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

University of the Arts London (UAL) has been selected as one of six 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 Doii Lee

Doii Lee graduated from Central Saint Martins in Fashion Design with Knitwear (BA Hons) in 2002. She has had a varied career, working for Kenzo and John Galiano in Paris, before going on to set up her own labels ‘Doii Paris Co.’, and more recently, ‘Lee.Doii’, exhibiting at Paris and Seoul Fashion weeks numerous times.  We are delighted to announce that Doii has also taken up the new post of joint Vice President of the UAL Korean alumni group.

Doii Lee

Why did you chose to study knitwear at Central Saint Martins?
Before I knew that I wanted to be a fashion designer, I was influenced by a Korean knitwear brand called ‘Agasi’. I was really inspired by knitwear, and the way you create a piece of art through knitting – connecting threads with different methods and producing different outcomes depending on the way I think about the piece. So the process itself is fun and unique, and at the same time seeing the final piece gives me a sense of perfection.


What was the biggest challenge you faced when studying at CSM? How did you overcome it?
As a foreign student I lacked the references of culture and art compared with the European students. In order to achieve good results in my projects, my research skills had to be better than others. My English skills were limited, which really bothered and frustrated me. I had to overcome my limits by making a lot of effort to learn the culture, develop good visuals, improve my communication skills and produce a lot of work.


How did you adjust to life in London, moving here from Korea?
For me, life in London was like being in a difficult relationship. Due to the different culture I was shocked at first and struggled to the end. But I loved the place dearly and cherished every moment I spent there. Also I believe that such an experience has made me a stronger and more versatile person, than the person I might have been if I stayed in Korea.


What was your favourite thing to do in London?
I really enjoyed the exhibitions, plays, books, movies, concerts etc. In other words, I really loved the culture of London. There were so many inspiring ways to spend my time, by looking at Time Out magazine for the events listings. I really miss exploring London!


Tell us about what you have been up to since you graduated from CSM?
After I graduated in 2003, I moved to Paris to work in John Galliano’s studio. At the end of 2003, I had an interview with Antonio Marras, the newly appointed art director. He asked me to work with him in the Defille team and I was really grateful for the opportunity, since I was the only designer that was handpicked by him at Kenzo. So I moved straight away to continue my career. Eventually I wanted to do my own line so I launched ‘Doii’ during the 2007 F/W Paris Fashion Week. Ever since, I have been presenting fashion shows and presentations in Paris and Korea. Now I run the brand ‘Lee.Doii’.


What do you love most about your job?
Other than building a company of my own, I love working with others within the industry, and visiting the fabric markets.  Being a fashion designer is always interesting since I have to present something different every time. New creations are always interesting – I learn a lot during the process, and eventually come up with something that is new, but still contains a part of my uniqueness.  That is the most attractive, and the part which I love most about my job.


What advice would you give to students who want to get their work noticed after graduating?
For students it is always important to do well in school projects and create a portfolio that illustrates your own uniqueness.


If you are interested in joining the Korean alumni group get in touch

New Employee Self-Service – coming soon

Employee Self-Service

A new version of Employee Self-Service is being launched this March. With fewer clicks, the redesigned Employee Self-Service will make it easier for you to maintain your personal details, book holiday and manage your personal learning. You will also be able to access the system on the go, with the ability to access both Employee Self-Service and Manager Self-Service on mobile devices including iPhones, iPads and tablets.

What can you do

  • Update your personal details (address, contacts, equality information)
  • Book holidays and manage your entitlement
  • Submit expense claims
  • Book UAL staff training courses

Key features for managers

  • Access via mobile devices.
  • Access for managers to authorise tasks within new Employee Self-Service without logging into Manager Self-Service.
  • Access for managers to view their team’s activities and absences via the calendar

More information is available on the Employee Self-Service intranet page. To prepare yourself book a place on one of the 30 minute briefings being held during February and March. You can do this through the current Employee Self Service (search for Employee Self-Service under Learning.)

