Archive for the ‘London College of Communication’ category

New Course Discourse // MA International Journalism (Online)


LCC’s Russell Merryman in the newsroom.

In our latest New Course Discourse feature, we chat to Course Leader Russell Merryman to find out more about the new course MA International Journalism (Online).

Can you tell us a bit about why this course has been created?

I suppose the aim, really, is to make practitioners – journalism or media studies graduates – more aware of the growing internationalisation of the media.

Before the internet, all media was regionalised or territorialised, either by nation or locale, and that was a limitation of the technology that was being used, whether it was newspapers or satellite TV.

The internet’s changed all that, and in effect everybody who publishes now is an international journalist.

But what we want to do is to try and make people more aware of the issues that are raised by that – that the playing field has radically changed – and raise an awareness about the different kinds of approaches to storytelling, narrative, law, ethics and freedom of expression.


Journalism students working in the newsroom.

How does the course content compare to an undergraduate journalism course?

On a good undergraduate programme students will be taught how to edit video, edit audio, deal with laying out a page, use social media, create websites.

What we want to do is take that on and engage people with some of the very exciting new storytelling platforms that are available, that allow people to create in-depth documentary-style journalism.

Long-form narrative, ways in which we can get under the skin of a story much more effectively than we ever could before, and engage the audience in a new type of interactive dialogue.

We want to let people explore and experiment within their own art, as it were, and within their own discipline, and really try and bring their journalism to life. Not just by examining what’s going on around them with an international perspective, but also collaborating with students in other parts of the world.


Artefact magazine, produced by LCC’s BA (Hons) Journalism students.

We’ll also be bringing in people from industry. Many of the tutors who we’re looking to recruit onto the course have experience with international broadcasters and news organisations, and we’ll be bringing in guest speakers as well.

We’ll be looking for the students themselves to bring their own experience from their own part of the world to the table, and make that part of the debate.

All of this works towards a final major project, whether that be a research dissertation or a multimedia documentary. That’s where we want them to get to at the end of the two-year course.

Can you talk a bit more about the ‘online’ aspect of the MA?

The programme is delivered entirely online so there will be no requirement to travel to London, no requirement for visas and no requirement for expensive rents. It’s part-time, so students can study it whilst, I hope, holding down a full-time job.

So it is designed with practitioners in mind – people who want to build their international perspectives on the work they are doing as journalists, and hone those skills with a group of like-minded people in an online community of interest.

For the College, it’s not the first time we’ve done online courses. We’ve got experience of doing those already, with a very successful photojournalism and documentary photography course, and we want to build on that.

emily bell gesture

Emily Bell, former Editor-in-Chief of Guardian Online, giving the annual Hugh Cudlipp Lecture to LCC students.

We’re going to be looking at a number of aspects of journalism that are affected by developments on the internet and the international perspectives that it brings.

So things like data journalism, developmental journalism, how journalism operates in emerging democracies, is the Western model really the right model? Are there are models that work more effectively in those environments? And what are the limitations and challenges of those areas?

You mentioned LCC’s reputation in providing online courses, but what else can the College offer to your future students?

What LCC brings to the table in this case is the experience of the staff, and the focus on communities of practice and communities of interest, which we want to take into a virtual realm.

Also there is still access to a lot of the facilities, like Library Services and other systems that we provide to the LCC community, which are available online. There are lots of benefits of being a student, even though you’re not physically in the building.

And connections with other courses – students will make those connections online. Students are talking to each other via the internet even when they’re physically in the building, so we’re building communities across those boundaries. LCC has always been keen to do that – it’s in our DNA.

So students will be joining that very extensive group of experts, fellow students and fellow practitioners. We are actually hoping to collaborate directly with the photojournalists, and get people working together on projects.


LCC journalism students working in the newsroom.

What are you looking for in applicants?

We’ll be looking for people who have some background in journalism – probably journalism graduates. We’re looking for experienced storytellers.

I talk to my students on the undergraduate programme and they say, “What can I do next?” And one of the things that struck me was that a lot of them went on to do things like international politics, which developed their worldview but wouldn’t necessarily develop their journalism.

