Archive for the ‘University of the Arts London’ category

Creative Enterprise Week & Awards 2014


Booking for Creative Enterprise Week 2014 (CEW14) is now officially open! This year SEE are offering over 30 talks, workshops and events taking place between 17 – 21 November, designed to get you making money and help you get your ideas off the ground!

Plus, applications to the 5th Creative Enterprise Awards, taking place as part of CEW14 on Wednesday 19 November, are also now open! There are 7 categories for you to enter, plus the return of the College Awards:

  • Freelancer
  • New Business
  • Enterprising Project
  • Digital
  • Ethical or Social Enterprise
  • International
  • Enterprising Individual

SEE encourages all enterprising students and graduates (of up to 3 years) to enter this year’s Awards.

The deadline for applications is 9am on Monday 20 October 2014. Any applications made after this deadline will not be considered.

Find out more at

Fancy being a website reviewer?

UAL Student Jobs and Careers are updating their website and need your help to make sure it is useful and relevant for users. Take part in this online card sorting exercise to have your say and get a sneak peak at what it takes to build and run a website. It will only take ten minutes and is best done on a desktop or laptop (not a smartphone.)

After you’ve participated, you can claim a free goodie bag from SEE! Just pop down to the SEE offices, lower ground floor, 272 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EY

Hong Kong’s Fairtrade Jeweller

Nathalie Melville – CSM BA (Hons) Jewellery Design, 2004


Nathalie Melville

Nathalie Melville

Jewellery designer and founder of ethical brand Melville Fine Jewellery, Nathalie is Hong Kong’s only Fairtrade precious metals license holder after establishing the company in 2010 on the principals of unconventional design and sustainable sourcing. Previous to this, Nathalie gained vast experience working at major international brands such as Tiffany, Follie Follie and Shanghai Tang.

When not creating one-off magical pieces of sparkly joy for her private clients, Nathalie, as Creative Director of Hatton Studios, teaches the art of fine jewellery making and design, from silversmithery and goldsmithery to product concept, design and development. Hatton Studios also provides much needed bench and workshop space for local designers.

As Hatton Studios looks to move out to a larger space and Melville prepares to launch its ready to wear range, the UAL Alumni Relations team caught a word with a very busy Nathalie.

Continue reading

Participation and attainment: panel discussion with Professor Stephen Brookfield

Participation and attainment: Behind the buzzwords, the key questions High Holborn (Room 211) on Wednesday October 22nd 2014 2.00 pm – 4.30 pm

You are warmly invited to join in a lively discussion with afternoon tea, led by Professor Stephen Brookfield, John Ireland Endowed Chair, University of St Thomas Minnesota and Dr Alison James, Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching, London College of Fashion Both educational literature and experience make clear the link between engagement in learning and student success. We frame our own efforts to help students achieve with terms such as ‘participation’, ‘excellence’, ‘inclusion’, ‘engagement’, while recognising that each one has multiple meanings and interpretations. These are at the heart of debates about how creative educators work with students to enable their achievement, academically and as practitioners, and mask complex issues. Join us to debate some of the questions they provoke as we explore the nature of:

  • attainment
  • participatory classrooms and studios
  • the causes of resistance and the things which hinder participation
  • skilful teaching
  • the relationship between attainment, reflection and student self-realisation
  • power and how it can be exercised responsibly in learning and teaching
  • pedagogies of/for participation
  • the co-constructed curriculum

Stephen Brookfield is the award-winning author of more than 16 books, including being a six-time winner of the Cyril  O Houle World Award for Literature in Adult Education Alison James is a National Teaching Fellow and co-author, with Stephen, of Engaging Imagination: helping students become creative and reflective thinkers

You said, we did


Here are some of the things we did in 2013-14 in response to feedback we received from you.

You had to wait too long for feedback on your assessments
A three week turn-round time was introduced for you to get your feedback.