Nigel Carrington appointed chair of trustees for Henry Moore Foundation

Nigel Carrington  has been elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Henry Moore Foundation, taking up the post from 4 November. He has been a trustee of the foundation since earlier this year.

Henry Moore sculputre at Chelsea

Henry Moore, Two Piece Reclining Figure No.1

Henry Moore was Head of Sculpture at Chelsea School of Art from 1932-1939 and the school purchased his 1959 bronze sculpture ‘Two-Piece Reclining Figure no. 1’ in 1963. The piece can be seen at Chelsea College of Arts. Read more about the sculpture or visit the Henry Moore archive

Commenting on his appointment, Nigel said: “Having long regarded Henry Moore as a pivotal and enduring influence on the development of British sculpture, it is a particular privilege to be joining the Foundation at such an exciting time in its development. As the largest grant-making artist foundation outside the US, with established and growing venues in Hertfordshire and Leeds alongside prestigious international programmes, the Foundation is well placed to build upon its already considerable achievements.”

Richard Calvocoressi, Director of the Foundation, added: “The Foundation will benefit greatly from Nigel Carrington’s demonstrable enthusiasm for sculpture and knowledge of the arts sector, coupled with a wealth of business expertise. We are extremely grateful to Duncan Robinson who has led us through a period of transition, placing us in a very favourable position to realise future ambitions.”


UAL in South Korea

The UAL delegation has arrived back in London after a hugely successful week in Seoul. The cross-college delegation visited South Korean design foundations, universities and government organisations with the aim of consolidating UAL links in the region, increasing our impact and creating further opportunities for our students and alumni to work collaboratively across the UK and Korean creative industries.

Vice-Chancellor Nigel Carrington addressed the Global Leaders’ Forum on design-led innovation and the role of the studio way of working. At a British Council event, Nigel also addressed 200 young people on the UK’s creative industries and the future of design. This was followed by a lively Q&A where a cross-college panel led by LCF’s Frances Corner took audience questions.


Nigel Carrington addresses the Global Leaders’ Forum on design-led innovation

During the trip, the Vice-Chancellor appeared in South Korean newspaper, television, digital and radio media, including interviews with the Korea Herald, tbs eFM, Newsis, JoongAng Daily, TV Chosun and Korea Times. Nigel spoke to the press about topics ranging from his thoughts on traditional Korean culture to the success of UAL’s Korean graduates, as well as highlighting exciting news such as UAL’s Fung Foundation scholarships programme and inviting students from Asia and Europe to undertake a placement at the University. Visits to partner universities Hongik, EWHA and SNU were very positive and UAL will now formalise plans for undergraduate exchange programmes across our core disciplines,  joint research projects and  potentially new curriculum developments.

and Juliette Sargeant from the International Relations Unit at EWHA Women's University, Seoul

LCF’s Frances Corner and Paul McNicoll with Juliette Sargeant from the International Relations Unit at EWHA Woman’s University, Seoul

80 alumni from across UAL’s Colleges joined the Vice-Chancellor and UAL colleagues at a drinks reception at the British Ambassador’s residence in Seoul. This exciting group, including many of Korea’s leading figures in the fashion, arts, media and design industries, were joined by the British Ambassador Mr Scott Wightman and members of the British Council. UAL now plans to launch a new wave of activity in Korea and build on these new relationships by formalising the Alumni Association with the aim of supporting our existing and future Korean alumni.

Alumni Reception, British Ambassador's residence, Seoul

Alumni Reception, British Embassy, Seoul

Miriam Ribul tells us more about the TEXTILES TOOLBOX exhibition

Miriam Ribul_DeNAture research samples_2014

Miriam Ribul, DeNAture research samples, 2014

Miriam Ribul is an Associate Lecturer at UAL and has been part of the team of researchers from UAL involved with the MISTRA Future Fashion project funded by the Swedish Government’s Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research. Here she talks about the piece she is exhibiting in the TEXTILES TOOLBOX exhibition and how she juggles her time…

Tell us about the work you are including in Textile Toolbox: why did you chose this work and do you always collaborate with Hanna?