So I thought there was a gap in the market – we can actually provide people with a Masters course which examines international politics and the issues of freedom of expression from an international perspective, but do so with a journalistic worldview.

We will also be happy to consider non-journalists – people who’ve done media and communications degrees, who’ve got some of those practical skills that we can hone into journalism.


Artefact magazine, produced by LCC’s BA (Hons) Journalism students.

What kinds of careers can graduates from the course expect to go on to? 

We hope that we will turn out people who are confident about tackling some of those international issues, and will be able to do so either as freelance writers, or in international news organisations – the number of which is actually growing.

We are seeing more and more international broadcasters, internet services and magazines coming online. From the days when there was just CNN and the BBC, now there are a huge number of potential employers who are interested in candidates who have a strong worldview and a strong desire to tell stories that have a global reach.

I hope that we will find stories that nobody else is telling, based on the students’ local knowledge and experience. I think that is a really exciting prospect.

Find our more about MA International Journalism (Online)

The post New Course Discourse // MA International Journalism (Online) appeared first on London College of Communication Blog.

Meet: Seulki Kang

Seulki Kang studied Graphic and Media Design: Typography BA (Hons) at the London College of Communication.

Seulki Kang

Seulki Kang

What made you decide to come to London and study at London College of Communication (LCC)?  And what specifically interested you about Typography?
I was attracted to London because it was a city that knew how to keep its old and new by maintaining the history’s architecture, design, arts and culture. I chose LCC due to its environment and history, its portfolio of successful alumni and the curriculum. LCC has the best curriculum for typography and that was the main reason that I decided to enroll at this school. Although, later on I got to lean more towards interaction design.

I was interested in Typography because it came to me as a game of some sort, in which organic space can be created in between letters’ compositions. Also, typography itself is a straightforward medium that can send strong messages and emotions to the viewers without any complicated images.

What’s your favourite memory from your time at LCC?
My favourite memory at LCC was experiencing the analog process of printing with screen-printing and letter press, which is hard to find in fast-changing times like this. It was always fun to use these analog processes that create interesting diversified works.  I only got to take a few Typography classes during my study and moved on to interaction classes. Although interaction classes are fundamentally based on digital skills, I always kept my sketches and used screen-printing for my final results.

What was the best thing LCC taught you?
It’s hard to pinpoint the best thing that LCC taught me, but I can say that I have had a lot of opportunities from my time there; I got a chance to learn how to study design at my own pace, I met students from various cultures and worked together on different projects, and most of all, even though I was just a student, I got many chances to actually experience professional design work in its field.

Did you enjoy living in London? What one piece of advice would you give a student moving to London?
The best thing about living in London is that the city breathes art and design history. There are a number of galleries and places hiding among the streets that give me inspiration. Also, art shows and events are always around. I believe London is THE PLACE for students who are wanting to study art and design. If I were to give one piece of advice for a student moving to London it would be to experience and enjoy these places and moments as much as possible.

What have you been doing since graduating?
After graduating I came back to Korea and worked at a design agency called ‘Vinyl’. I mainly worked as an interaction and new media designer, focusing on special exhibitions, performing arts, digital promotion etc. Also, I created an artist group called ‘atoyfactory’ and hosted group and personal exhibitions, seminars and created art works. Currently, I work at an online game company, ‘Nexon’ in brand and interaction design, and I also teach interaction classes at Universities.

What has been your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement is having the opportunity to create a small community with up-and-coming young designers from different cultures. Also, I used to focus only on the designing skills in a project, but now I feel a sense of fulfillment when I think and solve the essence of the project itself.

What’s next for you?
I am currently planning many things. Since last year, I have co-created ‘boboostore design cooperative’ with other Korean designers. We are planning to innovate new design business models every year. This year our goal is to sustain the cooperative by launching our own brand products. My personal plan is to move on from company ’Nexon’ and go for a new challenge. While I was studying in London I created a group called ‘atoyfactory’ that creates interactive toys. Since then, I have also worked as an art director that combines play, toys and education. I want to further research this and study to make change in educational design – hopefully the doctoral course that I am planning to take starting this year will help me venture out in this field.

