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no. 14 the green issue


less common more sense

The Green Issue cover design the wealth of the land Scarlett Shillingford (BA Graphic Design) The piece is to raise people’s awareness to the importance of our planet, and the physical substance of land in a time of climate change and global warming. call for submissions Do you want to see your work published? Less Common More Sense is now calling for work on the theme of Uncensored. Visit www.suarts.org/ lesscommon to submit your work. We welcome submissions from all areas of the creative arts. You must be a current student or an alumnus of the University of the Arts London. copyright 2009 The Students’ Union, University of the Arts London and the authors. No article may be reproduced or altered in any form without the written permission of the editor(s). The views expressed by the contributors/writers are not necessarily those of the editor(s), the publishers, or the University of the Arts London.

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designing green Barbara Ward | Yong Ping Loo

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magic Ariane Leblanc

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chlorine Paul Engles | Abigail Rose Liparoto

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they’re all bound Jonny Briggs

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iceland Louise O’Kelly

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fifteen men in my jacket Damian Kruhelski

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slow travel in the city Wen Yuan Wu

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recycling is sexy... Giselle La Pompe-Moore | Ada Zanditon

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sunset Puneeta Sharma

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consume Selvi May

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rags are riches: a tale of cinderella Imogen Thomas

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here boy! Isamaya Ffrench

can sustainable fashion survive the crunch? Julia Crew

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one man’s trash is another man’s treasure SHINNI

consequences Yong Ping Loo

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wasteland Silvia Capurro

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Jeff Hahn

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fsc promotion Natasha Rodwell

the price of charity Sean Parker

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an analysis of the green issue, based on double glazing, socks, and cherries Andrea Hooymans

winds of change Richard John Willsher


fashion sub-editor Giselle La Pompe-Moore

deputy editor Tatiana Woolrych

less common | obsessed with anything pink! more sense | my vegetarianism green is the new black

less common | need music to work more sense | need sunshine to live green is switching the light off

proofreader Alex Linsdell less common | being boiled more sense | feeling fascination green is protect and survive

online development Amy Marks less common | amaranthine more sense | amalgamating green is amelioration

designer Dani Matthews less common | a fan of spiderman more sense | see things differently green is #127a38

marketing & promotions Liggie Pelekani less common | I work better when it’s dark outside more sense | laugh often and dream big green is recycling more

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arts sub-editor Stephanie Grace

lead designer Barbara Ward

less common | more unconventional more sense | less foolish green is a bit postmodern...

less common | a science degree more sense | leaving science for art green is looking after our home www.suarts.org/lesscommon


less common more sense editor-in-chief’s letter Welcome to the first issue of Less Common More Sense produced by this volunteer team, and my first as editor-in-chief. Off the back of our second Guardian Student Media award (for design), there’s a lot of pressure on the team to perform, and I hope that you’ll enjoy the fruits of this exceptional collaboration in the pages that follow. We also greet for the first time a Less Common Online team, and a dedicated Marketing and Promotions volunteer; these new arrivals will doubtless see us skip to giddy heights thus far unexplored in Less Common’s history! Given the illustrious honour of choosing the theme for this issue, I jumped at the chance to push one of the Students’ Union’s key campaigns of this year, ‘Green is the New Black’ (www.suarts.org/green). Aside from the blithe hope that someone might interpret the title literally and go for something in emerald shades (though perhaps our poem on infanticide by chlorine treads close to this one), an eco-issue seemed an appropriate choice to spring from the loins of the 20,000+ collective of creatives that occupy the walls at Arts London (and, indeed, some of the alumni who submitted for this issue – see the work of Johnny Briggs on pages 28-29). ‘Sustainability’ seems to have slipped from a buzzword to a prerequisite these days, but thankfully appears to have retained most of its importance. Perhaps the answer isn’t to enforce a sense of obligation (and to aim for ‘carbon footprint’ to be listed beside ‘dimensions’ and ‘budget’ for every project), but there’s certainly something to be said for keeping these matters in mind, even when a task might not immediately scream ‘eco’. From a personal perspective, dabbling in recycled carpet tile shelters focused my attention onto the potentially unusual nature of this subject more closely than ever before, and I’ve taken great pleasure in challenging the definition. For, lest we forget, sustainability is more than recycling and turning down the temperature of your washing machine – it’s equally important that we all endeavour to cultivate an ecologically sound lifestyle and culture that can endure for generations to come. Each of us has a part to play, be this through our art, design, fashion, photography or – that most inevitable, and off-putting, of words – our politics. On Accessibility - to fit in all the fabulous content, sometimes the text in the magazine can be quite small. If you have difficulty reading this size text just go to www.suarts.org/lesscommon and use our handy online version with built-in zoom function. Kit Friend | Editor-In-Chief, Less Common More Sense SUARTS Campaigns & Communications Officer | Chair of The Arts Group - www.artsgroup.org.uk | www.arts.ac.uk/showtime/kitfriend | www.suarts.org

editor-in-chief Kit Friend less common | an unhealthy obsession with miniature railways (www.streamlinedlocomotion.blogspot.com) more sense | an Arts Degree should allow you to get rich (www.suarts.org/funding) green is living in a way that means my descendants will be able to Less Common More Sense | The Green Issue

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About the image: Cause and effect Using the iconic Recycle logo as a reference point, Yong Ping Loo decided to create an illustrative style narrative around the logo: showcasing the vicious cycle we all live in and the varying aspects of life on Earth. We all depend on our planet for survival and the only way we repay Mother Nature is by demanding more and more. Our greed and need for our selfish growth has often left nature

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neglected and abused. Will we only stop when the effects are immediate? The longer we take to make decisions and to take a stand, the harder our fight for survival becomes. We all have the right to survival, don’t we? We do not need to be stereotypical green activists or tree-huggers to make a positive change in our environment. All it takes are small everyday decisions to be responsible for our own consumption and to be open to change.