In January this year I lead a science-design research project in Sweden with funding from COST, the European Cooperation in Science and Technology, titled ‘Design Possibilities in Regenerated Cellulose Materials’. As a designer in residence at Chalmers University of Technology and SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden I had access to world-leading research in chemical recycling technologies for cellulose fibres. Dr Hanna de la Motte, a technical scientist and the project leader in project 5 in the MISTRA Future Fashion consortium titled ‘Reuse, Recycling and End of life issues’, hosted this project.

Hanna researches innovative methods for chemical recycling of materials including regenerated wood-based cellulose fibres. Through observation, interviews and lab tests I recognised the need for faster and more accurate identification of materials at the recycling stage and for the development of a system that embeds material information in the fibres without disrupting its properties. By applying design thinking in a technical laboratory environment I developed my project ‘DeNAture’ to aid cyclability of resources. The prototypes in the Textile Toolbox exhibition communicate the outcomes of the design residency.

Where do you mostly work/research, in your studio/at UAL or in the library (if a library, which is your favourite?)

The COST residency is an example for how, as a designer I work in different contexts: in this case the lab became my studio where I had access to materials and tools. The parallels of processes of a textiles designer and a technical scientist were significant. I discovered that the tools in a lab can be very advanced and specialist or improvised and DIY.

There is a similar approach to this in my design practice where I adopt tools from different disciplines depending on project. I have a studio space in East London as my home base for making and exploring materials. As Part Time Research Assistant and Associate Lecturer I am based at UAL, and being part of the team of the international MISTRA Future Fashion project I travel regularly to conferences, researchers meetings or workshops. I enjoy the library at CSM and Chelsea when I get the time to work there. This leads to a very varied range of workplaces.

What is it like to be part of TED and TFRC? How does it affect your work?

Being part of TED and TFRC I work with an inspiring cohort of researchers in a unique research environment that explores sustainability through different approaches. My practice is research-based and being embedded in the research culture at TED and TFRC since the start of the MISTRA Future Fashion project I am part of small to large research projects with varied deliverables and outcomes, as well as small to large industry engagements. This leads to exciting project outcomes that prove to have real impact. My work as part of the team as well as my individual practice is linked in my aim to develop sustainable systems that can be applied to different contexts.

How do you balance your work as Research Assistant and practitioner?

As a practitioner I explore the boundaries to which design can contribute and this approach feeds into my whole portfolio of work. I work as designer and researcher for independent projects or in consultancy engagements for a range of industry clients – my completed projects include concepts for future mobility and communication. I am also Associate Lecturer at UAL leading the ‘Sustainable Design’ unit at Chelsea to a cross-disciplinary student cohort from the courses Textiles Design, Interior and Spatial Design, and Graphic Design and Communication. In 201, I co-founded the design initiative Vectors and co-curated the exhibition ‘Design Beyond Making’ that launched at the Protein gallery. The initiative builds a platform to communicate new roles for designers beyond products.

Related links and further reading:

Jordi Ruiz Cirera: Freelancer Award

Jordi Ruiz Cirera

  1. Since winning The Freelancer Award last year, are you working on any new projects?

Since I won the Award last year I’ve been focusing on a long-term documentary about the agribusiness realities in the Southern Cone. I’m now on my second visit to Paraguay, and in the near future I’d like to expand it with visits to Brazil and Argentina.

Alongside this I’m very happy to say I’ve just published my first book, “Los Menonos” with independent house Editions du LIC, focusing on the work I did about the Mennonite communities in Bolivia a couple of years ago.

  1. What inspired you to do documentary based photography?

What inspired me were the pictures of the great classic reportage photographers such as Koudelka or David Alan Harvey. I always felt it would be great to be able to travel to all those places and photograph them and be paid for that. So that idea got in my head and I felt documentary photography could merge very well my social motivations with my desire to travel. Then as usual reality is quite different from the initial idea, but I still get to travel quite a lot and I’m happy I can focus on the stories I feel more attracted to.