What or who is your greatest inspiration?
My greatest inspiration are people who use my work. They could be a middle-aged woman or a five year old boy. In the end, their opinion and interaction with my work shows me the small details and points that I don’t get from the advice of the professionals and specialty publications. And with this direct and indirect feedback, I will be continuously inspired. It is like inexhaustible spring water that flows time after time…

Find out more about the Graphic and Media Design: Typography BA (Hons) at the London College of Communication

Jo Glover, Senior Graphic Designer at the V&A and LCC alumna, talks us through her designs for Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty


Savage Beauty Poster, Jo Glover, V&A, 2015.

The V&A’s record-breaking current exhibition, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, is the first and largest retrospective of the late designer’s work to be presented in Europe.

LCC alumna Jo Glover, who graduated from BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design in 2006, is Senior Graphic Designer at the V&A, and has been in charge of developing the design identity of the exhibition. Jo has been involved in every detail of the show from the selection of the lead image and designing the promotional campaign, to perfecting the details of the guides, leaflets and invitations.


Savage Beauty, Jo Glover, V&A, 2015.

The exhibition will showcase McQueen’s visionary body of work. Spanning his 1992 MA graduate collection to his unfinished A/W 2010 collection, McQueen’s designs will be presented with the dramatic staging and sense of spectacle synonymous with his runway shows.

We caught up with Jo to find out more about her journey from LCC to the V&A.

So Jo, can you tell us a little bit about your role as senior graphic designer at the V&A? How did you get to this job, and what do you enjoy about it?

I got the job in 2011 after working at ad agency Wieden+Kennedy and doing my MA at the RCA. I also worked in branding for three years at Venturethree which helped with the more commercial work I do for marketing.

The job at the V&A combines the parts I loved from the advertising and branding jobs with my first job in the arts and cultural sector designing books for the likes of the RA. I love the variety of working on beautiful luxury print through to exhibition design and way finding. It never gets boring and is always a challenge.


Savage Beauty, Jo Glover, V&A, 2015.

Can you explain your involvement in the Savage Beauty exhibition? What excited you about it and what you were nervous about?

I worked closely with marketing and press and the curatorial team to make sure we told the story of the exhibition through the print and digital campaign. I had to really fight for the very macabre savage image because it could be seen as intimidating but I think the lead image encapsulates the whole idea of both savage and beauty.


Savage Beauty, Jo Glover, V&A, 2015.

So what was important to you in your approach to the designs for Savage Beauty?

In my approach to the savage beauty designs it was important to capture the slick high end luxury feel whilst retaining the darkness that comes through Lee McQueen’s work. We also really wanted to highlight the less known collections as well as the obvious ones. The events like the dinner are very high profile with a number of celebrity guests so we used lots of beautiful embossing, matte and gloss contrasts, and great paper.


Savage Beauty, Jo Glover, V&A, 2015.

How would you describe your style and design sensibilities?

I’d say my style and design sensibilities are very pure, clean and quite classic but this obviously depends on the brief and market I’m working to. You have to be able to adapt and embrace styles that work with the audience or visitors you are targeting.


Savage Beauty, Jo Glover, V&A, 2015.

How did LCC prepare you for life in the working world?

LCC prepared me so well for the working world because I did the industrial placement year where I got valuable experience from Elle magazine in London, the Chase in Manchester and Storm design in Melbourne, Block Branding in Perth and Principals branding and 2Birds design in Sydney. I also worked at Why Not Associates in London when I got back. This allows you to work out what you like and don’t like and also to travel and experience many different ways of working.


Savage Beauty, Jo Glover, V&A, 2015.

Can you give one piece of advice for an aspiring graphic design student?

My one piece of advice would be to work hard, don’t be scared to make mistakes, and make lots of tea to get involved if you’re on a placement!


Savage Beauty, Jo Glover, V&A, 2015.

