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WOW JOURNAL: A PRODUCT OF COLLABORATION BY Khalid Abdigaheir Shannyce Adamson Sarah Armstrong Wilson Toby Bennett Melissa Berney Kathleen Berthus Brogan Bertie Marion Bisserier Ellie Bond Charlie Boyden Sarah Butler Alise Cacka Samuel Carballo David Carvalho Matthew Cooke Elisa Czerwenka Mayowa Dairo Miguel Desport Oli East Maxwel Fabiano Da Silva Ana Carina Figueiredo Corey Flynn Julia Fontes Lessa Stephanie Fung Francisco Gaspar Dominika Gemra Alba Gomez Urquia Tom Gotainer Clarisse Hassan Omar Hernandez Natasha Hicken Ziting Hong Nicole Jessé

Jemimah Kabuye Zoe Landwehr Meihan Liu (Rossy) Alexandra McCracken James Mack Tom Medlicott Alissa Metsnik Céleste Mueth Aydin Mustafa Calum Pether Eva Popovic Benedict Povey Lauryn Raymond Alexander Leo Robertson Matteo Salomoni Chloe Shields Louie Smith Benedita Souto Anete Sreibere Jack Stutchbury Stephanie Cheng Hui Tan Louisiane Trotobas Koar Tsinarian Tommaso Tura Hugh van der Lande Tabriaz Waheed Adam Warren Connor Wilson Daisy Woollard Lange Ye


WOW JOURNAL: A PRODUCT OF COLLABORATION BY This publication has been made possible by funding from the Design School Public Programme. All original images have been created by the authors unless specified otherwise. Editors Sarah Temple Laura Vent Student Editor Nicole Jessé nicolejesse@live.co.uk Design & Art Direction Marion Bisserier marionbisserier.com Oli East olieast.com Sam Caraballo samcarballo.co.uk Picture Editor James Mack Illustration & Information Graphics Sarah Butler skjul.work Printing pureprint.com Fonts Arial Cardea OT With Thanks To Our External Contributors Seetal Solanki, Ramon Llonch, Jeremy Leslie, Victor Papaneck, Dr Cathy Gale, John Glasgow, Astrid Stavro, Chrissy Levett, Daniel Britton, Christopher Lutterodt-Quarcoo, Hwasoo Shim, Marina Willer, Martin Galton, Petro, Bruno Ceshel, Omar Karim, Stephanie McLaren-Neckles

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Khalid Abdigaheir Shannyce Adamson Sarah Armstrong Wilson Toby Bennett Melissa Berney Kathleen Berthus Brogan Bertie Marion Bisserier Ellie Bond Charlie Boyden Sarah Butler Alise Cacka Samuel Carballo David Carvalho Matthew Cooke Elisa Czerwenka Mayowa Dairo Miguel Desport Oli East Maxwel Fabiano Da Silva Ana Carina Figueiredo Corey Flynn Julia Fontes Lessa Stephanie Fung Francisco Gaspar Dominika Gemra Alba Gomez Urquia Tom Gotainer Clarisse Hassan Omar Hernandez Natasha Hicken Ziting Hong Nicole Jessé

Jemimah Kabuye Zoe Landwehr Meihan Liu (Rossy) Alexandra McCracken James Mack Tom Medlicott Alissa Metsnik Céleste Mueth Aydin Mustafa Calum Pether Eva Popovic Benedict Povey Lauryn Raymond Alexander Leo Robertson Matteo Salomoni Chloe Shields Louie Smith Benedita Souto Anete Sreibere Jack Stutchbury Stephanie Cheng Hui Tan Louisiane Trotobas Koar Tsinarian Tommaso Tura Hugh van der Lande Tabriaz Waheed Adam Warren Connor Wilson Daisy Woollard Lange Ye


Foreword by Sarah Temple: Accidental Anarchist + Course Leader: Diploma in Professional Studies

FOREWORD

As the most obvious way to guarantee jobs, art and design schools have traditionally prepared students for the Design Industry. But as the focus has changed in Design education to teaching design for social, environmental and cultural purpose, its seems less productive and relevant to send students out into the professional world to be mentored by a ‘twentieth-century’ design community. A more pro-active curriculum has proved the best way to define the field of the future, the creative landscape of the twenty-first century. This future looks fascinating: residencies, co-op’s, research units, open source networks, activism hubs, visual journalism, social enterprise, fabLabs, ethical entrepreuship, prototyping palours, co-design communities…

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Design is much more than technique and technology, form and function; it is an intellectual pursuit that demands philosophical fluency. WAYS OF WORKING

The Diploma in Professional Studies ‘Ways of Working’ (WOW) blog and publication seeks to expand ‘design discourse,’ to respond freshly and critically to the world of work, (WOW) positioning design and research as a genuinely important ‘cultural force’, enabling professional practice to grow in stature. Design is much more than technique and technology, form and function; it is an intellectual pursuit that demands philosophical fluency. Coupled with this, DPS students are encouraged to work internationally and for voluntary organisations, exploring cultural and political dimensions of practice that provide a new perspective to their understanding. Design Authorship, a term coined in the 90s for self-generated pursuits that side-step more typical designer-client relationships, have been re-appropriated by DPS students at LCC, allowing them to experiment with modelling their own creative futures, expanding their influence as ‘creators’ rather than ‘packagers’ of content. A DPS year encourages personal agility, resilience, adaptability, and reflection, developing more independent practitioners who think for themselves, often transcending typical brief-solution routines. Students consider justice, inclusivity and ethics, rejecting the notion that unpaid labour will inevitably get them on some kind of career ladder, defining success in new ways. DPS provides acquisition of intelligence beyond linguistic and logic: social, moral, cultural and personal. Higher education discourse often underplays personal identity while DPS students are encouraged to explore their personal and creative DNA, invigorate their own critical skills, pursue self-enhancement and personal fulfilment through subversion while innovating new ways of working (WOW).

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FOREWORD

The Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS) at London College of Communication is a more anarchic paradigm than you might imagine. It has been developed over 20 years out of a need to ensure students have greater control over what and how they actively learn. It is a place where academia meets experience. DPS uniquely offers a year to define your own curriculum, a hugely empowering opportunity with numerous benefits. Undertaking a range of experimental ‘Ways of Working’, including speculation and self-initiation while still in education. DPS challenges the presumption that hierarchical work or waged labour is inherently good for us, good for society or politically appropriate. DPS proposes that pursuing purposeful opportunities, challenges and issues while studying, for no defined capital gain may be a post-work phenomenon worth exploring, allowing people to be productive and creative rather than relentlessly bound to an ‘employment’ model.

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An Introduction to Ways of Working by Laura Vent Lecturer: Diploma in Professional Studies

What am I going to do? This kind of existential questioning is common to me now, and the answer I inevitably have to give them is: What do you want to do? This isn’t something that we’re often asked, particularly in regards to the way we spend most of our waking lives: at work. And although this question is underpinned with a sense of quiet uncertainty and fear, it is what we ask our students, and what they are encouraged to ask themselves, as they embark with us on their Diploma in Professional Studies at the London College of Communication. The way that we get to answers about what we want to do in life is to (in those immortal words) just do it. More than simply undertaking work experience, these students are engaging with the world and design as it lives and breathes. ‘The question, ‘what do you want to do?’ allows the Diploma to engage theories of experiential learning in line with Carl Roger’s words, which encapsulate the academic ambitions for this experience:

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Learning comes out of a struggle to examine experience from new perspectives – not those embedded in dominant values, structures or institutions. — Carl Rogers (1983) Western Behavioral Science Institute, California

We forget, as academics, design directors, creative directors, entrepreneurs, and business owners, that this is no small undertaking. The choice taken by these students to take their lives into their own hands, to explore and experiment with their creative practice out in the real world takes some guts. They are experiencing design and its role within our increasingly unstable and complex world. They are witnessing first hand how their practice, their way of working, can fit within (or indeed break apart) the model we have come to know as the creative industries. They are asking questions, engaging in current debates, forming new relationships, building on existing skills and learning wholly new ones. They are travelling around the world, writing, recording and living in utterly new and unexpected ways. They are finding and witnessing ways of working that support their growing sense of self as both a social animal and design practitioner. Our students from the Diploma in Professional Studies are not yet the finished article, they have in reality just completed their second year of undergraduate education. But even at this stage of their creative and professional development there is much expected of them. They are expected to perform and engage, and to remain resilient as they combat waves of setbacks and negative responses. WOW is the collected words and experiences of the students of the Diploma in Professional Studies. They are not pulling punches, and they are lathering praise where it is due, they are celebrating mentors, and asking important questions of those who are the establishment. They are offering advice, counsel and tips on resilience and making a good impression. They are reflecting on important debates in design and beyond. They are looking into the future, and seeing what that might hold. I return to the student, looking me in the eye and searching for answers:

The Diploma challenges students to generate, test and explore multiple potential future pathways. Backed up by academic and critical rigour, students establish innovative ways to design their future lives to match their creative, personal needs and passions. The students are positioned to challenge what has come before, their experiences acting as catalysts, critical moments in the formulation of a sustainable and sustaining creative life. Autonomy can be a daunting privilege. Being in charge of your own decisions comes with its own unique set of responsibilities, some of which are new and unchartered territory. These students have been undertaking a year outside of the walls of the design school, a year exploring what it means to be a designer, a maker, a thinker, an artist, an activist (the list is endless) out there in the big wide world. The world with the big ‘I’: the Industry. This is the world that will support and sustain them creatively and financially when they finally become alumni of the Design School at LCC. And to me these young people have been above all, one thing. And that thing is brave.