The Libraries should be open longer
Library opening hours have been extended. CSM, LCC and LCF Libraries plus the Learning Zones are now open until 10pm Monday to Friday in BA term-time. They are also open on Sundays as well as Saturdays so these sites are now open every day of the week during BA term-time. The opening hours of Chelsea, Camberwell and Wimbledon libraries have also been increased.

You received timetables late and they were changed without notification
New online timetables have been introduced for every course and were sent out in August.

We needed to do more to support students with disabilities
A new Disability Service with extra funding for additional staff has been created.

You wanted more support for developing your academic skills
A new programme of academic support workshops accessible to all students and focusing on skills development has been launched.

More online support for your course was needed
Moodle, a new VLE, has been introduced for every course.

There should be opportunities to submit your assessments and receive feedback online
We have increased the use of OAT (Online Assessment Tools) across UAL.

You wanted more opportunities to develop personal skills for building your career after graduation
SEE has introduced the Career Mentoring Scheme for students prior to graduation.

Here are some of things we will do in 2014-15 in response to feedback from students

  • Extend Library opening hours at all sites during vacations. They are now open every day of the week during BA term time.
  • Ask students to give anonymous feedback for every unit they take.
  • Keep Wednesday afternoons free from mandatory timetabled sessions for undergraduates, in order to allow students to participate in sporting and other non-curricular activities.
  • Launch Academic Support Online as a searchable online tool with links to information and guidance on learning support.
  • Improve opportunities for student mobility, particularly through the ERASMUS scheme.


New Sickness Absence Policy

Sickness Absence Policy

A quick reminder to everyone that from 1 August 2014 UAL introduced a new Sickness Absence Policy. There was extensive consultation with the trade unions  over the new policy but it was not possible to reach complete agreement. Governors approved the Policy for implementation.  The new policy is available on the HR intranet Sickness Absence page

The policy aims to:

  • Reduce the impact of staff  sickness absence by encouraging line managers to discuss attendance issue at an early stage with team members
  • Foster earlier discussion and support for staff experiencing work related pressure
  • Promote good practice in how we manage disability related absence

All sickness absence can now be recorded and monitored against new triggers. The new triggers will apply from 1 October 2014.

Sickness Absence communication

Full details have previously appeared on the HR Blog and were circulated to all line managers.  They are available in the attached Sickness Absence Communication.

Workshops for managers

All managers will also be invited to attend a Sickness Absence Workshop – details to be circulated on Monday 6th October. If you are a manager please take the opportunity to tell your team members about the new policy and how it will affect them.

An all-staff email will be circulated on Monday 6 October.

For further information please contact HR


Recognising the exceptional entrepreneurial spirit of our students and alumni, in January 2012, UAL launched the SEED Fund to support current students and recent graduates (up to two years after graduation) who demonstrate a highly innovative and sustainable project or business plan.

The latest batch SEED Funded initiatives include an online platform aimed at facilitating sustainable lifestyle choices, an arts & culture quarterly print magazine, a lighting design company, a platform for showcasing emerging design talent and a fashion & accessories brand. Find out about these projects.

In addition to business development grants of up to £5,000, this fantastic programme offers workshops on everything from business planning and budgeting to pitching your idea and applying for funding, as well as free legal and commercial advice and mentoring from industry experts.

Now approaching its third anniversary, the SEED Fund has supported an impressive 36 projects and awarded a total of £138,000 worth of funding. We took a look back and asked one of our graduates how the SEED Fund helped him and how his project has developed:

Fernando Laposse

Fernando Laposse

Tell us about your project/idea/work
I wanted to develop my graduation project, a system for making edible sugar cocktail glassware, into a business.

How did you hear about the SEED Fund and what was the application process like?
I heard about SEED Fund through the business and employability centre at CSM. The application process was mainly about giving an elevator pitch of your idea and a business plan of how you intend to execute it. There is an initial round and if you make it past it you are expected to submit your product for a revision by the judging panel. The application process is extensive but very clear and comprehensive

What did the SEED Fund enable you to do?
The SEED Fund gave me an initial injection of cash which covered some of the costs of getting started, but really it was all the extra support, the workshops, mentoring and legal advice, that enabled me to make the jump from thinking simply as a designer to making more business conscious decisions.

