Archive for the ‘University of the Arts London’ category

UAL amongst three British universities leading global rankings for Art & Design

Britain has three of the top spots in the QS World University Rankings for Art & Design.

UAL, Glasgow School of Art and postgraduate specialist RCA all made the top ten in the Art & Design subject table with the remaining seven universities coming from the USA.

Students at Chelsea College of Arts, UAL

Students at Chelsea College of Arts, UAL

UAL was ranked 8th in the world, and 2nd in the UK, in the rankings which highlight the world’s top universities in 36 individual subjects, based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact.

Nigel Carrington, Vice-Chancellor of UAL, said: “I am proud that Britain’s world-leading reputation as a provider in art and design education has been recognised in the QR Rankings. UAL’s position amongst those leading British institutions is credit to the hard work and dedication of staff across the University.

“As Europe’s largest specialist art and design university with more than 19,000 students, UAL is a major global provider of art and design education so it’s gratifying to be recognised for the high quality education we equip our graduates with.”

In December 2014 UAL was placed in the overall top 30 UK research institutions for the quality of research submitted in the REF 2014. It was recognised as a top 5 research university in its broader peer group and first in the power ranking in the Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory category.

For full listings and more information, visit the QS World University Rankings by Subject website.

Victorian Futures: Culture, Democracy and the State on the Road to Olympicopolis

On 14 and 15 May 2015, Chelsea College of Arts is hosting the conference Victorian Futures: Culture, Democracy and the State on the Road to Olympicopolis, in collaboration with Middlesex University and the Victoria and Albert Museum. We asked Professor Malcolm Quinn, UAL Associate Dean of Research and Director of the Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Graduate School, to tell us what the conference will involve and why it is relevant today.

Taking place a week after the UK General Election,Victorian Futures will focus on how the agenda for state-sponsored access to the arts in Britain has developed since the Reform Act of 1832 and the Victorian Era. We will use history to think about the future, and show how calls for greater public access to the arts in the 1830s led to the democratic visions of the Great Exhibition and Albertopolis in 1851, which were reprised in the Festival of Britain in 1951 and are now re-envisioned in plans for the ‘Olympicopolis’ site in London. I spoke to a selection of our high-profile speakers who will be appearing at the conference to discuss how the cultural movement of Victorian era continues to influence our society.

Victoria and Albert Museum Director Martin Roth said:

“The success of the ‘Albertopolis’ complex of Victorian cultural institutions in South Kensington, of which the V&A is one, continues to illustrate the strength of Victorian policies on cultural democracy and the importance of state support for the arts. But as we develop a new vision for ‘Olympicopolis’ in east London, we must not only look at Victorian achievements but also at the goals they did not reach. Henry Cole believed, for example, that international exhibitions should promote international peace and intercultural understanding, or in his words, ‘stop nations going to blows as hastily and foolishly as they are wont to do’. Are we any closer to achieving this difficult goal today? I hope that this conference will give us the opportunity to read Victorian history not as a comfort, but as a challenge.”

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Interior painting of The Great Exhibition, Crystal Palace, London

Lucy Kimbell, AHRC Fellow and Policy Lab and principal research fellow at the University of Brighton, says that Victorian Futures will show us how: “The history that is shaping our collective future in the UK includes both the visible, aesthetic and material but also the processual and infrastructural.” Kimbell also argues that the conference will help us to address an important question: “What comes with our Victorian educational, political and cultural institutions and how do they enable particular kinds of learning and participation and exclude others? The analytical task is to work out what we need to keep and what to change or adapt.”

Kieran Long, Senior Curator of Contemporary Architecture, Design and Digital V&A, one of two keynote speakers on the first day of the conference, said:

Victorian Futures is vital for us right now, at a time when the whole notion of the public realm is at stake and under pressure, to think again about the lessons our Victorian forebears can teach us about education and civic pride in the context of the complexity of the digitally enabled 21st century.”