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INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

On more than one occasion this year I have sat across from a student, in the cafe here at London College of Communication or via video chat to some remote part of Europe. The student is looking at me intensely, searchingly for answers to questions that I am not necessarily in a position to offer.

What am I going to do? ...and it is still hard to tell a student, a young person, that everything is going to be okay. We cannot promise that it will be. But the successes and growth they have all achieved during this year is nothing short of astounding. They are brave. They are new, and they are coming. And they will continue to write and rewrite the narratives of their lives, and will shape the future of things to come. I have no doubt. And personally, that makes me feel: WOW.

Next page: PNB Paribas Exhibition, Unai Mateo Lopez, 2017

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Section One Work P10 — P59

Section Two Culture P60 — P115

Section Three Future P116 — P139


Nicole Jesse WORK. That big bad word which, to many of us as creatives, bares two meanings; to work, a condition of earning an income, and of building a career. Our work, the name we give to our practice, to the things that we create. (Without forgetting, of course; part-time work, the one that pays the rent.)

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Over the past twelve months, as we have ventured outside the walls of academia, we have experienced a shift from our work as a more personal endeavour, to one of necessity and of real professional purpose… and WOW has it been a stormy ride! In the following pages you will find stories of persistence and tenacity, and displays of uncompromising ambition. You will find tales of woe, resilience in moments of panic, excitement when it finally comes together, and tips on riding it all out – and that’s just the first chapter! We have found ourselves in the midst of professional environments that have challenged our perceptions of traditional job roles, and caused us to question the need for such convention and specificity as we have tuned into the new rhythms generated by the studio fashions of today. Agility, fluidity, non-conformity – in many ways these working trends firmly echoing our broader hopes for the changing global political landscape we are designing towards. As a cohort of soon-to-be graduates however, how relevant can this really be? Stepping onto the bottom rung of the ladder, we are still very much consumed by the university mindset of course titles, pathways and decisions.

11 The industry wants casual workers; that’s one thing we know for certain. Whether that is in the form of unpaid labour, freelancers, zero hour contracts, or fluidity in the office, we are facing a battle with this precarious working culture. For some of us, this year has been an opportunity to experiment with the sweet sweet freelance life; setting our own wages, budgets and working hours and how many jobs to take on. Sounds idyllic, right? Let’s just say we are still very much realising our limits. One of the toughest challenges has undoubtedly been managing our own assumptions and expectations of ourselves, and about what is expected from us as students and as interns. What is it okay for an intern to ask? Can we ask about job specificities? Can we ask about money? All of these things we have had to figure out along the way. Ultimately, work can only ever mean as much as we are willing and able to give to it, and amidst the excitement and the drive, we’ve inevitably come face to face with The Big Lull. In finding methods of working around this, some of us have taken time to offer out olive branches to our mental health, and tried to shake hands with it in very honest and often difficult conversations. Have we figured everything out? No. Do we have even more questions than we did last June? Yes. Do we feel a little more prepared to take on 3rd year? Absolutely.

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Write down an excuse someone used to not pay you:

‘But The Experience is Priceless’ by Sarah Armstrong Wilson In 2015 there were 21,000 unpaid interns in the UK, most of these unpaid interns were based in London. As the years have gone on I can only imagine the numbers have done nothing but increase and with it getting harder and harder to find a job in London, the amount of experience we have has never mattered more.

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Now draw their face in this square: 12

So when I applied for an online men’s fashion publication that I had followed for a while and they showed interest in hiring me, money wasn’t even on my mind when I accepted the position. At first it was great, almost fun. I could wake up at 3pm and work from my bed and still make deadlines. It wasn’t until I was asked to work on some merchandising for them that I started to have a problem with not being paid. I hadn’t really learnt much at this point, it was mostly just layout work and all of a sudden all of my time was consumed with researching (which looked a lot like online shopping) and generating ideas for t-shirts and hoodies.

Jessica Hische, a designer and author from the States, highlights the internal questions we may ask ourselves when we’re told “we don’t have a budget” or asked “can you do it for free?”. Hische will guide you to a yes or no answer as to whether you should do it or not.

Artists and designers not being paid for their work seems to be a recurring topic

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When I first started sending over ideas it was good to get positive feedback and exciting to think that these designs would be exposed and hopefully owned by their followers, which is a lot of people, but now I think it’s bullshit. Taking on an intern to help out with work can benefit both you and them, for it allows the intern to add to their personal portfolio. There is, however, a big difference between this and not crediting, paying and subsequently profiting off an intern’s hardworking efforts. I have realised that when it comes to your employer selling your work for profit there is in fact a price you can put on experience, and that is 10%.

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When I first started looking for internships I was more concerned about finding something I enjoyed and something that would look good on my CV than finding something that paid well, although a nice paycheck at the end of every month would be an ideal situation. I knew that it wasn’t something that was guaranteed and not something I should prioritise.

Artists and designers not being paid for their work seems to be a recurring topic. Companies like Zara are being accused of copying independent Etsy shops and even Sainsbury’s, a company with a £26 billion turnaround, are asking artists to work for free.

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Eight Interviews by Stephanie Fung

The most challenging one was a digital interview where I had to record myself and answer the questions. You would think hiding behind a screen would be more comforting but I realised that I respond better when I have someone to talk to in person. I felt very awkward and had some pauses when all I could see was myself on a screen. The same thing happened with a Skype voice call interview and I couldn’t see the other person’s facial expression which was a bit jarring. The easiest one was probably where the interviewers were down to earth and they gave me time to talk and ask questions. I researched and prepared all the questions I thought they would ask me the night before but in the end they only asked about 3-4 questions to see what type of person I am. Sometimes you forget that creative directors or that the interviewers are human and can be down to earth too. What also helps is if they have a dog in their office, which I think all companies should have.

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I've realised that most of the time, if you have an interview then the interviewer is already impressed by your work, so use the interview to show off your personality, skills and interest to join the company. Moreover I made sure that I asked questions at the end of the interview since an interview is a two way conversation. Here’s some that may be helpful for an interview: What does typical day look like for an intern? Gives you an idea of what your role would be. What do you expect in an intern? Gives an idea of what level they expect of an intern. What are your views of the company? Gives an better idea of the company atmosphere and people are like. Is this position paid and how much? Don't be afraid to ask, you deserve to be paid for doing work. Am I able to use your facilities to do my own projects outside working hours? If you want to do extra projects alongside your internship, work may have programs or machines for you to use. When will I hear back from you? Sometimes people forget to ask. Most importantly, don't forget to send a follow up email the day after you had your interview. It's polite and also sets you apart from people who don't do it.

Sometimes you forget that creative directors are human and can be down to earth too

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After applying to hundreds of companies, I’ve managed to meet quite a few companies in the creative industries. Some I was really prepared for and other not so much, but I have come to learn that it’s always good to be over-prepared for an interview – whether that’s having business cards at the ready or going past the 2nd page of Google about the company.

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Does Being a Graphic Designer Always Mean Making Work That You Like? by Alice Cacka ‘No, it doesn’t’, you might say, ‘because we all have those 1st year projects that we cringe at now but thought they were really cool at the time we submitted them, those endless drafts we have been making, before having come up with a proper idea execution, that we are a little ashamed of, or one of these projects that was supposed to be done in 3 months but we finished in a week just before the deadline.’

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This is true. However, I mean something a bit different. And in this article, I would like to share some of my experience with client work. In my 2nd year, I was sure that working for a company and freelancing would automatically add amazing work to my portfolio that I would like and be proud of. I thought that being a graphic designer meant being a bit of an artist that makes purposeful work, being given freedom to design whatever they think is suitable and with minimal amends.But for now, I have experienced a few situations in my life that have not only proven that sometimes it might not be as easy as it seems but also taught me some new things. Last spring, when I started my first design job at a small digital startup, I had been working as their only in-house digital designer. I loved it there, however, I had occasionally been getting design-related advice and requests from the rest of the team. Don’t get me wrong – it is good to have a clear understanding of what the client wants. However, it felt a bit frustrating when you feel like you don’t get fully trusted as a designer who actually wants to make a positive difference to the business and has been studying design for a while.