A change to a sustainable lifestyle. From our decisions come actions, and from our actions comes change. Further work by Yong Ping Loo can be found on page 36.

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designing green

Barbara Ward (ABC Graphic Design) Green doesn’t have to be green. Nor does it have to look handmade, using poor-quality media and earthy tones. To work sustainably doesn’t need to curb your creativity, the results can be as sleek and polished as your imagination desires. This is why we have chosen to design this issue of Less Common More Sense around the opposite of green: pink. Less Common More Sense | The Green Issue

As well as using pink as the signature colour of this issue, we have used a spacious layout with a strong use of white, because sustainable and recycled paper has moved on from the dull beige colour traditionally associated with it. And to prove this, we have printed this issue on stock that is 80% recycled (the other 20% being from sustainable forests).

Finally, we have used dyes that we know won’t harm the environment. Because, let’s face it, we only have one planet – and if we cock it up, then we’re all in trouble. Image by Yong Ping Loo (BA Hons Graphic Media Design)

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chlorine

Paul Engles (MA Publishing) Old apple, lurid skin, cellophane scars from the Pit Stop wrapper, left for a week in the bowl. Is it dust? Is it chalky? It’s not as it tasted before news broke of the girl only six whose face was the colour of the face of a witch in a film. Not just the gills, sick, sick. He boiled it for guests but let his daughter drink from the tap. They broke every bone they could find: dazed on a morphine drip he chewed through his top lip muttering. Purify my child, sterilise. Swallow a lungful of this and you’ll sleep in my coffin tonight. Four pints a day and I’ll bask in your emerald glow. Your breath sets playmates clawing necks, their haemorrhaged pupils, a rolling cloud over Ypres or the Somme. Image by Abigail Rose Liparoto (BA Hons Illustration)

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iceland

Louise O’Kelly (ABC Diploma Photography) These images are from a series taken whilst on a road trip around the south coast of Iceland. Only one road is open around the edge of the island during the winter months, as all internal roads become impassable due to weather conditions. Whilst travelling in my tiny little rent‑a-car, I became aware of the force of the elements, as high winds battered my car and snow whipped up to make the road barely visible. The impression of a small population surviving in this immense landscape seemed in stark contrast to life in London, where nature is pruned back and weather can be merely an inconvenience. Iceland’s unusually diverse and beautiful landscape is a result of the country being one of the most active volcanic regions on earth. It is incredibly stark and isolated in places, with vast plains of black volcanic rock stretching for miles into the sea. Glaciers cut their way down from the mountains and out into the ocean, breaking up into large chunks of ice. The country is called a land of fire and ice, but it is closer to a land of mist and steam. Geysers spurt hot water out of the earth, fed by the many geothermal springs. Reykjavik,

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the capital, translates as ‘bay of steam’, and derives its name from the many hot springs in the area. It also contributes to the country’s sense of magic and mystery, with a long tradition of myth and folklore. There are many legends relating to the history of Iceland, often inextricably linked in with their environment. It is this relationship with their surroundings that sets Icelandic people apart. Despite their extreme environment, they have managed to settle the land since the times of the Vikings, making do with what little resources were available. The country is almost devoid of trees, and houses were once constructed of driftwood that washed up on their shores. Animal bones were used as toys and tools. Locals washed their clothing in local hot springs, while the sea provided an abundant supply of food. It is this ability to adapt that has led to inventive use of their local resources in more recent times. Geothermal fields spouting geysers just outside of Reykjavik provide the city with heating, hot water, and drinking water. Deildartunguhver is Europe’s largest spring, and water literally boils up out of the earth here to be pumped to nearby towns and

greenhouses for heating. Other than being purely efficient, the hot springs have always been central to community life. Every small town has its own swimming pool with hot pots – hot spots for catching up on local gossip! These outdoor tubs are the hub of social life in Iceland and are frequented by everyone, from young to old, who sit to steam and chat. The geothermal water is also reputed to have healing properties, which makes it altogether a somewhat healthier option than going to the pub. Iceland is also the only country in the world that obtains all of its electricity and heat from renewable sources. Geothermal fields heat almost the entire country and produce some electricity, whilst the majority is created through hydro-power. This self-sufficiency is probably quite fortunate in the current financial climate. It also makes for much more sustainable and renewable use of energy than limited supplies of gas and oil. It is encouraging to see how a government can work in harmony with their environment to produce cheap, efficient energy sources, independent of world economics or fuel prices.

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slow travel in the city

Wen Yuan Wu (MA Graphic Design Graduate 2008)

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There are many ways to travel in the city. However, we hear of less and less people choosing walking as their main method of transport. Yet walking is essential. It may take more time than by more modern modes, but it provides a great opportunity to go into the city and have a more meaningful, memorable experience during a journey. The flow of people, the changing weather and lighting, different architectures and green spaces – all of these make the city vivid and colourful. We gain a closer look at surroundings and people. And get to experience the culture, history, and the breadth of the city, whilst walking in it.

traditional and modern, walking and the tube), in order to redirect our attention to that which has become familiar over time.

