and thoughts within us. By juxtaposing these realistic and academic skills with more expressive and abstract styles, we can explore our thoughts more deeply and more personally. What’s more, this often results in more originality as well as giving rise to new design ideas.

Personally, I take photos, sketch and do something creative every day. If it’s not fashion based then it’s something else I want to capture that will carry my message.

I love social media as it’s a great way to engage people and communicate with them beyond final outcomes. In fact the use of these platforms is part of my process. The end is not when I have completed a sketch, nor is it when I have photographed it, edited it and uploaded it. No, it ends with the audience – their interaction, comments, likes and shares. This all adds to the work that’s being shown and that’s wonderful. I’m not a brutal editor when it comes to social media, if I do something or see something interesting or exciting, I send it out there. Even if I think a drawing I’ve done is rubbish I still put it out there as the audience interaction is what completes it. Any serious designer today understands the importance of the audience/consumer.

I really get into a head space when I draw. I need music (I reference the tracks in my social posts), plenty of different media, research and imagery and most importantly – more importantly than an idea – a feeling. It’s that sense of feeling that comes out of my pencil, through posture, an attitude, an expression. I work fast and instinctively.

Life drawing is one of my favourites. I use myself when I don’t have a model. Pulling poses and photographing them to help me understand the body, posture, to feel form, bone, flesh and silhouette. When I draw using my mind’s eye I have tendencies to get a person stuck in my head and they will appear on the paper in various guises. That’s why I love drawing, I can bond with the feelings and character in front of me.

Teaching drawing isn’t just fun, its enlightening.  When you see someone break through the barrier of socially and historically constructed values of what types of drawing are acceptable, when they realise the flick of a line the daub of a brush can express more emotion than any other image, it’s deep and it’s beautiful.


Rob Phillips, Creative Director for the School of Design and Technology, @robphillipswork

The post Guest post: The essential act of drawing by Rob Phillips appeared first on LCF News.

Lisandro Olmos wins Fourth Annual Lowe Nova Awards

Lisandro Olmos, BA Fashion Menswear

Lisandro Olmos, BA Fashion Menswear

Congratulations to Lisandro Olmos who was awarded the Fourth Annual Lowe Nova Award last night. Lisandro’s menswear collection was inspired by recent student protests in his native Venezuela against the government’s socioeconomic policies.

The awards ceremony, which took place in Notting Hill, saw five of this year’s 13 finalists presented with Lowe Nova Awards - the overall winner, three runners up and a Unilever Magic Award:

Ferdinand Freiler Jack Idle Sinaida Michalskaja Rosie Pilkington awards

- Twitter #LoweNova

The post Lisandro Olmos wins Fourth Annual Lowe Nova Awards appeared first on Central Saint Martins: News.

Open Access Week: October 20-26, Everywhere


Open Access Week is a global event, now in its seventh year, promoting Open Access as a new norm in scholarship and research.

Open Access means free availability of published scholarly research. Open Access literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright holder.

Academic authors rarely receive royalties for their scholarly writing; they publish their research as a benefit to their fields, and to society as a whole. However, this work is then sold by the publishers at very high prices. Students and scholars lucky enough to belong to wealthy universities can find and use this material because their libraries buy it for them, but the vast majority of interested people simply can’t access this scholarship.

The Internet is changing this. In the digital age, scholarly research can be made available online for free access, licensed for the widest possible visibility and use, while still protecting the authors’ rights.

Open Access is part of the wider ‘Open’ environment: a commitment to sharing ideas and innovation as part of a worldwide community. This is the most effective way to support knowledge transfer, and ensure that universities and colleges can play a leading role in stimulating the knowledge economy.

UAL supports the Open environment and is committed to Open Access. UAL Research Online is the university’s Open Access collection of its research outputs; hundreds of people visit UALRO every day to browse, discover and download the texts of our scholarly publications, as well as rich content representing our practice-based research. UALRO was the first Open Access institutional collection of scholarly research in arts and design, and remains the biggest and best known collection of its type. Over 35,000 individual research items are available in UALRO, and the collection is growing every day. Contact us at to find out more,  arrange one-to-one training, and open up free, global access to your scholarly research.

Interview: Andrea Zimmerman on her Artangel Win

Andrea Zimmerman and Adrian Jackson (photo by Ewa Hertzog)

Andrea Zimmerman and Adrian Jackson (photo by Ewa Hertzog)

Dr. Andrea Luka Zimmerman is a filmmaker and cultural activist who works as a lecturer and tutor on our Performance Design and Practice course. She recently won the prestigious Artangel open commission 2014 together with Adrian Jackson, founder of the Cardboard Citizens theatre company.