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Later, I was interning at one of London’s leading design agencies, where I had also faced the challenges of getting my ideas across to the powers that be. I had been given a challenging yet exciting opportunity to refresh the design agency’s brand identity. I had been excited about this project and wanted to suggest changes to achieve what felt like current and good design. Although, it turned out that my own and the creative director’s opinions on what ‘current’ and ‘good design’ is did not quite match. The question that had been on my mind after the two situations was:

‘Why did they hire me then if they don’t trust in my design skills?’

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It’s Not Me It’s You by Sarah Butler

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Embarking on what has seemed like a stint of brutal exhibitionism has proved tough. I have found myself at the epicentre of application turmoil, engaged in a nearly entirely one-way correspondence in the hopes of securing a placement. Intern prospects first appearing dense with opportunity have each slowly fallen away to apologetic offerings of “it’s just not the right time” – that is, if a response is given at all. The process has been gruelling, however, it has already taught me more about the industry than the entire second year of my degree. Although not quite yet under the wing of creative professionalism*, the experiences have embedded some pretty strong notions of perseverance, assertion, and self-support. Chasing applications thrust into my hands fully accounts for the way I take action. Naiveties towards securing design work were quickly stubbed, revealing the effort and awkwardness of trying to push your work — often to people so practiced in an unbothered veneer. By getting re-jected (a lot), I came to view closed doors as simply “not meant to be”, rather than a direct personal attack threatening to place me in a mental stupor for days on end. The beginning saw verbal or written rejections as entirely immobilising, however, my continual lack of success did, in fact, teach me some pretty vital lessons in resilience.

Instead of perceiving rejected works as unworthy, I learned to see them as just not the right fit 18

19 Rejection no longer tied directly to my self-worth as a designer, these missed opportunities could now motivate the development of my practice. Questioning why I was applying to certain places helped make me realise my fall down; yes, these studios aligned with my career objectives, however, was I bringing their same production level to the table? Often not. Instead of punishing myself for a studio’s lack of interest, I learnt from their project approach, injecting energy into building up my own work. Thinking this way has helped lessen heavy waves of success related self-loathing, which are known to cripple any ounce of remaining creativity. The reaction to admit defeat, although a protective instinct, proves highly unhelpful and a pretty severe inconvenience when you’re trying to get stuff done. As someone who struggles with their mental wellbeing, I have found the importance of laying off the pressure, and just giving myself a break during the process. Building the courage to communicate directly with studios can prove draining, but easing up on self-inflicted pressure can open up far more creative energy. Knowing which days to leave to online research and which to dedicate to phone calls has allowed me to cultivate a real confidence in correspondence. Truthfully I’ve never felt more vulnerable as a designer, (nor ques-tioned my existence to this extent) but these experiences have been invaluable in thickening a previously pretty frail creative skin. * Author persevered, returning from a 2 month Internship in Berlin at time of publication.

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Stephanie McLaren-Neckles Designer/ Educator1 Just where do all the black/brown people and white women go after graduating in design from UK Design Schools? Short answer: not into employment within the UK’s design industry. According to The Design Council’s recent Design Economy report, 78% of the UK’s design workforce is male’, a whopping 25% higher than the percentage of men in the wider UK workforce; despite that 63% of participants on creative arts and design courses are women. This research, follows on from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) 2017 stats, that stated ‘over 90% of the design workforce is still white’. So how does this absurd situation prevail? Particularly in a sector that likes to pride itself on ‘forward thinking, innovation and general niceness’? Fortunately, that myth is in the process of being busted. However bleak the stats currently are, the design industry is not impervious to cultural changes in global attitudes — even if only in the name of economic self-preservation. There are questions being asked, which is a start. But as my gym instructor often says: “it’s not how you start, but how you finish.” In order for tangible results to occur, there must be tangible actions. For example, dealing with the uncomfortable truth that the design industry is just a reflection of wider society: meaning that racism, sexism, classism, ableism and every other ism is present and has to challenged. The good news is that we - as humans - are becoming far more sophisticated in our understanding of structural privilege. You know, how the world really works. White privilege, feminism, intersectionality, and transgender identity have become part of the cultural lexicon. It is this continuous deconstruction of our socially designed lives that will lead to shifts in attitude. And shifts in attitude are what will change behaviour, and behaviour changes lead to a change in outcomes. This is how design as a ‘practice’ (and those that think of themselves as designers) has the opportunity to create a new cultural landscape. Designing in the detail, in an inclusive way across communications, to products, to buildings. Design really does have a say in shaping of the future, providing designers first partake in hard personal and collective change.

1. STEPHANIE MCLAREN-NECKLES twenty%extra™ twentypercentextra.com letsbebrief.co.uk

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Here I was, my first full time job as an intern/junior art director. I had always presumed it was much harder to find an opportunity that would incorporate both my strengths in fashion and creative design, as fashion art direction is not necessarily a clear cut path in comparison to a lot of other professions. So, when I managed to somehow get this opportunity I was so beside myself and not sure what to expect. Never having worked full time before, I was surprised at how completely exhausting it can be, particularly mentally when you’re required to deliver one campaign idea after another. The first two months were especially hard and after a long day of idea generation and mock up designs I couldn’t even bring myself to touch my laptop or look at my phone. I’d had enough of screens, images and design.

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It’s a fine line between a creative campaign on its own and a creative idea that an international company with different political structures can utilise successfully. Sometimes this can lead you to a creative slump hence the importance in making time for yourself and your projects that allow you complete creative freedom and expression.

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Changing Pace by Shannyce Adamson

This is what I’ve found makes a great creative/art director and is also a key piece of advice that the senior creative director whom I work with was wonderful enough to share.

Consistently keep pursuing and working on your own personal projects

As much as I love what I do at work on a day to day basis, I have learned that it is very important to consistently keep pursuing and working on your own personal projects. This is something I have always done and is what actually enabled me to enrol at UAL in the first place as I was previously studying Biological Sciences. It is the personal projects that got me into UAL and it’s the personal projects that landed me my current work placement, the senior creative director valued the amount of work I had put in to make my ideas come to life and as I wa­s adjusting to my new work hours, I r­ealised that this was not an aspect of myself I was willing to let go of.

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I came to the realisation that I had to manage my time much better, no moment was to be idle, I had to learn (and I’m still learning) how to maximise my time in order to be able to give my best foot forward at work and still express creativity in my own way. I’ve learned that this is especially important because no matter how great a campaign idea is, the client (for valid reasons) will always tweak it slightly in order for it to fit in more with their company and their ideals. At the end of the day they’re are interested in sales and this is especially true for successful international fashion brands. Title, Shannyce Adamson, 2018

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Commute, Toby Bennett, 2018

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126 job applications in 44 cities in 19 countries, 52 rejections, 8 interviews, 5 offers, 1 unsuccessful meeting with a design hero.

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Tom Medlicott

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Notes On A Chair: Reflecting On 96 Restless Hours On An Invigilator’s Chair In Venice by Nicole Jesse

We arrive at a chair in a moment. A need or desire to alleviate physical strain has occurred. We rock up with a ‘situation’ in toe. Aside from the inevitable factors of everyday life which remain constant and necessary, like eating or sleeping, our arrival at an object such as a chair is the result of our involvement in an action. Something has brought us here. A break from activity before we’re on the move again. A canvas for projection, it absorbs the shock of our physical strain as it cushions (or doesn’t cushion) the weight of any emotions, feelings and struggles we may be experiencing in said ‘moment’ at which we arrive.

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an interval, a place for reflection.

These chairs are not to bring us comfort, to invite us into a state of rest. They are here to facilitate us being able to do our job for longer; to allow us to labour in our task for longer than we would have been able to without them. And so at this time, when the footsteps have ceased for a second; in the absence of labour, how does one interact with it? In anticipation of this scheduled quiet space, I became anxious about making the most of it, making sure that I was at all times ‘relaxing in a productive manner’... ...sort of like that 20 minute break you get in the middle of a double shift at the pub, when you can’t quite switch off from the fact that you need to switch off. This restless state of mind turns into labour for another project; labour for another cause. What is our state, our position, in a chair if not one of rest? It is neither labour nor rest. What position does our body assume when it is at the same time both things, yet neither thing at all? If I bring my restless mind to this chair, was the chair restless to begin with, or have I made it be that way?

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This renders the chair somewhere between one thing and another; neither a force for labour, nor a means for rest. It is in this difficulty in placing the chair that the ‘not knowing’ what you are supposed to be doing there arises. It becomes the negation of itself, a contradiction of its recognised identity. Here, the domestic chair had found its way into a space of labour. What was this space? An object borrowed from it’s wider context of not an exhibition but a house, a rather ornate palazzo. A corporate mentality applied to a domestic object. This confused my ability to locate my surroundings, muddling my body’s decisions about how to arrange itself, how to compose its manoeuvres and how to assume an appropriate position.