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

Read Jo’s alumni profile

Find out more about Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty and book tickets

The post Jo Glover, Senior Graphic Designer at the V&A and LCC alumna, talks us through her designs for Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty appeared first on London College of Communication Blog.

LCC staff and students take shows to Derby’s FORMAT International Photography Festival

vietnam deprimed

AK-47 from ‘Vietnam Deprimed’, Lewis Bush, 2014.

Two photography shows curated by LCC staff will be exhibited at this year’s FORMAT International Photography Festival in Derby.

‘Media and Myth’ is curated by LCC alumni Lewis Bush (also a visiting practitioner) and Monica Alcazar-Duarte, with Paul Lowe, Course Leader for MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography.

First staged in 2014 and part-funded by the LCC Graduate School, the exhibition brings together material produced during the College’s NAM project, which explored the role of the media in the Vietnam War.

Participating students took a diverse range of approaches to the topic. They examined the ways in which photography was used to record the conflict, looked at underground zines produced by US servicemen stationed in south-east Asia, and used a variety of media to present their ideas and research.

from 2014 show

Visitors at ‘Media and Myth’ in 2014. Image © Lewis Bush

Lewis tells us: “Though I think Monica and I already had some idea of the diversity of the work produced for the NAM project, we were still quite surprised at what we found when we started really looking.

“There were research projects exploring everything from graphic design and underground magazine production, to the legacy of post-traumatic stress and collections of soldiers’ own photography.

“We were both impressed by the level of commitment some of the students had shown to a research topic that was in some ways quite far removed from the focus of their course.”

‘Media and Myth’ also includes photographs drawn from the Stanley Kubrick Archive, housed at LCC, which proved to be a key resource for many of the participants in the NAM project.

On display are images produced during the making of the director’s 1985 Vietnam War film Full Metal Jacket, which reveal how Kubrick sought to dress and disguise the disused Becton Gasworks site in east London as the set of the battle-scarred Vietnamese city of Hue.

voices of dissent

A spread from ‘Voices of Dissent’, Amin Musa, 2014.

The curators say: “The Vietnam War might have passed into history, but its lessons and legacy remain plain to see in the conduct of modern wars and the way the media report them, and in the ways that these conflicts merge with popular culture and entertainment.”

Artists showing in ‘Media and Myth’ are: Jacob Balzani, Madeleine Corcoran, Cinzia D’Ambrosi, Julia Johnson, Veronika Lukasova, Steve Mepsted, Amin Musa, Linka A. Odom, Lewis Bush and Monica Alcazar-Duarte.

Also at the festival is ‘The Forensic Turn’, a group show curated by LCC’s Paul Lowe and featuring work by Simon Norfolk, Zijah Gafic, Edmund Clark, Ashley Gilbertson, and Fred Ramos.

zijah gafic

Image © Zijah Gafic

The exhibition considers the problems surrounding images of atrocity – often accused of aesthetising or exploiting suffering – and looks at work which depicts not the act of violence or the victim but the spaces and objects involved in such acts.

The artists included in the show focus on the traces of war and conflict rather than its direct effects on the human body, but still open up a space in which the viewer can engage with the situation.

Paul explains: “By exploiting the presence of absence in objects, they offer an alternative and powerful route to the documentation of violence.”

Both shows are open at 1 Corn Exchange, Derby, from Friday 13 March to Sunday 12 April 2015, with a Private View on Thursday 12 March, 7-9pm.

Read more about MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography

Visit the FORMAT Festival website

Read more about the LCC Graduate School

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LCC student Calvin Lok gets visitors talking at V&A

hello sticker

Calvin’s final greeting sticker design. Image © Calvin Lok

Calvin Lok, a student on LCC’s BA (Hons) Spatial Design course, has described showing his work in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s ‘Disobedient Objects’ exhibition as “like a dream come true”.

First-year student Calvin got the chance to collaborate with the internationally renowned museum after receiving an email asking for submissions, and quickly made the decision to apply.

The museum was looking for thought-provoking contributions to their show, which explored  the history of protest, rebellion and revolution.

table setup

Calvin’s work on show at the V&A. Image © Calvin Lok.