  1. What is your starting point for each themed documentary?

Well for me it’s not easy to find a new story to focus on, it has to attract me in order to devote 100% to it, it has to be interesting enough and attractive for a broad audience. Often I tend to focus on areas I already know or have been to, so that I get a first-hand impression about them there after I may look for stories there. Alternatively if I feel attracted by a certain topic I may research about it and look for a story wherever it may be. I’d like to work around the idea of globalization and how it affects everyday lives of small communities.

  1. What are your top three tips for self-promotion as a freelancer?

The first and most important is to do good work that speaks for itself. Then surround yourself with talented and motivated people as their advice and experience will be of great help. Ultimately use social networks wisely and existing online blogs or posts to promote your work.

  1. With your success in winning the Freelance Award, what would you advise aspiring entrants in the future?

Well I guess the only way to win the Freelancer Award is to be a working freelancer, do good work that stands out and then work on getting it out. It’s difficult but sometimes you just have to trust your own work and be open to what may come after it.


Visit Jordi’s website 


Natalie Grogan: College Award (LCF)

Natalie Grogan

  1. What are you currently working on since winning the LCF Award last year?

Since last year I have continued work on Style Scape extensively, designing and event networking to meet developers for short and long-term work. In April I pitched to a panel of judges and managed to secure the full £5,000 SEED business funding to develop the facilities on Style Scape and to promote it towards the beginning of 2015.

I then graduated from the MA Fashion Media Production course at LCF in July, and started my current job as a Graphic Designer at Phantom Studios at the beginning of August.

Sometimes it’s difficult juggling a full-time job at Phantom as well as a part-time job at Style Scape, but I love seeing Style Scape go from strength to strength and watching the user-ship grow in places all over the world. Recently we’ve just surpassed 1,000 Style Scape submissions, so we’re going to celebrate with some new website developments!

2. How did the award and prizes benefit your enterprise/project?

When I won the LCF award last year, I was awarded £300 prize money and a place at the Start-up Weekend Fashion & Tech London – powered by Google for entrepreneurs.

The prize money was put straight towards the legals for Style Scape such as the website Terms and Conditions and the privacy policy.

The Start-up weekend at the Google Campus last December on “Silicon Roundabout” was incredibly insightful. I spent two and a half days at the Google Start-up campus brainstorming, designing and developing a fashion app with a team of very talented young entrepreneurs and developers that had bought a ticket for their place there. I still keep in contact with some of the people I met there, who have said they’d love to help me with Style Scape. It gave me a greater understanding of how to pitch and sell yourself (and your product) to a room full of investors and business professionals. I’m almost positive that this helped me win my funding money at my pitch to the SEED funding panel.

3. What were your main aims when creating your enterprise/project?

I wanted to encourage sartorial discovery. The content needed to be authentic, insightful, multi-cultural and non-biased. I identified a gap in the market for a global fashion website that showed real fashion. There are in-numerable fashion blogs where the posts are sponsored by clothing brands – we need a space where real personal style can be seen! After all, the city streets are the real runways.

4. What would you advise to students and graduates entering the Creative Enterprise Awards in the future?

Enter, enter, enter! My website wasn’t even live when I applied for the Creative Enterprise Awards. In fact, it went live the week after I had won! The judges look for solid business ideas, not necessarily polished products ready for the market. The awards ceremony was great fun, and offered me lots of networking opportunities with like-minded people along with some website promotion!

5.What are your future plans for your business/project?

To take over the world! I aim for Style Scape to become the online fashion destination to go to, to discover street style from around the world. I have been approached by Born, a curated crowd-funding website to showcase Style Scape, so keep a look out for the project pitch online in due course.

I want to increase the number of users tenfold by the Summer of 2015. When Style Scape ‘2.0′ has gone into development I will be in talks with fashion bloggers to promote the website on their blogs. I have already been in talks with a world-renowned Parisian fashionista to showcase Style Scape on her blog. After this initial promotion I aim to advertise Style Scape at London Fashion Weeks next year.