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What is the posture of labour? The space around the chair becomes an extension of personality, of tendency and of habit. Some chairs remain perfectly aligned to the wall while some jerk out at an angle. At times they carry coats and jackets, harbour water bottles and books. The chair becomes a base camp, the personal headquarters. Transferable traits render the chair a manifestation of intention in the space, in an exposé of the plan for the following 8 hours. A hardback book is the perfect cover for watching Netflix on a mobile phone with the subtitles on. No book at all suggests a much more ballsy approach. What had this experience really been? Possibly something which I could have been doing anywhere else in the world, or maybe even not been doing at all. Would it set me apart? An immaterial advantage over a faceless future opponent? I had fought hard to get it. Yet as the flurry of visitors departs past the golden waterfall through which they arrived, the question of what this will add to my speculative profile as a precarious worker creeps in. What an exhausting fear of experiencing less than everyone else.

What an exhausting fear of experiencing less than everyone else.

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Dr Cathy Gale Designer, Educator, Researcher2 Is the role of a designer to be objective or subjective? When a client commissions a designer to create design for a specific audience, what role does a designer play? “Be critically aware: all design work is political, either through an explicit acknowledgement of design’s role in commercial culture, or more tacitly through the choice of client/brand. If you don’t find a design agency where you ‘fit’ or where the realities of home/ family are not acknowledged, take power back by starting your own organisation. Use collective, collaborative or co-operative approaches to work to spread costs and share knowledge/experience: neoliberal competition for stardom drives anxiety higher and fees lower. Use the inherently diverse network of students (and technical staff ) to help build a collective wealth of knowledge: you are likely to start working with people you have met and know. Make work that engages the heart, the hand and the head: the world doesn’t need more designers but it does need better design.”

2. DR CATHY GALE Design Academic, Kingston University kingston.ac.uk/staff/profile/dr-cathy-gale-588/

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Journeying Through The Freelance Hills by Alba Urquia I’d like to reflect on freelancing, a practice as valuable and worth it as an internship but, for some reason, not equally considered. I’d like to discuss about its numerous positive aspects, but most importantly, explain what I learnt by not getting an internship and having to deal with projects on my own.

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My journey started almost by chance. I guess it was too late when I realised that I had my rollerblades on and I was going down the hill immersed in multiple commissions. What I had upfront was several months of up and downs, dealing with all sort of clients, from start-ups to established companies, tackling a wide range of projects, from branding to illustration and embarking on the entire journey of a freelancer.

These are some of the things I learnt during the hectic freelancing (and that getting an internship wouldn’t have taught me): DEALING WITH CLIENTS As a freelancer, you have to perform a wide range of roles. I’m not just the designer or artist working on a commission, but I also have to be a welcoming and understanding design manager too. When working solo, the relation with the client becomes much closer. You are working together hand by hand with one same goal in mind.

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ORGANISATION & SCHEDULING These are key skills for any creative, yet, as a freelancer, organising each and every day painstakingly becomes a priority since there’s nobody that can back you up if you don’t deliver on time. Likewise, it’s very common that multiple projects would overlap and when facing these situations, organising yourself will play an important part. WORK TIME One of my favourites. Since you work for yourself, you set your own working times and that’s an advantage when you happen to focus much more over night than in early morning shifts. LEAVE YOUR “MARK” As a freelancer, you need to play the role of art director too, and manage the overall aesthetic of your design or artwork. That means you can leave your mark as long as the client is happy with it. No one else needs to approve it so your style can be see out there with almost no filter.

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TIME FOR YOURSELF Once again, being your own boss means that you choose what projects to pick. So anytime there’s downtime, you can decide to undertake a self-initiated project instead. The good thing is that these SIP’s can also bring you more commissions. It happened to me when a design manager came across some linocut designs I worked on and decided to hire me for an illustration commission. FREEDOM TO CHOOSE This is without a doubt the best part of being a freelancer: the freedom to undertake projects that truly interest you and dismiss those that aren’t that appealing or head you off the track you’re aiming for. In my particular case, it was key to make me realise that I’m more driven by illustration-based projects than purely graphic ones and that’s something that I wouldn’t have had the chance to discover as a part of a bigger team. It’s somehow acted like an reflection on my own practice. All in all, I believe that the best part was realising how after a few months I was comfortable, with my rollerblades on, facing hectic work on my own. It wasn’t a relaxed journey but it was certainly rewarding to picture myself making a living in design through my freelance practice.

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I was not under the illusion of thinking that I would be able to jump from job to job within a matter of weeks, which meant that January and February was a tough time for me. All those doubts that I had originally had about my work and skill level came flooding back, was my work not good enough? This is something that I have always struggled with, as I’m sure most others have as well. Leaping into the deep-end of the working world is a slightly terrifying yet exciting thing and it’s something that we all want to do well in. So, with these fears sitting at the back of mind I went to get some reassurance that I wasn’t completely failing. I ended up speaking with past students, who reassured me that I was doing fine and that it was perfectly normal for there to be a lull in your year out. As long as I recognised that I had had a dip, and it was time to turn things around, sending out emails upon emails to see if anything came up.

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One of the biggest struggles I found working in the culture sector is the fact that a lot of the time projects fall through because of funding issues. You could almost complete a project and have everything prepared to be produced, but those that commissioned the project would pull the plug and all that hard work would have gone to waste. This was frustrating at times because of how much time and effort had gone into the work, it’s something that no designer likes to happen.

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First thoughts… DINOSAURS! by Chloe Shields

I look forward to returning to university to get my degree, to use the skills and knowledge that I have gained throughout this year to filter into the projects I will undertake. . Overall, I am happy with the position I am in at the moment. My hopes for the rest of this year is that I continue to learn and grow as a designer, and that I continue to push myself to be the best that I can be.

My break came, earning myself the position of Junior Designer at the Natural History Museum. Now, when originally planning my year out; working in a museum had never crossed my mind. At the time it was something I didn’t think I would be interested in and didn’t know much about. But, for the few weeks that I was there, it was highly enjoyable; being able to explore the museum including the areas that the public do not get to see. The building itself was inspiration enough; with it’s incredible architecture and design, it was like something out of a Harry Potter movie.

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I felt that the work I was doing was important to my colleagues and although it was a short amount of time, I felt as though I was a part of the team. Similarly with my previous internship with the company Ave, those that were in charge were female. This showed me the potential of being high up at a design studio or even owning one. These experiences have opened up a whole load of new opportunities for me and I am excited to continue on my journey.

The more experience I gain, the more excited I am about the future

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Outside/Inside by Francisco Gaspar This year was the third time I attended an Off Print event but the first one in which I was able to have a different insight to it. The studio I was interning at was taking part in the eighth edition of this publishing festival.

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However, this OffPrint was different. This time I was able to be behind the scenes, as a participant. And obviously, by attending as a participant you are closer to what happens behind the scenes. You get to meet different people from the graphic design industry which is amazing given the fact that you are still a student. Before I undertook my year away from the university, I was often told how valuable connections are and this is the great and the invaluable asset of this year. Since I moved to Paris I had the chance to meet graphic designers whose work I knew beforehand and was also introduced to other amazing people. Being able to have a decent conversation with these people is fantastic since there might be opportunities that might arise from being able to talk to them. This is such a good experience, it gives you the opportunity to be within this environment from a different viewpoint as you stop being only a student, which sometimes can reveal itself as an obstacle to engage in a fruitful discussion with practitioners.

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The studio environment during my time in Paris has been brilliant and there is no real sense of hierarchy either. It is interesting to see how in a small studio money influences the outcome. Most of the time, and even before designing anything, we need to get a quote from the printer in order to see if the plans we have work with the budget we are given. It has a substantial weight on the process, ensuring we must adopt different paper, size or amount of colours. Being able to take part in the workload and environment of a studio and to understand all the processes behind production and design so early in my academic life is really advantageous. This experience has been incredibly unique and the opportunities arising from it will be crucial for my final year at college as well as the years to follow.

You get to meet different people from the graphic design industry which is amazing given the fact that you are still a student

The first, and arguably the most physically demanding task of the year was getting my first work placement offer. I had no professional work experience and not even a degree to show for myself, so my main objective was to prove to potential employers that these factors didn’t undermine me and that I was more than eager to learn. I began by first establishing what kind of agency I saw myself working at when I graduated. Back then I felt that I should focus on agencies within the entertainment marketing sector, although, at this stage I wanted to keep an open mind. I created a spreadsheet containing a long list of companies I was interested in and tried to rank them in terms of personal priority. It’s also worth mentioning that by this point I had the desire to spend part of my year working in the US, so I also considered agencies abroad – especially those that have offices both in the UK and US. I started searching for staff from these companies on LinkedIn and added anyone who was either a Creative Director or Head of Design. I also looked for previous and current interns to gain a further insight into the company. Soon I had gathered a directory of professional contacts which I could now contact directly. I felt that this would be the quickest way to get a response, as oppose to emailing the company’s career email address and it later proved to be the case.