When his proposal was accepted, Calvin enlisted fellow student Celine Loh to help fine-tune his ideas. The pair researched ways to engage visitors in a conversation with their exhibit, and with each other.

An initial plan to hand out personalised placards to be carried around the show was rejected in favour of simple greeting stickers reading ‘Hello, I believe in…’, allowing people to complete the sentence in their own words.


Calvin’s posters explored the ideas of revolution and change. Image © Calvin Lok.

Calvin also made mock-revolutionary posters and leaflets printed on newspaper for added authenticity, and used them to show infographics about the history of protest.

Calvin found that the project gave him vital first-hand experience of how people interact with an exhibition and each other in a gallery space.

Looking back on his achievement, he writes, “This is quite possibly the most amazing opportunity I have had in my life thus far”.

girls with stickers

three with stickers

child with santa sticker

couple with stickers

kids with stickers

Visitors enjoy completing the sentence on their stickers. Images © Calvin Lok.

Read Calvin’s blog posts about the show

Read more about BA (Hons) Spatial Design

The post LCC student Calvin Lok gets visitors talking at V&A appeared first on London College of Communication Blog.

Interview // BA (Hons) Journalism Course Leader Vivienne Francis

vivienne landscape

LCC’s Course Leader for BA (Hons) Journalism, Vivienne Francis, in the College’s newsroom.

Vivienne Francis recently joined the College as the new Course Leader for BA (Hons) Journalism, so we decided to find out what she will be bringing to the course and its students.

Our interview covered everything from biker gangs to kicking down barriers and the adrenaline buzz of the newsroom.

Tell us a bit about your work before coming to LCC.

I spent over ten years at the BBC working mainly in television news, current affairs and documentaries.

My journalistic experiences have been pretty eclectic – ranging from exposing un-vetted supply teachers to riding around London in pursuit of biker gangs; and from dodging bullets at a US hip-hop convention to investigating miscarriages of justice.

Since 2007 I’ve been working in higher education as a senior lecturer and programme leader on a suite of journalism courses at Middlesex University. Over the past few years I’ve also been working collaboratively with the media industry and third-sector organisations on student-focused projects.

For example, a multimedia project exploring identity with young Somali women; and a paid commission for students to make a series of films around the 2012 London Olympics.

How do you feel your previous roles will enhance the experience of your students?

I am able to apply more than a decade’s worth of industry experience and subject knowledge to shape curricula, deliver good quality of teaching and connect students with the profession.

I have a strong interest in opening up the industry, and pushing for greater equality of opportunity. It’s pretty shocking that someone’s class, physical ability, gender, or race can still be a barrier to entering and progressing within the media sector.

I’d like to think I equip my students with the confidence and ability to kick down these metaphorical and physical barriers.

How do you see the current relationship between professional journalism and journalism education?

The power of the blogger has blurred the lines of how journalism is defined and understood. Academia must play a role in reinforcing the professional standards of journalism so that it remains a trusted and respected institution.

Traditional skills like coming up with original stories, knowing your law, and being able to hold the establishment to account will always have a strong currency.

However, students also need to be able question, critique and redefine journalism itself and its institutions.

These are the things that will distinguish reliable, professional journalists from the plethora of online self-publishers.

Tell us something about your own time studying at LCC.

To be honest, as a student I came to LCC a bit on a whim. I had a keen interest in current affairs, but really didn’t know what I wanted to do.

One of my first assignments was to report on a London Underground press conference about fare rises.

I carefully crafted and asked my questions. Diligently wrote up my story. But this early assignment had many flaws, and I probably didn’t even get a pass. This was irrelevant. The excitement and adrenaline of working on this real life press event had me hooked on journalism.

Today, we put our current first year students through a similar real life reporting activity.

What are your aims for BA (Hons) Journalism?

I am a competitive person, so my ambition for the course is quite simply to make it the first choice destination for more and more students.

We aim to offer a course that’s in tune with current and future journalistic trends; is academically rigorous; and offers our students opportunities to connect with industry.

What is the course looking for in its students?