Our other keynote speaker on day one of Victorian Futures is Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts, who sees the conference as a chance to engage with some vital issues for public culture and the arts that have remained unresolved over the past hundred and eighty years. Saumarez Smith said:

“It’s interesting to look back on the decade of the 1830s, immediately following the Great Reform Bill, and to see how many of the questions asked then in parliament were the same questions which need to be asked today: how can public money be used to enhance the arts? what is the role of government? and what is the role of museums?”

However Graeme Evans, Professor of Urban Cultures and Design at Middlesex University, who is a member of the closing panel of Victorian Futures which examines the route from Albertopolis to Olympicopolis and beyond, says that history offers a cautionary lesson: “If history teaches us anything, cultural democracy should be a right; futuristic masterplans and grand place-making on the other hand (as recent history shows) is anything but democratic – or cultural.”

The event promises to answer and discuss many of the questions raised above, with lively debates and the chance to meet and network with organisations such as the Royal Academy, V&A and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), who are responsible for delivering the ‘Olympicopolis’ project. A two-day student pass is available for £36 and can be booked through the UAL website. We’ll also be tweeting at @VFutures. We hope you’ll be able to join us.

UAL Shanghai Alumni Reception 2015

One year on from the official launch of the UAL Shanghai Alumni Association, we were delighted, to have the opportunity to return to China and celebrate with our vibrant Shanghai community. The evening was supported by China Xintiandi, a major sponsor of Shanghai Fashion Week, who added further reason to celebrate by announcing that they plan to support current UAL students through a three-year scholarship program.

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130 former students joined UAL staff at China Xintiandi’s beautiful clubhouse in the heart of the city. Guests spent an enjoyable evening strengthening their creative and professional networks and reuniting with friends. London College of Fashion’s (LCF) Dean of School of Media and Communication, Calum Mackenzie, gave an update on some of UAL’s latest achievements and exciting plans for the future, while UAL Shanghai Alumni Association Vice President, Jing Wu, gave an update on the Associations activities and ways to get involved. The audience was also pleased to hear from LCF alumna Yilei Wu, Managing Director at Xinlelu.com, who told the group about how she got to where she is today.

Lead by London College of Communication alumni Oliver Pearce and Jing Wu, the UAL Shanghai Alumni Association has been established to maintain links with our graduates in and around the city and produce events and communications throughout the year to keep local alumni connected to UAL and each other. UAL is extremely grateful to Oliver, Jing and their fellow committee members, for the hard work and dedication they have shown in growing the association and establishing a community in Shanghai eager to share, collaborate and support.

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Oliver Pearce, President of the UAL Shanghai Alumni Association with Caroline Archer, Interim Associate Director of Development and Alumni Relations, and members of the UAL Shanghai Alumni Committee.

During the evening, Carrie Liu, General Manager of Commerce at China Xintiandi, made the announcement that China Xintiandi will generously be supporting UAL via a three-year scholarship program for students from Greater China who would like to study BA Fashion at Central Saint Martins. More information about the China Xintiandi Scholarship can be found here.

“It is a great honour for China Xintiandi to collaborate with UAL in a scholarship program. As an innovation hub for Chinese designers, we are dedicated to discovering, cultivating and supporting emerging designers to drive the development of innovative fashion design in China.” Carrie Liu, General Manager of Commerce at China Xintiandi

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Joining Calum Mackenzie to greet guests  were Caroline Archer (Interim Director of Development and Alumni Relations), Paul Yuille (Director of International at LCF), Ian King (Professor of Aesthetics and Management at LCF) and Rupert Waldron (International Academic Coordinator: The School of Media and Communication at LCF).