I altered my tactic and began sending concise introductions of myself The first few messages I sent to the employers were pretty lengthy and although they got opened, only a small percentage got any reply. Consequently, I altered my tactic and began sending concise introductions of myself (around 3 sentences long), alongside a link to my online portfolio. From doing so I began receiving a lot more replies – more so from America, surprisingly. After a while I realised that these conversations followed a similar pattern. They’d usually start by the recipient opening the message and then replying a couple of days later after looking at my portfolio. Luckily the standard of my work wasn’t an issue and the feedback I was getting was generally positive. A couple of the American companies kindly went through the effort of writing substantial feedback for each individual project in my portfolio, which was really helpful! More than often Creative Directors would then send my details over to HR to see if there were any potential positions available for me. It then became apparent that although Creative Directors are in a relatively high up position, they didn’t have the authority to bring me into their company before running it through HR first. Therefore, I changed my tactic once again and began searching for HR and Managing Directors in addition to Creative Directors. After hours and hours of persistent chasing I had my first Skype interview with Lee Fasciani: Co-founder and Creative Director of Territory Projects in London. He initially offered me a 10 week placement, starting the following week, which later got extended to four months.

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OffPrint is always great. Not only because it gathers so many people who are doing incredible printed stuff in the same place, but also because it gives us the opportunity to be able to see these objects in real life. It goes without saying how different these things become once you hold them.

Finding Placements by Corey Flynn

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Jeremy Leslie Magazine Culture3 What are your thoughts on the subject of independent self-publishing in 2019? Organisations like LUMA Foundation’s ‘Offprint’ appear to be flourishing, supporting socially engaged editors to experiment with new formats and content “Self-publishing is hard work. Don’t waste it trying to be loved, enjoy doing it for yourself and trust others to love it.” ‘If the independent magazine movement has a spiritual home it’s the magCulture shop’ — Creative Review

3. JEREMY LESLIE magaculture.com

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Victor Papanek “Design For The Real World”4 Is revolutionary activism the only route for a designer who seeks to address serious social injustice? Creative risk-taking celebrated and identified: “Design, if it is to be ecologically responsible and socially responsive, must be revolutionary and radical“

4. VICTOR PAPANEK

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Bruno Ceshel Self Publishing Evangelist5 What’s the point of putting your work out there yourself? Don’t our voices and our work just get lost in a huge sea of content? Isn’t print dead? I think more than ever independent publishing is needed. An army of self-publishers and small presses are offering a platform for ideas, artists, writers that otherwise will not have a voice. A counterpart to the ephemeral nature of our digital culture, printed matters today is powerful tool at the disposal to young people and a conduit to a inclusive and loving community. Self Publish. Be Happy.

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5. BRUNO CESHEL Founder & Director, Self Publish, Be Happy selfpublishbehappy.com/

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Provenance by Stephanie Tan + Maxwell Da Silva

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In October 2017, we were fortunate to participate in a competition through which we successfully secured a commission for the Corporate Social Responsibility team at BNP Paribas, the biggest international bank in London. We were extremely delighted to be invited to work on a live exhibition project, with a core focus on sustainability and the ethical practices and investments of the BNP team and their clients. Our proposal was approved and inevitably many challenges arose, fundamentally a great education for us. Key issues that we faced were tight budgets and a lack of knowledge of materials (that absolutely needed be re-usable and environmentally friendly). This proved to be a critical turning point for us in our thinking as designers, which also lead directly to the success of the exhibition project. We specified Dufaylite Honeycombe board on which to print the exhibition and used upcycled scaffolding frames as the system for the adaptable exhibition which has now been replicated at other locations. We realised the importance of always knowing the provenance of the materials we use. The old scaffolding was very cheap and had a unique quality for the project and location.

In addition, we formed a great group from London College of Communication – photographers, spatial designers, illustrators, typographers and animators – we had not worked in a cross-disciplinary way at LCC before which stimulated an on-going circulation of ideas between us. Most importantly, with Sarah's guidance, she gave us the opportunity to oversee the communication and decision-making process between the clients and collaborators, outside the university. It was a very formative project for us as a multidisciplinary group and encourages us to work together in the future.

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Not only has this opportunity allowed us to build our knowledge and portfolios, it has hugely expanded our confidence as sustainable designers and communicators.

Overall, the collaboration journey was one of the most vital experiences that we could have had while still at University. Not only has this opportunity allowed us to build our knowledge and portfolios, it has hugely expanded our confidence as (sustainable) designers and communicators.

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Throughout the process, we had a strong and diverse team; a network of expertise. We also had an inspiring client: Anjuli Pandit who impressed us with her knowledge and commitment to all things sustainable throughout the project. With the knowledge and expertise of Sarah Temple, ethical agency FotoDocument and exhibition company Standard8, we collaboratively delivered the best solution for the structure and layout of the exhibition, which allowed for effective storytelling through photographs, materials and graphic visual-language.

PNB Paribas Exhibition, Unai Mateo Lopez, 2017

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Seetal Solanki Material Pioneer6 Designers specify materials every day of their working lives, and yet material science is not part of the art school curriculum. Should creative education consider the provenance and sustainability of substrates? Ma-tt-er Manifesto by Seetal Solanki. “It all began with Matter. It’s what we’re made of. Solids, liquids, gases, synthetics and the unknown. Everything is made of something. As humanity continues to overexert Earth’s finite resources we must reconsider the definition of waste. Most materials have an infinite lifecycle; they can be reused, reformed and redesigned with a new purpose. By harnessing the unexplored potential of materials we can implement social, economic and political change. Our process of continuous questioning and exploration enables us to investigate these opportunities and share our learning. Because everything, and everyone, Matters.” ‘Ma-tt-er is a research design studio that explores the past, present and future of materials.  Working across industry and education, we advise and support the implementation of responsible materials to shape the immediate, near and far future, examining their potential within the next one to five years, five to fifteen years and fifteen years plus. By considering identity, lifecycles and systems thinking, we propose an alternative approach to applying materials, encouraging a positive economic, environmental and social change, to reveal the truth of how we live today and might live tomorrow.”

6. SEETAL SOLANKI Founder, Materials Lab Ma-tt-er www.ma-tt-er.org

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On Picasso & Making Good Work by Zoe Landwehr

For every designer entering the industry will be different. However, there are certain things we all face. Here are a few things that really annoy me about our industry and couple of tips to handle that mess:

The recording and translating of experiences from the creator if intended or not produces importance and meaning. Some sort of expression of who they are.

YOU If you don’t know who you are no one will. Have those bespoke business cards ready along with your up-to-date website. Essentials: Website, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, The dots. Additional: professional Facebook page, blog, Behance etc.

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BEFORE YOU START You probably will have heard this a dozen times: research the industry. Identify the companies you would like to intern for. Who are they and what are they all about. When connecting to them, always try to find email to actual person rather than interns@ firm.com. Take your time with that – there is nothing worse than to reapplying to the same company over and over because you’ve sent a mediocre application at the beginning by rushing with it. ORGANISATION Ok, so the industry is extremely unorganised – it doesn’t mean that you have to be too. Create an excel with all your applications. These are the columns that I used: ‘Where, What, Company, Pay, Length, Website, Contact, Status, Date, Cover Letter, Portfolio, Follow Up, Interview, Outcome’. SEARCH You’ll have a long list of places to look for interns – use it. Sign up for newsletters that will really annoy you, sign up for updates. Write to the company for more information that is not included on the job ads (never be afraid to ask). It happened to me twice that I was almost at the final stage of the application and then heard “Oh but btw it is an unpaid opportunity, hope you are ok with that?”. Am I ok with that? Hell no. Looking deeper into the subject I found that Young Creative Council issued a Placement Poverty Pledge. Signed by many companies it promises to pay the interns the current Living Wage (at least £9.75 per hour in London and £8.45 across the UK).

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I was delighted to see the problem has been seen and addressed by the industry. Yet still much is to be done. For it to work we need spotlight (share the Placement Poverty Pledge across all social platforms) and unity (we don’t accept – they don’t offer).

I thought the Picasso exhibition at Tate Modern was well worth going. It was good to read about his life and how he lived to create. The exhibition reminded me of the importance of emotional experiences within art.

http://youngcreativecouncil.com/placement-poverty-pledge/

Having walked past so many portraits of Picasso’s love interest, Marie-Therese Walter, it just shows how recording these moments and feelings create very strong images.

MAKING YOU Make them remember you and be honest. Leave something more after the interview than just a business card I designed a little follow up print. BE RESILIENT Don’t let anything bring you down. Always search for more ways to get out there. If you are feeling stuck go outside, see an exhibition, go running, visit a random city but above all experience – this is what it is all about. Besides, nothing good ever happens from sitting on your arse.