Here, Andrea talks about her Artangel win:

“It’s going to be a rhyme on Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves, which was made just after WW2. We’re looking at how we use it as a starting point to look at the London we’ve got today. We’re looking at the dream that London presents itself with, around issues of bicycles and vulnerability in the city.

“Both Adrian and I have for many years worked with communities that are often narrativized as marginal, and this takes away some of their agency. We’re looking at the obstinacy, we’re looking at the resilience, we’re looking at the untold stories. In the mainstream media these stories don’t exist, and if they do they’re just another inscription of cliches. We try and really throw that up in the air.

Photo from Andrea's 'Estate, a Reverie' project

Photo from Andrea’s ‘Estate, a Reverie’ project

“It’s very early stages of this project, so we have to follow our noses. We are very fortunate because the award allows us to do that. There will be a London that we discover through the eyes of people that we don’t usually discover London through. Part of the process of this project is to really, truly have open eyes and follow some people to experience their world.

“There are some really different communities we’re working with, not just one. There’ll also be bigger public events and live events that include the general public. We don’t want to make a distinction between one and the other.

“Margaret Mead said this really beautiful thing: that in our time we need to find that which is the commonality among us rather than the separation. Everything is always separated, but actually we have so much in common as human beings, if we allow it.”

Andrea’s will be speaking at a screening of her work Taskafa: Stories of the Street at Whitechapel Gallery on 13 November. Her film Estate, a Reverie premiers at the Rio cinema on 22 November.

You can read the full interview with Andrea on the website.

More information:
Performance Design and Practice
Andrea’s profile
- Andrea in conversation

The post Interview: Andrea Zimmerman on her Artangel Win appeared first on Central Saint Martins: News.

Spatial Practices Students Design in Rio

Jongo's House workshop

Jongo’s House workshop

Staff and students from our Spatial Practices programme recently went to Rio de Janeiro to take part in a two-week design workshop hosted by Studio X Rio.

The workshop produced furniture designs and full-scale prototypes for Jongo da Serrinha, a local NGO. The organisation is dedicated to promoting culture, educating the youth and preserving traditional African-Brazilian jongo music. It is in the process of building ‘Jongo’s House’, a new headquarters to host its activities.

Participants were asked to consider the ways domestic furniture can engage the public by creating comfort and intimacy. The designs and prototypes also needed to be creative, low-cost and practical.

1956810_823258211027637_3273489939590639809_o 10007314_823259687694156_8829935814364024443_o 10174864_823261241027334_4691143987858513844_n 10626865_823261434360648_8978957336357975572_n 10711076_822871674399624_5882340014847039161_n 10626347_822871294399662_1903849970537018664_o 10662172_822871297732995_7795213375348689739_o 10669190_822871924399599_1073533413455970711_o 1378352_822871891066269_8668115170343777076_n

Working together with students from PUC-Rio university and local architects, artists and designers, our students developed a new family of primary school furniture.

Their work was informed by research into Oscar Niemeyer and Darcy Ribeiro’s radical ‘Integrated Centres of Public Education’ (CIEP) project, which provided uniform, high-quality primary schools across Rio de Janeiro state.

This project coincided with an exhibition about public education, which featured information on CIEPs, at the Museu de Arte do Rio.

More information:
Spatial Practices programme

10620025_824483604238431_2481789798435031701_o 1966282_824484317571693_900055670047519889_o 1621889_824484800904978_3868485890119770046_n 1912093_824484737571651_773158161357070953_o 10414503_824484760904982_7675148028451008629_n 1795231_824484484238343_2863049041028427835_o

The post Spatial Practices Students Design in Rio appeared first on Central Saint Martins: News.

Tonight: Lowe Nova Awards 2014

Boris Raux (shortlisted)  © Jennifer Pattison

Boris Raux (shortlisted) © Jennifer Pattison

Tonight sees the climax of the Lowe Nova Awards 2014, with an awards ceremony held in conjunction with Central Saint Martins.

The best creative talents from this year’s degree show have already been shortlisted and the overall winners will be announced later today.

This year’s list includes ground-breaking womenswear from fashion designer Sang Yoon, amazing use of colour by digital artist Rose Pilkington, and ceramics that address social issues from Monika Grandvaux-Piskorek.

Take a tour through the shortlist in this Lowe and partners video.

You can follow proceedings on Twitter at #LoweNova

More information:
- Lowe Nova Awards
- Degree Shows 2014

The post Tonight: Lowe Nova Awards 2014 appeared first on Central Saint Martins: News.