More photos from the evening can be found on our Facebook page

Learn more about the UAL Alumni Association

UAL graduates selected to exhibit at top London art shows

There has been a host of exciting exhibitions and events to showcase the talents of UAL graduates recently. Among them includes the prestigious annual graphic arts festival and exhibition Pick Me Up. Held in the stunning Embankment galleries at Somerset House the festival, due to run from 23 April- 4 May, promises an explosive selection of pioneering industry collectives, galleries, print studios, interactive workshops and talks.

Gaurab Thakali

Gaurab Thakali

Among this year’s Pick Me Up Selects and industry hand-picked stars of the future are Camberwell College of Art graduates Gaurab Thakali, who recently exhibited at the UAL’s Showroom Creative Outlet exhibit, and Zöe Taylor. As Pick Me Up Selects the graduates were both especially asked to produce new work to go on sale at the event.

Central Saint Martins’ Caroline Till, Course Director of MA Material Futures and trend forecasting specialist, will also be speaking at the event. The festival will act as the backdrop to the premiere of the new ‘Made You Look Documentary – A Film About Creativity in the Digital Age’; a short film that takes a rare look into commercial art scene of the digitalised 21st Century.

In keeping with this exciting wave of graphic art and illustration talent currently on display in London, Camberwell College of Art graduate Madalina Andronic will also be exhibiting at the British Academy for the humanities and social sciences in a partnership exhibition with The Folio Society. ‘Telling tales: the art of the illustrator’ will take place from Monday 11-Sunday 17 May and aims to explore the international nature of fairy tales and folk tales in their exhibition.

Finally, just around the corner from UAL’s Showroom on High Holborn, The Other Art Fair has also got underway. On until April 26 the national art fair boasts more than 150 artist exhibitors and some of the art scene’s best emerging talent. UAL graduates Emma Davis, Alison McKenna, Kirsten Baskett Piers Secunda and Richard Walker are but a few mentioned as the top 20 artists of today to exhibit at the fair.

UAL talent nominated for global design awards

Kellenberger-White_Glasgow_International_2014

A host of UAL alumni have been nominated for the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year 2015. The awards celebrate the most innovative and interesting design from around the world, and feature some of the design industry’s biggest names.

76 projects were selected for nomination, with nominees coming from over 30 countries across five continents.

London College of Communication alumna Shaz Madani was nominated for her creative direction of Riposte magazine, while alumna Penny Webb was nominated for a project that measures and transfers the dimensions of physical objects to a digital model in real time.

Camberwell College of Arts alumna Eva Kellenberger received a nomination in the graphic design category along with design partner Sebastian White for their design of the ‘Glasgow International’ 2014 identity.

Two Central Saint Martins graduates, Thomas Tait and Ann-Sofie Back, were nominated in the fashion category, as was London College of Fashion’s Jonathan Anderson whose collection draws on Jacques Tati.

Scooping further nominations were graphic design practices Graphic Thought Facility (four of its members are Central Saint Martins alumni) and Pentagram (three of the consultancy’s partners are London College of Communication alumni and a further two graduated from Central Saint Martins).

The Designs of the Year 2015 category winners will be announced on 4 May, with the overall winner due to be revealed at a ceremony at the Design Museum on 4 June. An exhibition showcasing the projects is open until 23 August.

Earth Day – sustainable food inspiration

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22 April marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. Observed in 192 countries worldwide, more than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Sustainability is a core focus at UAL, from our curriculum and canteens to our buildings, including Wimbledon’s new BREEAM rated studios. To celebrate Earth Day 2015 we’re sharing three of our favourite organic recipes from our Soil Association Gold Award-winning cafes.