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Advice On Approaching Creative Placements by Dominika Gemra

Picasso produced a lot of paintings but even more sketches, he left behind a wealth of sketchbooks, mainly concentrating on form and shape. I thought it to be very interesting how much he had to produce to reach this type of effortless ability to paint with such originality. I think Picasso shows us how important it is to always be producing and translating your experiences onto paper even if it doesn’t follow a predetermined purpose. I think continually expressing yourself whether it be writing or drawing, it helps to reveal something undiscovered about oneself. Which is important for our own lives as well as for other people’s lives.

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Weeping Women, Pablo Picasso, 1937, Tate Modern

I’ve recently moved away from the belief in some sort of universal definition of perfection and started thinking about pieces of art that are good because of what they were saying. The recording and translating of experiences from the creator if intended or not produces importance and meaning. Some sort of expression of who they are. I somehow thought about good work as this static thing that you are meant to achieve by following some sort of guideline which has now during this year been proven to be wrong.

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Confession, I Worked for Free by Melissa Berney

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When I started looking for internships, I realised soon enough that it would be hard to find a placement that would enable me both to challenge myself professionally and provide a good pay (or sometimes, even pay). I was offered a placement at Why Not Associates; a design studio in London known for their surprising design solutions and their knowledge of the design process that often pushes the boundaries of design. It wasn’t my first experience, however, it was the first time I was offered an unpaid placement. In the UK, unpaid internships are not illegal. The status of the intern will define if a payment is included or not. This status only depends on the company, and how they decide to recognise an intern, as a worker, employee or volunteer. Therefore, companies are free to offer unpaid or paid internships. This is why, it seems, there are so many unpaid internships in the UK. I believe it is everyone’s own decision to accept an unpaid internship or not. Of course, I believe my work is worth something, but, I decided that I wouldn’t turn down an amazing experience as long as I can manage without the pay. Before starting this internship, I was a bit scared that the unpaid part would impact my experience. After a week there, I ended up working on many projects, and challenging myself with things I wouldn’t have thought I could work on. As it was a small studio, the atmosphere there was very supportive. On the downside, on days where not much work was needed to be done, I started to wonder what my role was within the studio. This came from the fact that I wasn’t paid, as during my first experience, I didn’t have this feeling even on days where there was not much to do. However, I didn’t expect that not getting paid could also impact my experience positively. As I felt that I was doing them a favour, I allowed myself to be more comfortable. For example by asking to work on specific projects or to follow specific presentations. Obviously, I shouldn’t need to be ‘not paid’, to feel comfortable and let myself ask for specific demands, and I think that after this experience, I won’t. However, in a way, this experience has taught me to be more comfortable in a working environment. As you can imagine, I don’t regret at all to have accepted this placement. It was a wonderful and fulfilling experience, and I am looking forward to undertaking the next phase.

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But why would I work for free? I asked myself this question several times before accepting the placement at Why Not Associates.

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The design industry’s frequent long hours, stressful projects, tight deadlines and frantic work environments can all exacerbate latent mental health conditions. There have been strong links between creativity and mental health due to the notion of “tortured artists” from Van Gogh’s severed ear or Sylvia Plath’s admission of mental anguish and her eventual suicide to Alexander McQueen’s heartbreaking death at his own hands. Mental health has been a frequent companion to those of the creative world, but even though we remember the tragic tales of late artists and writers, I believe mental health is an issue for everyone. The design industry’s frequent long hours, stressful projects, tight deadlines and frantic work environments can all exacerbate latent mental health conditions. In the creative environment these conditions are more common than anywhere else. A 2014 report published in the Guardian found similar links stating that “painters, musicians, writers and dancers were, on average 25% more likely to carry gene variants of mental conditions such as depression compared to other professions that are judge to be less creative”. Another study that has been posted by Harvard University Professor Modupe Akinola and Wendy Berry Mendes titled “Dark Side of Creativity: Biological Vulnerability and Negative Emotions Lead to Greater Artistic Creativity” have also stated a strong connection that those with natural creative dispositions were far more likely than their less creative peers to be affected by “intense negative emotions”.

And as long as I have breath in my lungs, these are words I am going to live by.

My experience with design and mental health has been difficult one, this is an industry that is very mentally demanding that involves you working long hours with pressurised deadlines and this can take a toll on a person’s mental state. My long battle with anxiety has been a rough one and I also found it hard to verbally express my emotions because of my introverted nature. There’s also the negative stigma that surrounds men, that they shouldn’t not open up or express their emotions as it is seen weak.

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Keep moving forward: Design & Mental Health by Khalid Abdigaheir

Design however has allowed me a platform to communicate and visually express myself and my ideas better than I ever verbally could, but I also love the reaction design creates. Someone who has never met you or knows you can emotionally connect with your work, no matter what your ethnicity, culture or beliefs are. And although that is great, there is also still the negative element of design’s mental demand and I’ve always wondered how other aspiring creatives that are suffering from mental health cope with it and what ways or methods they take in order for it not affect their work or their lives. I had my portfolio in order and having a successful second year at university I was excited and nervous to start my Diploma in Professional Studies year. The aim was to gather some valuable useful experience and to sharpen and progress my design career. At first it was a long hard grind just trying to apply for internships and being rejected constantly on a daily basis can take a toll on your motivation. But words I have lived by and always kept as a reminder as a wallpaper on my laptop is a quote by Martin Luther King that always snaps me back in focus and keeps me pushing forward. And even though I have had countless rejections and disappointments, one thing I have learned from my experience is to always remember to keep moving forward.

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If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward. — Martin Luther King

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Chrissy Levett Ethical Crusader7 Exploring the subject of mental health in students and creative practitioners in relation to the work they undertake in their daily life: could responsibility effect the mental state of individuals and therefore alter the nature of the creative industries?

“So we’d have to be pretty blinkered not to recognise the rise of mental health issues that young people are having within our current cultural climate. Research is being published which gives us the evidence and even theories on the why and how we can counter-balance this growing epidemic. (From the likes on people’s Instagram, to the watching of perfect lives (which don’t even represent reality). The injustice of huge debt, when entering further education -  the chemicals we plaster on our bodies or the pollution in our cities. So many factors and yet so many possible solutions.)  In order to change things we first have to imagine a different world. As creatives we are gifted with imagination, to think outside the box, so there is a wonderful opportunity for us to make the changes we so desperately need. This premise was what built Creative Conscience, a community of creative thinkers who understood this very idea. As creative thinkers we can imagine and change systems, we can create  community projects that connect and transform our environments. We can design, build, make, and even educate a better way of doing things that puts people and planet first. (For those of you who are critical or cynical about this better world - there are already business’ working in this realm, they are growing and successful). Not only can we do this but the good news is we have anecdotal evidence that those who work on ‘purpose’ driven projects have a better sense of mental well being and feel more positive about their role in the world and the future ahead.

7. CHRISSY LEVETT MA (RCA) Founder/ Creative Director, Creative Conscience www.creative-conscience.org.uk TEDx talk Featured in the Huffington Post

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Notes on Random Thoughts by Rossy Liu

London Centre for Book Arts is an artist-run, open-access studio offering education programmes for the community and affordable access to resources for artists and designers. During my internship in LCFBA, I worked there as a volunteer and my daily job was the maintenance of the studio included organising, packaging and assisting some workshops. It was not about learning new skills. It was more about getting to know about the normal running of the studio: what you need to do to keep it working, what you need to do to make it more organised, and what you need to do to make it attractive to people who have the same interest and passion for book arts.

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Working with Mazzotti Books however, was a different atmosphere. Mazzotti Books is an independent bookbinding and printing studio situated in East London, owned and run by Manuel Mazzotti. He is a bookbinder, designer and trained engineer who uses his diverse knowledge to create limited edition books, prints, book prototypes and bespoke boxes. His passion for bookbinding and printing has led him to collaborate with a wide variety of clients from independent artists to architectural firms and publishing companies.

During my time in his studio he has been an inspiring instructor who answered my questions extremely patiently and shared experiences and information with me, with a focus on what I want to do next after my graduation. Manuel’s studio was the ideal place to develop a personal object, so while I was there I started to think about what I could do using my skills developed so far to create something in a new format and also reflect what I’ve learnt during the internship. We came up with an idea of calligraphy as Chinese calligraphy is charming and it’s something I’m quite confident about. “Notes on Random Thoughts” is inspired by Six Records of a Floating Life, a great classic of Chinese literature written by Shen Fu during the Qing dynasty. It’s a bamboo slip rolled in a vertical long handmade box with silver foiled calligraphy title and subtitle on. The bamboo slip is to imitate the ancient way of what Chinese people write on before paper was invented. The content was a series of “random thoughts”, a form of writing like a literary diary. Unlike ordinary diaries, this one was written using a brush, in order to have the archaic feeling. The time with Manuel and people from LCFBA was just two months long, compare to the time I spent on works, I have learnt more stuff than I expected and became more familiar with the structure of books which will definitely give me a great help during my final year and after.