This project attempts to encourage others to experience a walking journey through the city, and explores the different experiences we have by different means of transport (slow and fast,

My work is a time-based visual description of a daily journey. The typical journey started from home (Rotherhithe, London) to London College of Communication, where I usually

I’ve produced a visual comparison of slow travel and fast travel based on the same route, which presents geographical journeys as visualised mapping information, and examines how our perception of daily travel is manipulated through visual scale. “...walking is less expensive, causes less pollution, is good for your health, and provides more opportunities for ‘experiencing’ a journey.”

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work, and to central London, which is for leisure and social activities. The slow method of travel was walking, and the journey took 2 hours, 24 minutes and 19 seconds in total. The fast method of travel was modern transport: bus and the tube. It took 45 minutes and 30 seconds in total.

As a designer, I cannot force my entire audience to make the same decision. And I cannot change everyone’s habits, or methods of travelling, but I can try to inform people of what I believe to be the correct messages, and the truth, through visual language. I think my work will help people to understand and face valuable concepts of travelling in the city.

In order to make the time difference more visible, I decided to put all the information into the cycling grids. The grids related to the idea of time-based description (a clock), which can systematically represent movement of time in a controlled method. Considering that common elements appeared during both the slow and fast travel processes, I set up a colour code system. This code helped me to translate the findings of my research into a more effective information design language, and directly informs readers of the different experiences of my slow and fast journeys in the city. From the visual comparison, we can see that modern transport offers people a fast and effective experience of travel. Walking probably is the slower method of travelling, but walking is less expensive, causes less pollution, is good for your health, and provides more opportunities for ‘experiencing’ a journey. Nowadays, travelling quickly is the primary concern of most people. We place emphasis on the fastest means of transport, but we think less about why we travel, and what we expect of the journey. At the same time, the joy of travel is disappearing, and by rushing to their destinations people are destroying the environment, and giving less consideration to the experience of travel.

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sunset

Puneeta Sharma (BA Fine Art) My work focuses on the theme of human destruction to our planet. I use photography to capture beautiful sunsets. However, the sunsets we see aren’t what nature has provided us with. They are the result of the gases and oils we use and burn everyday – hence the amazing colours we see. Over the summer I have begun painting some of the sunsets that I have photographed. Some people say it reminds them of Turner’s work. However, Turner was affected by nature; this time, we are affecting our planet.

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rags are riches a tale of cinderella

Imogen Thomas (BA Fashion Journalism)

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Once upon a time in a land not so far away, Cinderella planned for a prestigious ball in total disarray. Her hair was matted, and with rags so tattered, She wondered what to do; work had made her so shattered!

Who needs those forlorn frocks anyway? Bought in haste, and left to decay. The stepsisters ordered from as far as Timbuktu, Totting up the air miles for an ill-fitting, out of vogue tutu.

In times of need, she looked to her ugly stepsisters for aid, Yet they scorned at her because she was merely a maid. Distraught, distressed and without a dress, Swiftly she searched their wardrobes to some success.

Is this throwaway fashion really worth all that? Cinders thought in Oxfam as she tried on a fabulous hat. And then she saw it; her bargain, her find, her treasure! The most gorgeous gown; she whipped out her tape measure.

Prada, Cavalli and McQueen to name but a few, Cindy’s eyes lit up; my, what a view! Kaleidoscopic, the gowns wrapped in plastic, Their tags still intact, unworn… this was fantastic!

A few stitches at the waist and it would fit a treat, Her glittering glass slippers would adorn her feet! And with a bag nabbed at a swishing party, Cindy’s outfit was complete; she looked fashionable and arty.

Thrifty Cindy set about with thread, Altering the McQueen, thoughts running through her head, To twirl and laugh and dance til 12 o’clock, Eco-Cindy had saved the day with her second hand frock!

Cinderella waltzed with confidence into the ball, The stepsisters muttered at her entrance to the hall. Is it Galliano? Chloe? Marc Jacobs? Westwood? The whispers that followed her made Cinders feel good!

Alas, though, the stepsisters caught her red-handed, Tore the dress from her, and left her stranded. With little more than a few pennies in her purse, Cinders hit the streets whispering a curse.

She kept them guessing, no one knew her trick, Even Prince Charming thought she looked slick. She was gorgeous, dazzling and unique; When times are hard, try eco-chic!

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here boy!

Isamaya Ffrench (BA Product Design) A collection of stilettoes and feminine shoes made of raw hide and dog chew. It draws on the notion that aesthetics can defy convention.

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one man’s trash is another man’s treasure SHINNI (FdA Art & Design)

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The process is simple enough: do not judge materials by their price tag. The principle is no more complicated: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. The work itself becomes nothing but a byproduct, a happy accident. As an art foundation student I am surrounded by many people who are experiencing the true meaning of the word ‘budget’ for the first time. Everyone has to eat, and with most art supplies costing us an arm, a leg, and a three-course meal, the typical art student’s lifestyle is not one associated with glamour. Add to that an endorsement of ‘the sustainable lifestyle’ and an acute awareness of what and how much one is buying, and you’re in a real pickle. At least, so it seems. Turns out art supplies are not actually limited to art stores, and they are by no means limited by a budget. There is an unimaginable amount of objects around us that are not only absolutely free of charge, but sometimes more inspiring than shiny paint tubes or immaculate white canvases. The problem is that they are easily overlooked because they are placed in unfortunate locations – ones that tend to communicate a lack of ‘usefulness’. You know the like: rubbish dumps, the pavement, eerie and diseased-looking street corners…