Carrot soup photo George Grinsted Creative Commons https://www.flickr.com/photos/imgeorge/

Organic Spiced Carrot Soup with Ginger & Sweet Potato
Serves 4-6
• 1.1 litres mild vegetable stock or water
• 5 thin slices of ginger
• 1 tablespoon oil
• 1 medium organic onion, thinly sliced
• 2 large garlic cloves, minced
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
• 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
• Cayenne or chilli powder to taste
• about 900g organic carrot, scrubbed well and thinly sliced
• 1 medium organic sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
• 150ml fresh orange juice
• Crème fraiche
• Fresh chopped coriander to garnish

Heat the vegetable stock or water in a pan with the ginger slices, and keep warm on the hob. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger and a few pinches of cayenne powder. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the onion is very soft, about 10 minutes more. Add the carrots, potato, and 900ml of the stock or water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the carrots are very tender, around 15-20 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to the pot, add the orange juice, and thin with the remaining stock to the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper and more cayenne if desired. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche, and a sprinkling of fresh coriander leaves.

meatballs photo by J. Annie Wang Creative Commons https://www.flickr.com/photos/j0annie/

Organic Meatballs in Napolitana sauce
Serves 2-3
• 500 g lean grass fed beef (minced)
• 125 g ricotta cheese, drained (use deli style ricotta which is firmer)
• 200g baby spinach (cooked in a little olive oil and lemon, liquid drained)
• ½ cup fresh chopped parsley
• 1 organic / free range egg
• pinch of nutmeg
• sea salt and pepper to taste
• 4 cups Napolitana fresh tomato sauce

Combine beef, ricotta, spinach, ½ cup parsley, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Shape into large balls and coat in a little olive oil, then place in a deep tray lined with grease-proof paper. Do not place too closely together, making sure there is enough room around the meatballs. Bake the meatballs for 10 minutes, then add the Napolitana sauce to fill half way up the pan. Bake for a further 20 minutes until the sauce is bubbling. Serve sprinkled with fresh chopped parsley, a little grated parmesan and green vegetable spaghetti.

Panna Cotta photo Ana Paola creative commons  https://www.flickr.com/photos/99006711@N04/

Organic Vanilla Panna Cotta
Serves 4
For the panna cotta
• 3 gelatine leaves
• 250ml/9fl oz of organic milk
• 250ml/9fl oz of organic double cream
• 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds scraped out
• 25g/1oz organic sugar
For the sauce
• 175g/6oz organic sugar
• 175ml/6fl oz water
• splash cherry liqueur
• 350g/12oz of organic raspberries
To serve
• 4 sprigs fresh organic mint
• icing sugar, to dust

For the panna cotta, soak the gelatine leaves in a little cold water until soft. Place the milk, cream, vanilla pod and seeds and sugar into a pan and bring to a simmer. Remove the vanilla pod and discard. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves, then add them to the pan and take off the heat. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved. Divide the mixture into four ramekin dishes and leave to cool. Place into the fridge for at least one hour, until set. For the sauce, place the sugar, water and cherry liqueur into a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Take the pan off the heat and add half the raspberries. Using a hand blender, blend the sauce until smooth. Pass the sauce through a sieve into a bowl and stir in the remaining fruit. To serve, turn each panna cotta out onto a serving plate. Spoon over the sauce and garnish with a sprig of mint. Dust with icing sugar.

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Find out more about UAL’s sustainable food policy

Read more about Earth Day 2015

See how the first Earth Day was reported in the New York Times, April 1970

Discover more about sustainability at UAL

The Horniman’s Hidden World

Mark Fairnington, Tyger Tyger, oil on wood painting, 35cm diameter, 2006

Mark Fairnington, Tyger Tyger, oil on wood painting, 35cm diameter, 2006

Horniman Museum project to reveal hidden taxidermy treasures with Mark Fairnington, Reader in painting at CCW.

There are now only two weeks left of the Horniman Museum’s crowd-funding project to help Mark Fairnington reveal the museum’s hidden world. If you’ve not yet donated please consider doing so, every penny counts.

Their project is to stage an exhibition of Mark Fairnington’s paintings alongside their inspiration, the Horniman Museum’s collection of hidden taxidermy treasures. These aren’t usually on display to the public but will be shown with Mark’s paintings in the strange and surreal forms that inspired his work, straight from the museum archives, and they need your help to make this happen. This week they gave followers of the project a preview of a new work by Mark, Okapi. This is a painting of the eye of a beautiful specimen which is the temporary star of the Natural History Gallery at the Horniman. You can see this fascinating painting and find out more about it on the Art Fund website.