We are not necessarily looking for an A* applicant, what is more important is that we can see a passion for journalism.

This can be demonstrated through a love of writing and story-telling; being able to name and critique leading journalists; having completed work experience; or, by being involved on a student newspaper or blog.

Being naturally curious, being creative, and even having a little mischief also helps.

Tell us about how working on Artefact magazine fits into this course.

Artefact is the pinnacle of our students’ three years at LCC. They are able to take everything they have studied in their first two years and apply it to a real life editorial production.

The students are very much in the driving seat of Artefact – taking on the roles of editor, multimedia journalists, subeditors, section editors and so on.

There is a real adrenaline buzz in the newsroom when students are gearing up to publication day. The students give 101% to the magazine, and this is reflected in the content they produce.

It’s a high quality, professional publication – one that would not be out of place on the newsstands.

At the end of the year, students have a wealth of material for their portfolios, but are also able to demonstrate to prospective employers high-level leadership and team-working skills.

Visit the BA (Hons) Journalism course page

Visit the Artefact website

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MA Documentary Film Course Leader, Dr Pratap Rughani, takes his film ‘Justine’ to London’s Cinema and Human Rights Conference


Still from ‘Justine’, Pratap Rughani, 2013.

‘Justine’, a film by LCC’s MA Documentary Film Course Leader Dr Pratap Rughani, is part of the Cinema and Human Rights Conference on Saturday March 14. The film, which has already won awards internationally and was recently screened at the London Short Film Festival, will be at the centre of a conversation in which Pratap will explore the issue of documentary ethics.

The film itself is a documentary portrait of Justine, a young woman with an advanced neurological disorder. Pratap explains “among the challenges in making this work are the ethical questions of seeking to make a film with a central subject who is not able to give her own consent in a form that English law recognises. Consent traditionally passes to parents, guardians and carers but this film still seeks to understand what Justine’s consent might look like.”

Pratap_Rughani5_photo by Alys Tomlinson

Dr Pratap Rughani.

Pratap continues “the film aspires to communicate something of Justine’s experience and the rhythms of her interactions with the world hopefully enabling her to emerge through her actions. The process was configured to be led by Justine, listening closely to her language of movement and gesture rather than imposing views about what might happen to create ‘story points’ for a narrative.”

‘Justine’ takes Pratap’s long-standing documentary practice and research into the territory of severe disability. The documentary seeks to develop ‘consent’ in a way that can include the agency of people like Justine, rather than surrendering these choices to others.

Justine’s pace and responses lead the camerawork and direction. Project Art Works’, who commissioned this film, aspires is to develop a way of filming that can acknowledge the realm of ‘not knowing’; a place where doubt and tentative, tender exploration unite people – speaking a language of gesture, inference, intuition and feeling.

Read more about MA Documentary Film

Read more about Pratap’s research

Read more about the Cinema and Human Rights Conference

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Staging Disorder // Jennifer Good

books with hand

‘Staging Disorder’, Black Dog Publishing, co-edited by Christopher Stewart and Esther Teichmann.

LCC’s current showcase exhibition Staging Disorder runs until Thursday 12 March 2015, and the eponymous publication by Black Dog Publishing is co-edited by its curators Christopher Stewart and Esther Teichmann.

The book and exhibition feature photography that explores the ‘real’ in relation to depictions of modern conflict.

We interviewed contributing writer and LCC Senior Lecturer Jennifer Good to find out more.

Tell us a bit about your contribution to Staging Disorder.

When I looked at the work included in the exhibition I was immediately reminded of the writing of Sigmund Freud on ‘the Uncanny’, and also his ideas about how we ‘act out’ our fears in an unconscious, symptomatic way. What also came to mind was Gaston Bachelard’s book ‘The Poetics of Space’, in which he writes that the analysis of spaces can reveal a lot about our unconscious experience.

In my essay I tried to weave these three concepts together, thinking about the spaces of staged conflict as symptoms of deep social anxiety, externalised in uniquely three-dimensional form.

What particularly interests you about the subject of staged conflict?