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But when I realised this was actually a secret hidden resource, a whole new world opened up. It is like walking into an art supply store with an empty wallet but realising you could walk home with whatever you wanted. And the icing on the cake was the fact that this was all environmentally friendly, as it was basic (albeit slightly atypical) recycling. “Everyone has to eat, and with most art supplies costing us an arm, a leg, and a three-course meal, the typical art student’s lifestyle is not one associated with glamour.” With these thoughts in mind, a cardboard box becomes a valuable surface; a plastic bag an interesting texture; a piece of torn smelly fabric a beautiful collection of colours and shapes – and that is only the tip of the iceberg. These materials are almost unnervingly versatile, and each offers room for exploration and experimentation like no other material I have bought in an art store. Suddenly, you are hit with this awareness of pigment and texture in all objects around you, and you discover new purposes for some of the most common things. You never know what you might (sometimes quite literally) stumble into.

Most of my work does not start with an intention or idea; it just starts with an object and a surface (I am more of a 2D aficionado). The rest happens by itself. I love to emphasise that the work was done with a sustainable message in mind, but how exactly that message is communicated is up to the viewer to decide. Having only just tapped into this resource in the last year and a half or so, I have a lot of discoveries ahead, but if there is one thing that is crystal clear, it is that ‘green’ art is not as hard to produce as ‘normal’ art. London is an extremely resourceful city, and I encourage every artist interested in exploring the sustainable side of creativity to periodically stop for a minute and browse their surroundings. The limits of materials are, really, what you make them.

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Jeff Hahn

Foundation Media: Animation Pathway

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fsc promotion

Natasha Rodwell (Graphic & Media: Information Design) U2 are one of the only bands to use guitars made from FSC-certified wood. To raise awareness of this fact, I have created an album cover design detailing how a guitar is made, and highlighting their use of FSC wood to promote the organisation and raise awareness of their tree logo.

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an analysis of the green issue, based on double glazing, socks, and cherries Andrea Hooymans (BA Hons Fine Art)

“Art doesn’t have to be serious, but it should be creative. It should help us figure out how to live.” – Maureen Rice, Actress As art shows people aspects of life, it influences what they think and how they think. It works the other way as well. The overall green focus of our western society is well reflected in the offer of new courses around the university, the CSM innovation centre, and, more importantly, in our daily work. Since we, as artists, show our ideas about everything (otherwise known as ‘life’), we reflect on society, as we live there. Thus, ‘green’ comes forward in our work through themes, materials, and (for instance) philosophical ideas about producing and selling our creations. It is evident that the green issue is alive in our university. Even the course representatives have continually been voting for more recycling around the college; various ideas on recycling and rubbish separation have been brought forward, but it’s not always as easy as just getting an extra pair of bins. For instance, the students were told that the company collecting our rubbish doesn’t do recycling. So, if you want to change that, you’ll have to persuade the college to contract a new collector; there’ll be a shortage of money, or no manpower to organise it, and then you’ll have to draw up a financial, or logistical, plan – and, if you’re capable of doing all that, hope your hard work won’t end up in a drawer somewhere. Since we’re not all course reps, let alone reps with time and energy to devote to these things, we’ll have to go green closer to home. But what more can you do than separate your garbage and switch off the light? It’s not like you’ve got a couple of hundred quid to spare for some double glazing. And, in any case, garbage and double glazing aren’t interesting enough subjects to spend your time contemplating. What you want is something fresh, young, luscious, and lifestyle, with a cherry on top. We have exchanged almost all of our duties for our desires. We used to feel obligated to social classes, guilds, and families, but now we are much more independent. Now that we fix our attention on the individual, our primary obligation is to ourselves. This is because, after the industrial revolution and the computer age, we are well-rooted and settled. And, with all of 26

these things sorted, we need to give meaning to our lives. We need to fill that empty space; we want to feel good about ourselves, and we want to satisfy our spiritual and moral needs. We want that cherry on top, and saving the planet is behind door number 3! Only, ‘back to nature’ is only ‘back’ because nature used to be part of our primary needs. A means of getting what we really need to survive. Nowadays, we turn dead animals into home-grown disinfected pre-packaged ready-to-eat pulp. We are as far from nature as a noodle take-away, and what’s behind door number 3 is nothing but smoke and mirrors. The green issue has indeed become a powerful tool for advertisement. ‘Back to nature’ equals low-fat luxurious sushi lunchboxes at £6.00 a pop. A light or diet version proves no longer to be sufficient. The health department goes green; it’s all ready‑to‑eat, with fresh and clean lounge-like rooms, sporty wellbeing blurbs, green logos, and green walls – even the hip twirly-wirly wall paintings if you’re lucky. If we really cared, airproof lunchbox sales would have gone through the roof a long time ago. But it’s all about the image, about the package, and the latest fashion. Be part of the scene and the mirrors will tell you that you are forever young, sexy and successful. The ‘green label’ is well on its way to take its place next to child labour-free and non-animal tested standards to prove one pair of socks to be better than another. But the true market value turns out to lie in the hype, because people want the whole package, a total makeover, a fresh start. Sign up for a fitness club; five-a-day; recycle; 1001 things you can do with an old hat, and so on. The green madness makes the green age. It’s obvious that the old recycled marketing tricks have been working on various fronts. We’ve got vintage; change CD covers into pencils; invent neo neo fashion trends; reuse musical riffs. The latter does imply that recycling doesn’t always have to be a good thing for everyone. The breaking news about the tap water in London having gone through a minimum of 12 bodies did shock a lot of people. But imagine Homo sapiens 200,000 years ago, its species multiplying through the www.suarts.org/lesscommon