It is a relaxed and organised space with a small team that allowed me to learn various ways to make detailed books and boxes. Sometimes I helped Manuel with his projects and played with new equipment but mostly I was learning about book making. Manuel is such an interesting person, he taught me not only about book binding but also knowledge from other fields such as history, architecture and language. I really enjoyed working with him and found out that how important it is to have a good working partner that communicates with you well and keeps your enthusiasm high and focused on things you like.

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When you are in a studio, it’s not enough to just work in there, knowing how it works is also important. For the second period of my internship year I luckily got the chance to work in two studios in London, at Mazzotti Books where I was involved in book making and at London Centre for Book Arts, where I mainly focused on the day-to-day running of the studio.

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‘So Be It’ by Matthew Cooke

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I would say I am very much a creature of comfort and habit, and one of the greatest things I have learnt from this year is just how easy it is to get sidetracked, losing the drive to push for new and exciting opportunities. So what better way is there for me to break the mould than to move to a foreign country with nowhere to live, not a clue of how to speak language and to work in a highly creative, fast paced, small studio. Well, that’s exactly what I did, by moving to Munich for a three month internship at AMEN Gestaltung. Since starting at the studio I have had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects such as corporate design, branding, art direction, front end web design, illustration, way finding and creating promotional materials. Being in a small team with the two owners (Claudio and Michaela Prisco) and only one other intern, I have been able to take on a lot of responsibilities, which has been extremely exciting for me as this is my first truly creative internship; the pressures of having to constantly create, test & invent is something which I can quite honestly say makes me excited and driven to get out of bed in the morning. Not only this, but the small scale nature of the office means I get a hell of a lot of feedback and guidance, which really helps to elevate both my creativity and my outcomes to the next level. I am however as of yet to see any of my work be realised, but luckily as we move forward I will start to see some of the posters I have designed be pasted up on advertising columns all around Munich.

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The wolf atop the mountain is never as hungry as the one still making the climb. Being able to see my work up in public spaces will be one of the most rewarding experiences, as more often than not, as a design student, you are creating a lot of high quality work without the payoff of being able to share it in any wider contexts. As much as I love the design process, it is this realisation of my work and being able to see the final product, that keeps me coming back to design. This journey to many would be a piece of cake, but to me it was one of the most daunting and overwhelming experiences I have ever had. So I think it’s safe to say I nailed my personal challenge of exiting my comfort zone. And damn am I glad I did it. If there is one thing I have learned so far from moving to Munich, it is the importance of change. It has been a revealing lesson to pull myself out of stagnation and a rather long creative lull, as it has helped to re-fuel my passion for design and really answer the question of why I want to pursue a career in the creative industries. Most importantly, I have been able to simply trust in myself as well as my skills a lot more as whatever will be, will be. Thus…So Be It.

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Nicole Jesse Our chapter on Culture looks at the debates and reality of design and designers acting in the world. What are the various factors that underpin the experience of practicing ‘for real’ in the world today?

CULTURE

Culture is inspiration. Culture is research. Culture is feminism. Culture is language. Culture is gender. Culture is religion. Culture is environmental. Culture is activism.

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It is difficult to put the dominance of culture into just a few sentences. An all-encompassing word which arches over our habits, our interests, our behaviours, our lifestyles and so much more. In this impossible task, it may be useful to draw on some of the themes in the following pages:

As a catalyst which both influences and is influenced by the creative industries, artists and designers exist in a never-ending feedback loop with the current cultural moment. From looking at the phenomenon of ‘Vandalism for hire’ and the co opting of graffiti aesthetics by corporate culture, to the accusations in the studio of being ‘too feminine’?, this chapter explores the changing conditions around us as an impetus for change in the way in which we react and interact with society and the wider world. 50

51 There are reflections on trips across the world and encounters with a way of living which seems so far removed from the life we know in London, alongside thoughts on returning back to more familiar countries and languages which actually may seem a little less familiar to us than the last time we were there. Zooming in slightly, how have we engaged with the more micro-cultures which exist among artists and designers themselves, tapping into the professional communities we will soon be a part of?

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The D&AD festival 2018 was held at the Old Truman Brewery in London and it was the second time I had attended the festival. The festival is a global event for the creative industries and is primarily is a conference event by people from the industry sharing ideas, experiences, ideologies, debates and discussions. During the festival each day I reflected on talks I attended. These are a few of my highlights, summaries and what I took from each talk.

Oh Shi*! I’m in charge! – Patrick Collister, Creative Matters Ltd

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On this map colour in the countries you have explored this year

All In at D&AD by Hugh Van Der Lande

The first lecture I attended to kick off the 2018 festival was a fantastic lecture by Creative Director, Patrick Collister. He discussed how to define creativity, and how we need to take people on a journey and how we need to establish where we are taking people and why. He explained how when answering a brief, we are given the data, and it is part of our process as creatives to then inform the data we are given, to find insights and connect the dots to make the most powerful and memorable outcome we can. Take away liner: You only have two gifts to give, love and time… so spend your time doing what you want to do and don’t let anything get in your way… the only limit is your imagination.

How to be more persuasive – Kit Altin, The Gate London The second talk of the festival I attended was by Kit Altin. This was a fascinating talk about how advertisements connect with people. Altin explained that there are 3 methods used… Ethos, Pathos and Logos. The Ethos method is all about credibility and trustworthiness, aka facts. Pathos is all about effecting emotions, which can either be positively or negatively affected, aka relevance. And finally, Logos, which is the method that relies on logicality, so logic. Now that I have been told about ‘The magic trio of persuasion’ and how they are used, it will be really useful to use in my own projects going forward. By identifying how which method(s) can relate to a brief, to use in the design creating, and to tailor presentations and pitches to clients around the trio to help sell the idea.

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The Company You Keep – Marsha Meredtith, Creative Director, Aesop

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I had never heard of Aesop, so this talk was largely about being introduced to the brand and their ways of presenting visually. I like the fact they don’t use celebrities to endorse their products, or in fact really people for that matter, more places and beautiful landscapes. I also like how unique and individual each of their stores are designed, really connecting with the location and the history of the area they are in. For example, their Dallas, Texas store, taking inspiration from the beautiful Texan skies. Take away liner: if you spend time thinking about what everyone else in the industry is doing around you, you will just end up being the same.

The importance of getting things utterly wrong – Ben Priest, Adam & Eve / DDB Priest explained how anyone can ‘get lucky’, meaning anyone can do an amazing piece of work as a one off, the real challenge as a designer or a studio is to produce a constant great quality of work, to really make you stand out. He told us about a situation where he pitched an idea to a client who was a bit underwhelmed with the idea and wanted something different, however he stuck with it and pushed and developed the idea further, creating a campaign which worked. So, making mistakes doesn’t matter… just don’t give up on the idea, keep going, improve it, think about it from a different angle and push it as far as you can.

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Take away liner: Creativity is full of making mistakes.

Oh sh*t… what now? Honest advice for new Graphic Designers – Craig Oldham Craig Oldham has been recognised as one of the most influential designers working in the UK, and after his refreshingly down to earth talk I can see why. For this one, I’m just going to take a few quotes from his new book which he was talking about at the festival (and where I also picked up a copy). Craig Oldman

‘You must define creativity. Understand what you value as a good designer and why. Then you’ll know what it takes to achieve it’ ‘Bravery is rarer than talent’ ‘You are nothing without your opinions’ Take away liner: Have an opinion, AND SPEAK IT! Festivals like these are great to learn more about the industry, hear people’s opinions and network with other creatives. There were so many words of wisdom shared over the course of the three days and so much to take away from it. I was really inspired with what I heard, and I cannot wait for next year.

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The Difference Between Artist and Designer or Realising I Don’t Understand Modern Art by Sam Carballo

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I’ve long pondered the difference between a designer and what would be more traditionally thought of as an artist. In my mind there is a very clear distinction, both in the type of work produced, but perhaps more importantly in the mindset and ideas that each character holds. For me design is about functionality, the thing has to serve a purpose and it has to match its audience’s taste. The choices made are not arbitrary. Art on the other hand is more expressive of the artist, they don’t have to worry about if their art fits the audience. If it resonates with people, they will become its audience. In my eyes these are the main differences, however I obviously realise that art and design are not completely separate entities, and they do of course have a lot of crossover, but something that was said in a talk I attended at LCC by Bruno Maag still sticks with me till this day: “We are designers, not artists” and although I have spoken to designers who do think they are artists I tend to agree with Bruno. This brings me onto my recent visit to the Daimler Modern Art exhibition in Berlin, an experience that cemented this view in my head once and for all. Viewing the works on display I appreciated the time and effort that had gone into them, and a lot of it was very aesthetically pleasing. However the descriptions and justifications for the pieces were just so lofty, I don’t know if I’m just a philistine, but they went straight over my head. Not only that, but I actually ended up getting a bit frustrated, thinking they might even be having a laugh at our expense. Well they’ve got everyone fooled, but not me.