For a long time I’ve been fascinated by the connection between architecture and the psyche – how spaces are inhabited by our minds as well as our bodies – and by the further complication that happens when photography enters these spaces and creates representations of them.

The places depicted in this exhibition are deeply evocative because of what we are invited to imagine happening in them. I find them troubling on all sorts of levels, because they can tell us a lot about who we are as a society.

What are you currently working on?

My book, ‘Photography and September 11th: Spectacle, Memory, Trauma’, is coming out on 26 March (Bloomsbury), and I’m about to start work on a new book project, ‘Understanding Photojournalism’, with my colleague Paul Lowe and Robert Hariman.

What do you think is the effect of holding an exhibition and book launch like Staging Disorder at LCC?

Esther and Christopher have done a fantastic job in bringing together the work of such internationally-renowned photographers and connecting it with newly commissioned sound works by members of UAL staff.

The exhibition and book both draw attention to different strands of research and arts practice that are already happening here. As well as raising the profile of the College, it’s great for our students too.

Is there any advice you would give our current students?

The time you spend at university is a time to take risks in your work, interrogate and push it from all angles, question every preconception and above all respond to what really makes you tick, instead of just doing what you think is expected of you.

Jennifer Good is Senior Lecturer, History & Theory of Photojournalism & Documentary Photography, London College of Communication.

Read more about Staging Disorder

The post Staging Disorder // Jennifer Good appeared first on London College of Communication Blog.

New Course Discourse // MA Games Design

FdA Games Design Image by Quang Vong, Sami Hoang & Sam Chau

BA (Hons) Games Design work.

In our latest New Course Discourse feature, we chat to Programme Director Ben Stopher to find out more about the new MA Games Design course.

To start with Ben, can you let me know a little bit about this course. Why has it been developed and what are its features and aims?

I’m super excited about MA Games Design. It’s a brand new course with a brand new studio and a brand new staff team. Students on this course need to be really interested in the idea of critical gaming, game vocation and game culture as kind of new form of artistic expression. You’ll explore the influence of game culture on wider culture and the use of game ideas for social change – like encouraging people to exercise or gamifying transport systems.

We’ll try to understand how game mechanics contribute to designing for the blended reality of both the information and physical environments of the world. We’re really interested in the concept of play. What is play? How do you understand the motive forces of why people do stuff? How do you hook them in? And, then, the ethics of that – what is the ethical damage of playing with people’s motivations and desires?


BA (Hons) Games Design workshop.

What is the difference between studying Games Design at an undergraduate level and a postgraduate level?

Well the MA is more critical and definitely more theoretical then the BA (Hons) Games Design course, but it’s still rooted in making, so we’re still building game prototypes at the core of the course. In many ways it’s like MA Animation because we’re really interested in the experimental end of the spectrum. Yes students will be able to build digital games, but they’ll also explore augmented reality, physical gaming, game vocation and all that other stuff.

So in terms of getting onto the course, where would your ideal students have come from?

Well LCC’s BA (Hons) Games Design course definitely, but also interactive media courses or general graphic design courses where students have gained some coding experience and have acquired a strong interest in games.

BA Games Design (Top up) Image by Rokas Butkus

BA (Hons) Games Design work.

So coding experience seems key for the course, is that right?

Yes, you have to know how it works, but you don’t need to have a lot of specific coding experience. There are many students that are currently studying in other areas of design that would thrive on this course.

I’m really keen to find these students and encourage them to transfer their design sensibilities into gaming, because whilst it might not seem like an obvious progression, coming from another course or specialism will put students in a unique and exciting position.

What other qualities are important in Games Design students?

Postgraduate students on this course need to be intellectually curious, and they’ve got to be interested in how games culture effects the world, that’s the key.

If that means that you’re coming from a background in studying anthropology or history then don’t be put off, we will definitely look at people who have found us through a less obvious route. Whether they have a full portfolio or not we will consider students as long as they have a very strong understanding of why they want to do something like this.

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BA (Hons) Games Design workshop.

What sets MA Games Design at LCC apart from other universities?