ages, reaching an estimate of about 6.7 billion last year; imagine how many people that would be through the ages and then think about the amount of water on this planet. Your next sip of water might have been part of a dinosaur’s doodoo. These are the facts of life. And with the comfort and knowledge we have today, we can spend some time reflecting on these things. It’s a wonderful idea that something that once was a disposable Sainsbury’s bag may today keep you warm in the form of your stay-in-bedand-watch-mindless-telly-all-day fleece jumper. This is what is possible and what’s being done. Our behaviour is changing. We’re reusing the things we take from the earth, and trying to take less in the first place. And if the reason for this is because we want to be fashionable, to go with the flow, or fear global disaster, it doesn’t change that fact.

But there is another motivation. With all our knowledge and means of communication, we are much more engaged with the world, and with the work that needs to be done. Lobbying the back rooms of parliament or sitting in a rubber boat saving whales isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, especially since these things take you into such extremes that you’d have to make the environment part of your life. If you don’t want to devote your life to the green issue, you’ll be forced to do your bit in the little time you have. That’s why it’s not strange that not everyone will fight for the environment so actively, and that most people leave their good deeds at a monthly deposit. If you would want to do your bit at home, you’ll have to change something in your daily routine, and changing a habit takes a considerable amount of time and energy. You can’t blame the English for not knowing foreign languages, since English is a universal language. Likewise, going out of your

way to dispose of your green leftovers properly, or separating plastic from paper, isn’t as easy for everyone as it sounds – not if you haven’t been brought up with it. That’s not an excuse though. We’re part of a great change, and we need to fight for that change: F*cking Recycle (a poster collection by Becky Redman). That’s without the cherry. We can be someone else’s cherry though: We can create and influence through our creating and inventing new ideas. Our inspiration inspires others to live and do what makes them happy, and if that’s planting trees in Tooting, researching natural energy, or building eco-villages, they are in any case saving the word… And so are we.

magic

Ariane Leblanc (BA Graphic Design)

this is a magic place with magic trees where magic happens

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they’re all bound

Jonny Briggs (Chelsea Alumni: BA Fine Art) This piece was inspired by a painting on the wall of my bedroom as a child, where Jesus was surrounded by intimidatingly tame animals. I have also speculated over the fantasy of play, and a game my four sisters used to play as children, where their tops were stuffed with cushions and toys, fabricating a pregnancy. My mother represents my sisters here, animalistic and united in their similarity. Thirty different animals are also hidden within the image, disconcertingly tame against the feral humans who appear ritualistic, meditative, and absorbed in nature. To reveal where the animals are hiding, visit www.suarts.org/lesscommon Less Common More Sense | The Green Issue

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fifteen men in my jacket

Damian Kruhelski (BA Photography)

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I became a part of the story in 2000 when I got the jacket from my uncle in Poland. My friends were organising a New Year’s Eve party, and everyone was supposed to wear clothes from the 1970s. I needed bell-bottomed trousers and it turned out that one of my uncles had got some. When I visited him, as well as the trousers he also found in his wardrobe the leather jacket, which he hadn’t worn for 10 years. Since it was too short for him he asked me if I would like to wear it. After my happy “yes” he gave it to me, but didn’t tell me how he got it, and I didn’t ask.

I discovered the rest of the story of my leather jacket when I started doing a project for the BA Photography course at LCC. The idea for the project was simple; I wanted to photograph strangers in the leather jacket in order to question the image of men in it, and challenge the pop culture, which suggests that a man in a leather jacket is a true man. Only when I phoned my uncle and found out how he got the jacket did I start thinking that clothes which are manufactured to last longer than only one season are uncommon in the modern world.

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Silesia, the part of Poland that I come from, belonged to Germany before and during the Second World War, and many families have relatives there. Those people from Germany were sending second-hand clothes to their relatives in Silesia in the 1970s and 1980s. That is how a friend of my uncle got the jacket. At that time in communist Poland, people couldn’t simply go to the shops and buy things, thus exchanging was very common. In parcels that were sent from Germany were clothes of different sizes, and my uncle merely swapped with his friend another piece of clothing for the leather jacket. He was wearing it until it was too short for him, and after that he hanged it in his wardrobe, where it stayed for 10 years.

Less Common More Sense | The Green Issue

After I found out the rest of the story I wanted to enrich the project with that knowledge, and that is why I decided I would photograph the men against different shops. I wanted to make the viewer think about ‘things’, and the ways of obtaining them. Modern western societies treat ‘things’ as temporary objects, and companies are no longer interested in producing them to last as long as possible. Items are produced to be replaced with other articles in the near future.

I knew that with this project I would not change the situation in the world where mass production is so common, but at the same time I wanted to make people think about obtaining things. As consumers, we can all put pressure on manufacturers by not choosing new items produced to last only a short time.

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recycling is sexy...

Giselle La Pompe-Moore (BA Fashion Journalism) Using something again and again is extremely powerful. Although it is still the same thing every time it’s used, it evolves, and takes on different characteristics. Our Eco-Goddess wears stunning sustainable designs throughout, and takes on different characters and movements in each pose. Even though her image is recycled, the message behind her clothes remains the same. Modern and innovative sustainable designs such as this show that sustainable materials need not affect the visual aesthetic of clothes any longer.