Valerie Boulet, Head of Fundraising and Membership at the Horniman Museum, says about the project:

Supporters have the chance to own two of Mark’s beautiful eye prints of their very own,Tyger Tyger and Zebra, available only as part of this crowd-funding project. Donors receive rewards from as little as £5 and include limited-edition postcards, scarves and bags.

If we do not reach our target the exhibition will not take place. Please help make this exhibition possible by donating and sharing our message today, your help is very much appreciated.

Further information:

Donate to the project and choose your reward!

ChattyFeet

Gil Kahana and Humberto de Sousa met while studying MA Communication Design at Central Saint Martins. Their mission is to inject more fun into people’s lives through their characterful ChattyFeet socks.

ChattyFeet Founders

Gil & Humberto

It all started one fateful evening when they posed the question: ‘What if our socks could talk?’  They are still answering this three years later, having launched and grown a successful business, with recommendations from Vogue, the Guardian and the Huffington Post, to name but a few.

We spoke with Gil to find out how ChattyFeet transformed from an idea to the business it is today.

“Humberto and I were good friends after college. One of the great things about the MA at CSM was the international aspect of the course. I made friends from around the World!

Good ideas come with friends, when you’re comfortable with the people around you…

We were both interested in self-initiated projects. I was working in User Experience at the time, and Humberto was working as a Web Designer.  I had dipped my toe in the water with a cookbook called ‘Lunch Box Revolution’ with Michiko Nitta, and I really enjoyed it, so I wanted another project to pursue.  Humberto and I were at a friend’s one evening and we were joking around, when I put my foot up on the table and animated it. Somehow the idea stuck, and a few days later we created a prototype by drawing a face on a white sock to test it out, to see how it actually felt. We researched and found videos of other people animating their feet, so we knew it would be something that people would be interested in, and that people could relate to.

First Prototype ChattyFeet

First prototype

We then decided to take the huge step of having a sample produced, which was an adventure in itself. We found this difficult as when you are starting out, factories are reluctant to work with you unless you are getting thousands of units made.  We eventually found somewhere in India to produce the sample, however this was a long and arduous task – they didn’t understand what we were doing and we wasted time and money. They couldn’t execute the quality and level of detail that we required.

So we decided to go with another producer in Turkey, but this turned out to be even more stressful – we set a launch date for the product for the 1 December 2012, and they had left it very close to the date to ship the first batch over. They sent us a picture of the product ready to be shipped, and we saw that all the labels were on the wrong way round. The biggest lesson we learnt from this is to make sure you always over-communicate with your producer!

With Start-Ups, your initial idea is a very small percentage of the whole business. What’s vital is that you have the energy and passion to take the idea forward – you need to have enough love to overcome fears from judgement, and going against the mainstream. You have to really commit to your idea – even to treat it like it’s a person. Pursuing an idea like this and setting up a business is hard work, but it also means you wake up every day with a certain essence.

Kate MiddleToe

Kate MiddleToe

As a start-up, you try and do everything yourself to save money until it really hurts, and you know the business can’t continue like that. We started off shipping everything ourselves – our busiest time was Christmas, where I would literally be carrying a big sack of socks to the post office every day… This eventually became too exhausting and we decided we couldn’t continue without a fulfilment partner. One benefit of doing it this way round is that you are experts on what you are then outsourcing.  For example, we knew how exactly how much we should be paying for shipping.

We sold the first batch in Camden and Spitalfields markets – this gave us a real sense of how people reacted to the product. We saw people picking up the socks and laughing at them –it was really nice to see. However, we learnt that the market on the street is too wide, we knew we had to go online.