There are very few courses that deal with the idea of critical gaming, and there are none in the UK and that’s why we’re so excited about this postgraduate course. The feedback we’ve got from academics and industry that we’ve consulted whilst developing the course has been absolutely great!

I think the reason this course is so exciting to people is because a lot of games design courses elsewhere are computer science lead or art lead in terms of concept art around the game, so the idea of a design lead critical gaming course is very distinct in the market place.

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BA (Hons) Games Design work.

In terms of where this course will lead its students, what can you say about the careers and futures of MA Games Design graduates?

There’s a whole load of stuff you can do with this course. Many graduates will go straight into games design, both for indie games developments and big studios. But also, understanding this concept of how games influence people in a large scale opens up a load of opportunities in the digital industries.

Definitely on an MA like this students have the skills to work in policy, but others might also be interested in becoming academics in the area. This is a course with a research focus and people can become researchers and practitioners.

Find out more about MA Games Design

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Green Week Review // Creative Activism

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Designer Paul Hamilton prepares students for their Green Week 2015 activism workshops. Image © Lewis Bush

During this year’s Green Week, a panel of experts spoke on art, design and campaigning in order to kick-start LCC’s Games for Change and X Challenge practical workshops. BA (Hons) Journalism student Ella Jukwey reports.

When we think about activism, we usually think about protests and boycotting. We rarely think that activism can have a creative aspect to it. So it was intriguing to find out about the creative methods that can be adopted in activism.

As part of UAL’s Green Week 2015, a lecture on creative activism was held at LCC. It’s apt to discuss creative activism within UAL because the University is a famous breeding ground of influential creative minds.

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David Buckland, founder and director, Cape Farewell. Image © Lewis Bush.

The first speaker at the lecture was David Buckland. Buckland created and now directs the Cape Farewell project, helping to bridge the gap between artists and climate scientists.

Buckland showed a moving short film that included poet Lemn Sissay. As Sissay chanted “What if we weakened ourselves getting strong?”, his powerful poem assisted by violins was a moving display. This showed that activism could be something as beautiful and artistic as poetry.

The next speaker, Tony Credland, a Senior Lecturer and Lead Tutor at LCC, showed the vibrancy of activism. Credland is involved in Reclaim the Streets. RTS was developed in the mid-nineties and is a collective that champions community ownership of public spaces. Credland also described Reclaim the Streets as a critique of the capitalism that was driving the destruction of the climate.

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Tony Credland, LCC Senior Lecturer and Lead Tutor. Image © Lewis Bush

When the conservative government built new roads, RTS responded by throwing a street party. They blocked traffic for hours and their street party involved debate and discussion.

In 1996, Reclaim the Streets held a street party on the M41. They closed and drilled up the motorway and planted trees. In 1997 they held a street party called Never Mind the Ballots.

A defining feature of RTS’ street parties was the use of masks. The colour-coded masks helped to evade police but also share an important message. The masks made the protest less about the individual and more about the cause.

RTS said, “By wearing masks we show that who we are is not as important as what we want. What we want is for everyone.”

Reclaim the Streets did not just protest through street parties, they also distributed papers. RTS created a mock newspaper Evading Standards, a spin on London’s free paper Evening Standard. Twenty thousand copies of Evading Standards were given out.

This method of making mock-ups of popular brands is not unique to RTS. The following speaker, designer Paul Hamilton, also mocked up images in a project with Greenpeace.

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Designer and OneAnother co-founder Paul Hamilton. Image © Lewis Bush.

The Killer KitKat campaign was a mock-up of KitKat’s billboard. The image was so convincing that Nestlé thought that there were actually KitKats with the name Killer on them. The reason behind the campaign was that Nestlé were destroying rainforests and therefore endangering orangutans.

They were put up as banners and in the nearest railway station to Nestlé’s headquarters in the UK. The campaign also forced Nestlé to drop the palm oil which was endangering the animals.

The Creative Activism lecture showed that when creativity and activism joined forces, amazing things could happen. Attendees were made aware that creative people have a role to play within environmentalism.

Words by Ella Jukwey.

Read more about Green Week

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