Ada Zanditon: The clothes featured in the shoot are by London College of Fashion graduate Ada Zanditon. The talented womenswear designer graduated in 2007 with a first-class degree. She is a pioneer for young, modern, and beautiful ethical designs. Her talent hasn’t gone unnoticed, as she won the Prize for Creativity at the Ethical Fashion Show in Paris. Her designs were also shown at the Hangzhou Grand Theatre in China. Ada Zanditon has shown that ethical fashion need not just be organic cotton t-shirts, but can be classed as eco-couture.

Fashion Editor: Giselle La Pompe-Moore Photographer: Serge Kovalenko (MA Fashion Photography) Clothes: Ada Zanditon (Womenswear Design Graduate 2007) www.adaz.co.uk Fashion Assistant: Andre Davies (BA Fashion Journalism) Model: Lisa Payne (BA Fashion Journalism) Less Common More Sense | The Green Issue

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consume

Selvi May (FDA Design of Visual Communication) Over the summer I had a project entitled ‘consume’, where I was required to collect one hundred objects that fit into a shoebox. I collected over one hundred forks. Metal, wooden, plastic, sporks, airplane forks, hand crafted forks, hospital forks. I think I have a pretty vast collection!

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Simple objects – in this case, forks – contribute to our extremely high consumpution/waste levels, especially in our Western consumerist world. I found it so easy to collect the items; thousands of people buy readymeals with forks included in the packaging, and places such as EAT and Pret a Manger hand out thousands

and thousands of plastic forks every day. Small items can easily accumulate to waste. The items were used to generate images in the dark room.

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can sustainable fashion survive the crunch? Julia Crew (MA Fashion & the Environment)

The crunch, credit crisis, the economic downturn, recession… words and phrases that have become all too familiar over the past few months. As the gloomy forecasts continue for the foreseeable future, the realisation is beginning to sink in that there will be no quick fix solution. It’s a worrying situation for the fashion industry, which has been one of the first to suffer from consumers cutting back on discretionary spending. The situation is one that fashion, an industry built around consumerism, is poorly prepared for. Consumer confidence is down and people are economising and being more careful with their money – unbelievable! Sales figures for many high street retailers have been down in their year-on-year comparisons – shocking! Many retailers were rolling out discounts well before the Boxing Day sales bonanza in an effort to tempt shoppers to spend – unthinkable! But in this climate of increasing sobriety – society is beginning to wake up to the consequences of years of excessive debt and wasteful consumption – isn’t it more unbelievable that the UK clothing and textiles industry is responsible for up to 3.1 million tonnes of CO2 and 70 million tonnes of waste water in a year? Isn’t it shocking that the last five years have seen an increase in the proportion

Less Common More Sense | The Green Issue

of textile waste at council tips – up from 7% to 30%; a trend that is becoming known as the ‘Primark effect’? And isn’t it unthinkable that people across the globe suffer horrific levels of exploitation, purely so that we can buy more cheap new clothes which are then discarded in a matter of weeks? ...”isn’t it unthinkable that people across the globe suffer horrific levels of exploitation, purely so that we can buy more cheap new clothes...” Here in the UK, in our modern-day capitalist society, markets are created to serve false needs. We have been driven to consume, and to define ourselves by what we own. But this has not generated a greater sense of happiness or satisfaction. Many people are easily manipulated by the propaganda of media and advertising, and most of us are familiar with the sensation of wanting something again, almost before the buzz of buying a new item has faded. Very few people are engaging fully, or positively, with the experience of shopping. We are stuck in a seemingly inescapable cycle of wanting and desiring products, the manufacture and distribution of which pollute; waste resources; exploit people – and will not magically improve our lives or satisfy any real human need.

It is important to recognise how many benefits there are to sustainable fashion. It can create livelihoods and encourage economic growth – not deplete them. That increased efficiency and improved transparency leads to higher levels of trust, competitive advantage, and better business and consumer relationships. Sustainability is also losing its ‘worthy’ image, and becoming aspirational. It is defined by desirability, beautiful design, quality, and better service. When the core values of a business are addressed, it will resonate far more meaningfully than token gestures and greenwash. Perhaps 2009 will see the beginning of a shift away from cheap, fast fashion and passive consumerism, and towards something that is more considered, engaged and responsible. As people cut back on their spending, there is an opportunity to refocus: to take stock and see what is really important. People may be buying less, but perhaps they’ll be more willing to trade up on quality – looking to invest their money in something durable, something they’ll want to keep. Consumers will engage more with their purchases, taking a closer interest in the background of a product. And, if that’s the case, I think sustainable fashion is in a very strong position to weather the storm, survive the crunch, and bounce back bigger and better than ever.