Work by Fernando Laposse

Did UAL provide you with any other support/resources to help you get started? Is there anything else you think they should do?
I had the opportunity of joining a business evening course which was extremely useful. It was a very hands-on course which really pointed you in the right direction not only with business thinking but with more practical things like setting up a company and doing tax returns.

Do you have any plans to develop your ideas further? If so, what are they?
The core and focus of my business has changed from simply selling a product into selling a service, I think I came to this decision in a good part thanks to the experience of the SEED Fund, since I had to reassess my business plan a year later and comparing my cash flow prognostic when I applied to with my actual annual cash flow report I realised the most profitable activities were organising an event around my product, not selling it individually for the masses. My plan is to keep offering custom made products for exclusive events the way I have been doing for the past months.

Work by Fernando Laposse

What advice would you give students and graduates wanting to start out like you?
My advice would be to really believe in your product but to be open to change, and this could be the product itself or your target market. Progress comes by just diving head first, making mistakes and taking calculated risks, so don’t be afraid to try new things!

Next application deadline is 21 November 2014. Enterprise workshops, running during the week of 13 October, are available to students and alumni.
Find out more about the SEED Fund and how to apply.
Book on to one of our Enterprise Workshops.
Join our mentorship scheme and help the next generation fulfil their potential. Email to find out more.

Find out more about UAL’s Alumni Association 

UAL Postgraduate Community is a finalist in the 2014 Prospects Postgraduate Awards

The initiative,  to support the postgraduate students at UAL, is a finalist in the Best University Campaign category of the 2014 Prospects Postgraduate Awards. The awards recognise the most exciting developments in postgraduate education.

UAL Postgraduate Community, led by students, allows a space outside of their courses to test, explore and discuss their ideas to a much wider audience.

“The Postgraduate Community initiative aims to build a diverse programme of events that target the postgraduate taught and research student body across the University’s six Colleges, enabling postgraduate students to gain access to events and opportunities from all disciplines to nurture collaboration, networking and knowledge sharing. This will in turn provide an informed, connected and confident ‘Super Generation’ of arts professionals.”

- Rachael Daniels,  Postgraduate Community & Events Manager at UAL

Winners will be announced on Monday 10 November 2014.

Well done to all those involved!


Find out more about the Prospects Postgraduate Awards

Check out the Postgraduate Community publication.

Discover more about Postgraduate study at UAL.






Meet Mimi

With thanks to “persistence and hard graft”, since graduation Central Saint Martins alumna Mimi Berry (Fashion: Fashion Design with Marketing (1999)) has developed her leather accessories brand from a  small stall in London’s Spitalfields Market into an established presence on the international accessories scene. Mimi’s beautiful handmade leather designs are sold worldwide, however all manufacturing remains exclusively in the UK. On the launch of her new website and online shop, we visit Mimi (and her gorgeous dog) at her Bethnal Green studio to drink tea, talk business, reminisce about student life and fondle some amazing leather.

Mimi Berry

What was the best bit at studying at Central Saint Martins?
Studying at CSM made me confident as a person and as a designer, and the best part was being in a creative hub all the time.

Did it help you prepare for life after?
It makes you self-sufficient, as they were keen not to mollycoddle us, but encouraged us to go out there and make it happen instead. A good attitude for life basically. We were always told how fortunate we were, and not to waste our time. Seeing ex-students in the press and media was massive encouragement too, as it made you feel that you too could be as good as them.

Mimi Berry Workshop


What’s the secret to getting your work noticed after graduation?
Persistence and hard graft. Go out there, show your work and talk to people. Be original and don’t be afraid of being knocked back a few times in the beginning. It is also now absolutely essential to be social media savvy.

What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Finding good manufacturers that I could trust and that could make things on time. It was word of mouth and trial and error. Learning about the materials, and learning how to cost and price your work is also a huge challenge for a young designer.

Mimi Berry leather


What tips would you give current students hoping to start their own business?
Do work experience. It really is invaluable for learning how a business works.