We started to work with different platforms to see where our products were most successful. When you are small your website isn’t going to get you the same amount of exposure – you have to work with the bigger established companies.  Notonthehighstreet.com has been our most successful sales platform – we found them to be brave and open minded about our product.

Don-Cottone

Don Cottone

We recently collaborated with some students from ESAD, a University in Portugal. The students were given a brief to come up with a new character for the brand. We chose four designs from these which we now sell. This was a really positive experience for us – it brought us a fresh perspective and new ideas as a brand.

It took us a year and a half to understand that we are a gift brand rather than a fashion brand… People tend to buy our products to make someone else laugh… What we also discovered is that you have to take advice from people with a pinch of salt – sometimes advice can be invaluable, but sometimes it can be very dangerous. There are so many ways to get it right – you have to believe in yourself.

ChattyFeet is really successful in countries where you have to take your shoes off because this is when people can see our funny characters… We still have a lot of ground to cover in countries where it’s cold!  We now have nineteen designs for adults and kids.  We are hoping to expand our product range from just socks – for Chattyfeet the sky’s the limit!

ChattyFeet is a friendly brand so feel free to get in touch with Gil and Humberto for advice and inspiration!

Visit the ChattyFeet socks website

 

 

Brit Week 2015

London Transplants Exhibition

The West Coast Alumni Association are launching their Exhibition entitled London Transplants, which will run as a part of Brit Week 2015, from April 21 – May 3 at WallSpace LA, 607 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles.

The show, which runs from April 21-May 3, 2015, will be a unique offering from UAL alumni – transplants from England and Europe who work in diverse fields, including the fashion and textile industries, contemporary art, film and animation, product and graphic design and have made Los Angeles their home.

On the surface, LA and London seem to have little in common outside a shared language, and those moving to the city can experience a culture shock. Leaving Europe behind, the London Transplants swapped rain for sun, public transport for freeways and cars, and history for Manifest Destiny. London Transplants 2015 will showcase artists who have been in LA for decades and those who have recently arrived to these sunny shores. What is true for all the artists is that the move to LA has encouraged an evolution, even a revolution, in the creation of their work.

It is well know that artists such as David Hockney blazed a trail for ex-pats who, like him, moved west to experience the light, the openness, the newness and the nowness of Southern California. Freed from the traditions and institutions of older cities and artistic tradition, the “blue-sky” creative climate in LA and its continually developing art scene have allowed for a fresh perspective for expat artists. In presenting London Transplants 2015, Wallspace offers a continuation of this legacy and an exciting look at these artists’ journey in this electrifying city.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

West Coast UAl Alumni Association
Email: info@londontransplants.com 
Website

The Mongolia Project!

The Mongolian Project

Anna-Louise Hale, Fine Art BA (Hons), Central Saint Martins; Byam Shaw is director of The Mongolia Project! Since graduating she has continued to create work as a freelance artist in set design, predominantly as Lead Set Designer with RIFT Theatre Company on their overnight adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth in Poplar 2014 – however her heart still lies with contemporary art.  After a two month adventure alone to Mongolia in 2012, the Mongolia Project was born, in order to say thank you to the talented artists she met on her way.

The Mongolia Project will be the first non-commercial contemporary art exhibition in the UK for Mongolian and international artists inspired by the country. The exhibition and events will be held in conjunction with ART HUB Gallery in October 2015 and as part of the Deptford X Art Festival in September 2015. After two years of organisation, they now need your help on Kickstarter to raise £5000!

Anna is supported by a team and group of ten artists, who invite you to explore modern Mongolia, its history, and the challenges it faces through visual, auditory and kinaesthetic means; talks, activities and participation. There are three main aspects of the project, the exhibition, events and a trip that Anna and a colleague will take later this year to Mongolia in order to work with the University of Art and Culture in Ulaanbaatar.

You can help them by donating here

For information you can visit the website or contact them at mongolia.exhibition@gmail.com