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consequences

Yong Ping Loo (BA Hons Graphic Media Design) I designed this image with the idea of our choices and consequences of our actions. The fate of our planet is in our hands – human beings are just one of the only many species who live on Earth, but are solely responsible for its destruction. In the last century alone, our planet has seen more changes in its climate than ever before. Rising sea tides, the hole in 36

the ozone layer, melting of the solar ice caps, deforestation, and disappearing islands – just a few examples of the negative impacts industrialisation has on our planet. Developed countries trade responsibilities and human rights for their own greedy pursuits and consumption, at the expense of our environment and the lesser-developed countries. Today, the current

measurement of atmospheric CO2 is 385 parts per million (ppm) and increasing at an alarming rate, a far cry from the 275 ppm measured in the pre-industrial revolution days. Scientists draw the limit at 550 ppm, and anything between 450 and 550 ppm would result in irreversible impacts on all of us. So where do we go from here? Life or death? www.suarts.org/lesscommon


Less Common More Sense | The Green Issue

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wasteland

Silvia Capurro (MA Graphic Design Graduate 2008) 1.1. the research approach To start this project has been easy I have been moved by anger and shame for my country: Italy. A country which deserves better. Better than its politics who are the joke of the whole world. Better than having its main national systems corrupted by the people who are always a bit more ‘equal’ than others. And better than witnessing the devastation of one of its most flourishing and beautiful regions: Campania. A lot of issues highlight the lack of efficacy of Italy: transport, companies, urban services, the media, and so on. Of course, the common factor of all these problems is politics, but as a graphic designer – and so as a communicator – I found that communication also bears a main responsibility. To continue the project was incredibly difficult I have chosen the waste problem in Campania because it is the most representative and scandalous current issue relating to the lack of working systems. I soon understood how complex it was to understand it. Because I have been influenced by the ‘disinformation’ process of the Italian media, I had to eradicate my preconceptions and then to think of a means of imparting the knowledge to others. According to Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), which has made the first world chart demonstrating press freedom, in fact, Italy occupies the fortieth place. 38

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Italy, because of the unsolved conflict of interests of the prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, is behind South Africa, Uruguay, Taiwan, and only just above Israel, South Korea, and Kosovo.

Nevertheless, the Italian media have reported the whole thing simply as an urban waste disposal problem, mainly related to the incapacity of the citizens to recycle or to organise themselves.

To understand and develop it was also hard First of all, gathering information was kind of a challenge. Nothing complete and effective exists. National medias have reported it just superficially, and I had to pass through the word of mouth process, getting in touch directly with people who live the everyday reality of the place.

On the contrary, the situation is much more complex than this suggests. We are not speaking, as the media want to make it appear, about a local problem caused by regional laziness and ignorance.

The reality, the actual situation, the comprehension of how it should be, the acceptance of all the deaths and the poisoning, as well as the complete state of abandon experienced by people from Campania every day for 20 years (by the media and by politics), was a reality hard to understand – even harder to digest. To design was, on the other hand, not an issue. I wanted to inform other people of the problem in a direct way, sparing them the trouble I had in gaining the information. A clean design, helped by the power of the icons, and a clear layout tries to make the content easy to reach. An always-present toll bar menu makes the navigation flexible and easy to approach. 1. 2. the project 1. 2. 1. what is it about? Waste disposal in Naples is under the attention of all the world’s press and represents a very serious problem for people from the region of Campania in Italy. I have always found it as the most representative of the national problems, the most dangerous and uncivilised. Less Common More Sense | The Green Issue

Even if cultural factors have a part to play, it is also the case that big economic interests gravitate around the districts of Naples and Caserta. Politics and the mafia play a dominant role; waste disposal is a multibillion business, and operates in the way that it does for financial reasons. Of course, when in 1989 a roundtable took place (known as the ‘Villaricca meeting’), at which politicians, Camorra, and businessmen signed the deal for waste disposal management and control, they were very conscious of the cultural factors, and the attitude of the citizens in the area. The reasons for the problem are very deep seated. 1. 2. 2. wasteland ‘Wasteland’ was born as an information platform to get information but also able to connect people, making them able to share information and opinions and giving a starting point for future active cooperations between the citizens and the associations. ‘Wasteland’ is a website which provides all of the information to give a general and complete overview of the problem. The sections help to navigate through the main

issues (the areas/the people/the system/ the story so far) and the interactive sections which get the users involved (download/blog/ links/info). In the ‘WASTE CATEGORIES’ (section 8), icons identify the main waste areas according to the type of pollution. Each of them has a map where the main areas are indicated, as well as an information page. Any page contains a picture, explanatory text, a main sentence, and a quotation from biologists, lawyers, breeders, writers, or environmental and association members. In ‘THE EFFECTS’ pages, the dioxin effects in the animals and in the human being are explained, while the “PEOPLE” section identifies the protagonists, and those responsible for the waste disposal problem - from the local mafia (Camorra), to the writer Roberto Saviano. ‘THE SYSTEM’ section represents the complex systems related to the waste issue in a graphically simple way, as the information design principles warrant. ‘THE STORY SO FAR’ contains a timeline, starting in 1989 and finishing in 2008. Every year contains information about the main occurrences in the waste crisis history, and indicates who was the Prime Minister, the Minister of the Environment, and the Waste Emergency Extraordinary Commissioner. Finally, in the interactive part, the audience is invited to download the information material to promote the website as an information tool, and to leave comments and information through the blog. Moreover, it is possible to find more information and useful links.

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the price of charity

Sean Parker (Graphic & Media Design) Green is far more than just part of the colour wheel. Green is ecology, green is nature, green is recycling. Now, I’m not trying to make out that I am some sort of ambassador for Mother Nature: all I’m saying is that I like to do my bit for the environment. Apart from separating the cardboards from plastics at home, and occasionally putting a can in those special bins, I really am no saint. But over the past few months I have come to realise that I actually lend more to the cause than I first led myself to believe. It was something that slipped under the radar, modest and undervalued: charity shopping. Charity shops are a hub of society; they form communities and bring together generations. They are eclectic treasure troves dressed as humble meeting places for our seniors – a cunning disguise. I have been looking through charity shops for a couple of years now, ever since I overcame my snobby perception of second-hand goods as soiled or damaged.