What has been your proudest moment?
My long-term collaboration with the Tate still makes me so proud, as I was involved with the one of the most iconic institutions in the country. All four Tate galleries are iconic, inspiring and beautifully curated, and it was an absolute pleasure to design and sell a collection within this environment.

You offer work placements to current students, what do they learn and why is it important for students to take these opportunities?
It is so important for students to undertake placements if they can. They learn so much, and not just about design. It’s the whole experience of working in a business that is crucial to students who want to graduate and set up their own brand. In addition to contributing to the design process, the areas that the students learn about include costings, liaising with the factories and the entire product life cycle from design to completion. We have had some wonderful students, who have varied their time from 4 weeks to 9 months. We try to get them fully involved in the company and the jobs change from week to week.

Mimi Berry Workshop 2


What’s coming up next for you?
I am off to Paris Fashion Week at the end of September, and then it’s back to London to work on AW2015. We also have some exciting new collaborations in the pipeline. Unfortunately they are still secret, so I can’t tell you more about them quite yet!

What’s your favourite London hangout?
My current favourite is a new restaurant called Rotorino on Kingsland Road. I’ve been there twice this month. I also love the Royal Oak on Columbia Road.

Who inspires you?
Diana Vreeland (queen of the one liners). My mother. Wes Anderson (a genius!). Tilda Swinton.


Find out more about UAL’s Alumni Association 

Drawing resurgent as sound artist wins Jerwood Prize

Alison Carlier's sound work
The announcement of Alison Carlier’s sound work Adjectives, lines and marks as the winner of this year’s Jerwood Drawing Prize affirms the resurgence of exciting contemporary drawing practice in Britain. Marking the first ever sound-only work to win the prestigious prize, Alison was selected by judging panel Gavin Delahunty, senior curator of contemporary art, Dallas Museum; Dr Janet McKenzie, author and co-editor of Studio International; and artist Alison Wilding RA, whose remit was to “champion excellence and promote and celebrate the breadth of contemporary drawing practice within the UK.” Alison graduated from MA Drawing at Wimbledon College of Arts in 2013.

Adjectives, lines and marks is formed of Carlier’s voice reading a description of a Roman pot found in Southwark, close to the site of the Jerwood Space; its source is a reference book held at the Museum of London Archive Roman Southwark Settlement and Economy – excavations in Southwark 1973-91Mother No.O and Wait a minute, it’s the truth and the truth hurts XIV, the two winning student prize works by Wimbledon MA Fine Art alumna Ara Choi and Central Saint Martins BA Fine Art alumna Annette Fernando respectively, see UAL graduates winning three of the four prizes for 2014, the twentieth anniversary of the prize.

Speaking after the announcement, Alison Carlier says: “Drawing seems to be in an exciting position at the moment; on the one hand working across media such as audio/visual and performance whilst the 2D surface continues hold great potential. Drawing is undergoing a resurgence, perhaps because  at it’s root it is a shared practice; sculptors preparatory sketches, and the close alignment of drawing with printmaking, for example. Making drawings is familiar to artists across the board; it is a known and established discipline. But further than that, the quintessential nature of drawing; its proximity to thought, its directness, and often open-endedness enables it to create a discourse across and between media.  Drawing Sculpture recently shown at The Drawing Room is an example.”
Annette Fernando, Wait a minute, it's the truth and the truth hurts XIV, 2013. Jerwood Drawing Prize 2014. Photography: Benjamin Cosmo Westoby.

Reflecting on the contemporary relationship between drawing and sound, UAL’s Chair of Audio Culture and Improvisation Professor David Toop says: “There are close links between drawing and sound art. A lot of sound artists and improvisers would be happy to say that some part of their practice follows Paul Klee’s famous maxim of ‘taking a line for a walk’. To pick one example, Christian Marclay’s work with records and turntables began as a form of inscription, of following the lines cut into vinyl records. There is also the question of scale. Drawing tends to be intimate and close and sound art, particularly environmental sound recording, is predominantly an exploration of detail within the sound sphere or of auditory phenomena close to the ear. But drawing is also more in tune with the sketch, the transient marks that make no claim to permanence or greatness and working with sound and listening always has some sense of that transience, simply because sound is fleeting.”