NoeMie – Dash Magazine: International Award

NoeMie  Schwaller

1. How have awards such as the Creative Enterprise helped to boost the publicity of Dash magazine?

Both the Creative Enterprise and the Deutsche Bank award have been beneficial for my business, it has given it credibility, a buzz and a little help on the financial side too. Publicity was mostly within London and the UK which was fantastic as it’s our target market. I’m honored to have won the awards, it proves that I’m on the right path with DASH Magazine and puts a smile on my face.

2. What was the main thought process when Dash Magazine was created?

Illustration and fashion have always been my biggest passions. Combining the two after my MA in Fashion Journalism came naturally to me, and with it I found and filled a gap in the market. During the extensive market research phase which included online surveys, interviews, SWOT analysis and other means of research, I realized there was a gap in the market and I got great feedback. There are hardly any other fashion magazines with such an extensive use of illustration. I found an investor which showed me that there are other people who believe in DASH. The DASH team is small but award-winning they are highly skilled, motivated and passionate.

3. What were the successes and challenges of setting up an international business?

DASH provides a highly stimulating visual experience, filling a gap and demand in the market for illustrated fashion content. Winning the Best Media Award 2011 in the Deutsche Bank Award, the Creative Enterprises 2012 award and the Creative Enterprise Award in international Business 2013 has been a great success. Since its launch in February 2012, DASH has built up a database consisting of over 7,000 contacts as well as great distribution channels and a social media following of 40,000.

It is challenging in these economically hard times, the big advertising companies and brands have become more careful and advertise much less than five years ago. Advertising dropped rapidly and drastically as it’s is difficult to get companies to trust your product. But as Terry Jones, Founder of i-D Magazine told DASH: “If you can do it in this economically hard time, you’ll be just fine afterwards.”

4. What does the future hold for Dash Magazine?

I’m planning to invest more in selling point promotions to target specific markets such as Brazil and China – as we just did in and around London for the winter issue. We will start thinking about the summer issue’s topic after fashion week’s craziness – I just got back from Poland Fashion Week. We continue sharing the love.

5. What is your top tip to fashion students and new graduates who want to build a business from scratch?

Get your business plan done, work hard, don’t give up and if possible don’t work alone.

Emma Denby : College Award (CCW)

Emma Denby

  1. What are you currently working on since winning the CCW Award last year?

In the year since winning the CCW Award, I’ve had the opportunity to work on some amazing projects. I spent my summer working on the feature film ‘Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass’ in the sculpture department which was so great! I worked in the art department and I worked on music videos for Sam Smith, Robbie Williams, One Direction, Ella Eyre (where a room span 360 degrees). I’ve made some props/sets for various theatre productions in the UK and USA, some Magnum ice cream models for window displays all over the world and a sculpture that went over to Iceland for a TV show for Sky amongst other things. I’m currently freelancing at a prop makers, working on various different projects and have a few exciting things in the pipeline.

2. How did the award and prizes benefit your enterprise project?
I bought lots of nice new tools with my prize money which have already proven to be beneficial in my workshop jobs and on shoots. It was great to be able to buy lots of tools all in one go rather than wondering which to buy and when etc.

3. What were your main aims when creating your project?
I wanted the freedom and flexibility of being self-employed which I love. I can’t imagine working at the same place all the time; I need change which is scary but exciting.
I wanted job satisfaction as much as possible – to enjoy and get excited by each job I get and not to get sick or bored of work. You spend so much time working that you have to enjoy it, as soon as I don’t, I change direction to work on projects that are exciting as often as possible (film sets, rotating rooms, explosions etc.). I keep challenging myself and expanding my skillset. Another aim is to have job variety – I am interested in working in areas that don’t necessarily all come under one job role so I created my own job.

4. What would you advise to students and graduates entering the Creative Enterprise Awards in the future?
Do the things that scare you the most as they often turn out to be the most rewarding. When paid work goes quiet, do your personal work. Set yourself seemingly ridiculous goals then go for them and don’t give in.

5. What are your future plans for your business/project?
To keep doing the work I’m doing. To make more time for personal work so that this can become another strand of my freelance work and to keep doing music videos alongside my workshop jobs. I’ve been fascinated with them all my life so I always need to have these and lastly to keep learning new skills.