The temptation of rummaging around a basket of trinkets, in the hope of coming across something strange and beautiful, is now often hard to resist. There is no guarantee one will find anything of great monetary worth, but it is sometimes equally valuable to dig out something that jogs nostalgia or pulls at your sentimental strings. For me, the experience of charity shops is not just in the unpredictability, but also the memories from childhood it brings back: visiting the bootsales with my parents on bitter November mornings in the local farmer’s fields. Friendly competition, bartering, the exchanging of anecdotes; the sense of goodwill is what attracts me to this kind of place. The majority of my pocket money used to get spent on Pokémon cards and Pogz, which were pretty much standard toys of preference in the mid 90s. I am actually convinced that I still have a holographic Charizard somewhere. Recently, I have grown up a bit and moved onto matchbooks. Collecting things is a habit I picked

up from antique collectors from the bootsales, except my compilations aren’t worth nearly as much Royal Doulton tea sets or samurai swords. In fact, I’m a bit of a hoarder. In my room I even have a drawer specifically for Ordnance Survey maps. Like, if we ever got lost in Gloucester or Islamabad, I’d be the man everyone turns to. Honestly, I keep everything. Just in case. I decided to save the tags from some of the clothes I bought - just as mementoes, I guess. Now, these labels are not particularly amazing exhibitions of graphic design, neither are they hugely inspiring as a collection, but they record a specific moment in time: data translation. They relay to us the volunteer’s valuation of an object at the moment of contact; an individual’s personal assessment of the monetary worth. To the charities, this is money that can be filtered into funds for medical equipment, excursions, even something as simple as a bed for a night. But to the environment, this process of recycling is invaluable.


winds of change

Richard John Willsher (BA Hons Fashion Photography) From a series of portraits, looking at and taking references from more sustainable cultures.

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contributors Scarlett Shillingford

Ariane Le Blanc

Barbara Ward

Jeff Hahn

Abigail Rose Liparoto

Damien Krulhelski

Paul Engles

Giselle La Pompe-Moore

BA Graphic Design Chelsea School of Art and Design

ABC Graphic Design London College of Communication

BA Hons Illustration Camberwell College of Art www.abigailliparoto.blogspot.com

MA Publishing London College of Communication paul.engles@btinternet.com

Louise O’Kelly

ABC Diploma Photography London College of Communication

Wen Yuan Wu

MA Graphic Design Graduate 2008 London College of Communication yuan.wwy@googlemail.com

Puneeta Sharma

BA Fine Art Central Saint Martins ateenup@hotmail.com

BA Graphic Design Central Saint Martins divariane13@hotmail.com www.flickr.com/photos/rayanne Foundation Media: Animation Pathway London College of Communication satanic57@gmail.com www.jeff-hahn.com BA Photography London College of Communication fragile79@poczta.onet.pl www.damienkruhelski.com

BA Fashion Journalism London College of Fashion

Andre Davies

BA Fashion Journalism London College of Fashion andredavisuk75@yahoo.co.uk

Lisa Payne

BA Fashion Journalism London College of Fashion lisapayne16@yahoo.co.uk

Serge Kovalenko

MA Fashion Photography London College of Fashion www.skovalenko.com

Ada Zandition Imogen Thomas

BA Hons Fashion Journalism London College of Fashion imo.est.1989@googlemail.com

Womenswear Design Graduate London College of Fashion www.adaz.co.uk

Selvi May Isamaya Ffrench

BA Product Design Central Saint Martins isamayaffrench@gmail.com www.wordswithmyfather.blogspot.com www.redbubble.com/people/isamaya

SHINNI

Level 4 Foundation Art & Design Central Saint Martins mail@angrybears.net www.angrybears.net

Natasha Rodwell

Graphic & Media: Information Design London College of Communication moustash69@hotmail.com http://andapickle.blogspot.com

Jonny Briggs

Chelsea Alumni: BA Fine Art Chelsea School of Art and Design john_briggs@hotmail.co.uk www.jonnybriggs.com

Andrea Hooymans

BA Hons Fine Art Central Saint Martins happydarkelf@hotmail.com

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FDA Design of Visual Communication London College of Communication

Julia Crew

MA Fashion & the Environment London College of Fashion

Yong Ping Loo

BA Hons Graphic Media Design London College of Communication loo.yongping@gmail.com www.iampingpong.com

Silvia Cappuro

MA Graphic Design Graduate 2008 London College of Communication silviakapu@hotmail.it www.silviacapurro.com

Sean Parker

Graphic & Media Design London College of Communication sean.parker.27@googlemail.com myonlinepsybook.blogspot.com

Richard John Willsher

BA Hons Fashion Photography London College of Fashion richardwillsher@hotmail.com

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STAND The Students’ Union needs four exceptional and talented individuals to lead the student body in 2009 and 2010.

Nominations are open from 5th February - 19th February NOON

If you are interested in standing you can pick up an information pack from any of the Students’ Union bars, offices, the website or from the Student Hub at Davies Street.

Voting for this year’s elections will be held from 10am Tuesday 10th - 12noon Friday 13th March

The results will be announced from 6pm at the election night special event in the Student Hub at Davies Street.

Fill in a nomination form on the website before noon on the 20th February.

www.suarts.org/elections


the magazine of the students’ union university of the arts london| www.suarts.org/lesscommon

Less Common More Sense | The Green Issue  

The Magazine of the University of the Arts London Students' Union

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