“Today, when I use the word drawing I am thinking of a two dimensional, not necessarily hand-made image, executed with a view towards facilitating the understanding, design and/or explaining a multi-dimensional event” comments UAL’s Chair of Drawing Professor Stephen Farthing. “I suspect good drawing, like good writing, reduces a complex state of affairs to a simplified, elegant and intelligible image”

He adds: “The image can have been drawn on just about any substrate (working surface) that will receive a line: from the back of your hand or an envelope, to a concrete wall. It can be drawn with anything capable of making a mark on your chosen substrate: from a line made with the heel of your shoe to an area of tone made by a cast shadow, so drawing is more than paper and pencils. A possibly peripheral, but important to me aspect of drawing, is the degree of flux the drawing process allows. In a drawing every line is provisional until the drawing is finished, only at the end is the event, is it ‘carved’, so to speak ‘in stone’. The greatest drawings are the ones that have the ability to communicate their content without the help of either the written or spoken word. Drawings of this type are, however, few and far between, as most drawings are dependent to a degree on either oral or written support.”
Ara Choi, Mother No.0, 2013. Jerwood Drawing Prize 2014. Photography: Benjamin Cosmo Westoby.

Drawing has long been championed by UAL. Hearing the news of the prize winners, Wimbledon College of Arts’ Dean Simon Betts comments: “I am absolutely delighted that Alison and Ara have been so successful at the Jerwood Drawing Prize. By winning these prizes their commitment to the practice of drawing, and the quality of their work is given due national recognition.

“Contemporary drawing is now a multi-dimensional, multi-media and cross disciplinary practice. What Alison’s sound piece achieves is a new sense of materiality for drawing. Her work in the Jerwood Drawing Prize poetically ‘sketches’ and articulates a space for the ‘viewer’ where the drawing and articulation of the object is completed by the viewers’ visualisation responding to a spoken analysis of objects. There is a long and profound relationship between drawing and writing, but what Alison’s piece takes further is the creation of an interactive space where the drawing takes place between the spoken word and the viewer/listener. At its edge, the listener also makes a drawing. One of drawing’s purposes is to test the limits of visualisation, ideas and materiality, and this Alison does; she has made a multi-dimensional drawing.

“At Wimbledon College of Arts we are developing a new Centre for Drawing that will build on Wimbledon’s rich heritage of engagement with the practice of drawing, and one that will encourage research into new forms, materials and purposes of drawing. The notion of a centre implies that a thing or idea is at the heart of other things and ideas. At Wimbledon College of Arts we are exploring this new ‘centre’ for drawing as being the College itself; that is to say drawing situated at the heart of what we do, and extending outwards to create links and relationships with other practitioners, ‘centres’ and forums of contemporary drawing.

The last five years has seen debates around what is drawing, and what is a good drawing, inform practice, research and pedagogy. I want to see a ‘Centre for Drawing: Wimbledon’ that develops those ideas, investigates new forms, instigates research and shapes pedagogy. How we do that may well be on the basis of a more ‘viral centre’ that shapes itself dependent on shifting discourses and new forms of practice. However, while this more fluid notion of a centre for drawing should remain responsive and generative, it is because we believe that drawing remains at the centre of what we do as makers.”

Of her time at UAL, Alison says; “I studied MA Drawing at Wimbledon with Michael Pavelka,  which allowed me to push my ideas. The course is now led by Tania Kovats. As her work is at the forefront of  contemporary drawing practice, she is ideally placed.”

The Jerwood Drawing Prize is on show  until 26 October at Jerwood Space, read more on the Jerwood website

Listen to an extract from Alison’s work on the Jerwood SoundCloud

Read more about UAL’s Chair of Drawing on the UAL website

Read more about UAL’s Chair of Audio Culture and Improvisation on the UAL website

Search drawing courses at UAL