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We are designers, not artists — Bruno Maag

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Sound and Illustration by Omar Hernandez Del Canto Being a visual creative, I sometimes wonder how can I put across the context of my work better, exploring different avenues within media such as sound, animation, and film. All I really need to do is setup my blu ray player and watch my favourite animations like Akira and Ghost in the Shell.

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This mood setting of a scene also happens in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. There are long drawn out scenes where movement is so slow or very minimal that you could confuse them for still imagery, but sound helps convey the narrative within the scene. Even when there is no sound in the film it helps convey the fact that the film and the audience are in space. Other examples of sound in the film are; the musical score to show the beauties and horrors of space, to the heavy anxious breathing of the two protagonist just before they are attacked by HAL.

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These pioneering pieces of work helped reimagine animation forever but it also helped put across a better understanding of narrative and context. This in my opinion was done not only by the visuals but also sound. Sound is so important in these two films, without it they would merely be pretty looking animations – nothing more. Sound can be the voices of the actors, a musical score to set the mood of the particular scene, ambient noise to help fill in the realism, sound effects to create impact and help fuse visual events. A particular scene in Ghost in the Shell where the protagonist Major Kusanagi is wandering through the city, has beautiful undertones and a mood of exploration, however most of this scene is just image and sound, and goes on for about 2 minutes.

I jumped at the idea to create image and sound fusion

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Understanding these relationships between sound and image has changed my whole perspective on how important sound can be to compliment still imagery. When I was given an opportunity to exhibit work for the 2001: A Space Odyssey exhibition, I jumped at the idea to create image and sound fusion. Space Odyssey is renown for its unanswered questions and the exploration of narrative. An image with sound: the audience can start creating their own questions, and start breaking down the particular image, then fitting them back together to create narrative. I watched and took particular interest in people’s reaction to whatever piece they were experiencing. Some laughed, some bobbed their head up and down to a beat, others looked genuinely confused, but interestingly enough, I noticed a couple of people getting close to the prints to examine whatever story lay in front of them. This way of working has changed my whole approach to my work.

This way of working has changed my whole approach to my work.

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Working In Another Language by Julia Fontes Lessa

The idea of working for someone and creating design solutions is very unappealing to me since my desired career is to be an Illustrator and sell my own personal work or have companies commission me for the style that I have. From time to time I would try to look up illustrator events or workshops, or even researching how to be a part of community that sometimes conducts itself as a secret society. Also there are a whole variety of illustrators, from comic books, game arts, media conceptual art, tattoo artists, general artist/illustrators, who are all a part of their own community.

Although my first language is Portuguese, English comes as easy to me as my mother tongue. I’ve never had problems expressing myself, until I came to Berlin.

So either you have to cough up money to be accepted in or be lucky enough to know someone that will guide you and take you under their wing. Luckily, I was approached by Miranda Smart a previous student of LCC, also a contributor to LCC’s Kubrick-inspired Beyond 2001: New Horizons exhibition part of which I curated this year, and asked if I would like to be a part of her collective for the 2018 East London Comic Art Festival (ELCAF). ELCAF is an annual event with a full programme of talks, workshops, masterclasses, screenings, installations and exhibitions. ELCAF also hosts over 100 international exhibitors selling publications, zines and prints. This would be the first time I would be selling my own original artwork to the public, so the pressure for getting certain things right was quite high. For the next month I would be planning out what I was going to sell, this included posters, traditional/digital prints, zines, t-shirts, and a variety of other merchandise.

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Illustration students also don’t seem to bond as well as I thought, since the majority work individually rather than in teams. So the possibility of small collectives being made doesn’t often happen, and this in my opinion is essential to having more prospects for the future. Luckily my Diploma in Professional Srudies experience has given my time to understand and approach these themes and ideas with others, hopefully giving me or us a better edge in the industry.

This would be the first time I would be selling my own original artwork to the public

The experience of working abroad and in another language made me realise how important design is Whilst doing my internship I also did a couple of classes and did my best to try and speak the language. At the office I have a big panel with all the new words I learned and it became a fun game for my colleagues. They would just come in and make me write down new words (some of them weren’t useful at all), but it was a great bonding method and also really fun. At the end of the internship I have to come up with a story using all of the words. Learning a new language also allows you to emerge into a different culture. By understanding how the essence of the sentence work, you kind of get a feel of how the people think and how they react. In German, for example, the words are quite self-explanatory. Instead of coming up with a new word, they just stick existing ones together. That is why they look so long. Very long. Making editorial in German is impossible. There are also other little things, such as the gender of words. Since my mother tongue is a latin descendent one, the gender for the moon is feminine and the gender for the sun is masculine. However, in German it’s the other way around and is shown through the representation of these concepts. My colleague was saying how she pictured the sun as a stunning yellow lady and in my head the sun was clearly a man figure, like Apollo of the greek mythology. You think you are right your whole life until you meet someone that came from a completely different cultural background that says their way is right. But in the end, there is no right or wrong, we were just brought up differently. I feel like a lot of wars could be stopped if people just accepted that.

East London Comic Art Festival (ELCAF), London, 2018

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My grandma is German and I did learn the language at school, however, I clearly did not learn enough! Coming to Germany was a shock. I’ve always been the foreigner, but never the foreigner that couldn’t speak the language properly. It’s only now that I’ve learned how to appreciate how lucky I am to be fluent in English. Not being able to say what you want to say and finding the right words is awful. I’m not usually a shy person, but there at the office I was “the quiet one”. I’m not quiet, I sometimes just don’t understand what they are saying.

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Are We in it Together? by Omar Hernandaz Del Canto

The experience of working abroad and in another language made me realise how important design is. There are no language barriers. Visuals are key, because they can reach anyone. As a designer you should think of making something that will communicate beyond letters and words. It made me realise that illustration and photography are powerful tools in the design world. Language is a funny thing, it can help people communicate but it can also be such a barrier. Praise the visual communicators!

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Astrid Stavro Design Decoder8 What are your thoughts on the subject of design translation – we are considering global design education and professional practice and are speculating on cultural semiotics. Does ‘conceptual’ design now translate by simply changing the language or do designers have to create adaptions with different cultures in mind? “The ‘ideal’ answer should be yes, in the sense that good graphic design is timeless and works across different languages and cultures. A good example of this would be Tibor Kalman’s Colors magazine. Another poignant example is Dieter Graf’s ‘Point-it!’ Dictionary, a book that demonstrates how good ideas have the power to transcend language barriers. Interestingly, both examples are based largely on photography, visual language. I have always been fascinated by the concept of designers as translators. In fact, part of one of the talks I used to give was based on this notion. The metaphor was based on Glenn Gould’s interpretation of Bach’s The Goldberg Variations. Gould famously recorded two albums, one in 1955 and another in 1981. Gould was, of course, an interpreter of Bach’s masterpiece. The recordings are so instrincically different and deeply authored that they alter the language (ie. Bach’s original music score). There is as much Gould as there is Bach. Gould’s recordings prove how through interpretation or translation, whether in music or in design, it’s impossible to erase ‘oneself’ entirely. The act of translation is inevitably an act of creation. Another example is when reading translations of literature in different languages. I have always read Haruki Murakami’s novels in English, translated by Jay Rubin. That’s Murakami for me. Any other language or other translator made Murakami seem like something entirely different. In Spanish, Italian or French, for example, his novels are intrinsically different. In Murakamis’s words: “My books exist in their original Japanese. That’s what’s most important, because that’s how I wrote them.” I couldn’t agree more. Garamond is French. Baskerville is English. Futura is German. The rest is lost in translation.”

8. ASTRID STAVRO Partner & Creative Director, Atlas www.designbyatlas.com

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We have been trailing data surveys this last year in several Art schools and universities to see if this indeed is a measurable outcome. Once we have this data, we will be in better place to complete our vision. To get ‘positive purpose driven’ projects into curriculums across the UK and globally.  It’s a no brainer right? Once we look away from our mainstream media from our screens etc, we become part ..driven. Our sense of self-esteem rises, our engagement and empathy increases and we have a better sense of value. There is so much hope and so many ways we can change how we feel. We are more in control of the environment in which we live than we realise. All we have to do is collaborate and be in action, it’s really not hard to change our world for the better. Creative Conscience is here to help and guide, mentor, reward and encourage this kind of creative thinking - so get involved and get in touch.”

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Vandalism for Hire by Matteo Salomoni

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The company I have worked with during this year has opened my eyes to a new and emerging world that will surely continue to grow and develop in the future. Paint Freaks specialises in the creation of bespoke murals and graffiti artworks for clients on commission; a service that is becoming increasing popular in recent years and will hopefully continue to grow. However, this artistic style was not always as appreciated as it is now. Graffiti art in particular during the late 1970s and 80’s was heavily criticised by both politicians and the public. When the movement became popular during that period, it was associated with crime and the government took a hard stance towards it. New York City mayor Ed Koch was notorious for his campaign against graffiti during his election, with the implementation of additional security measures around train depots such as barbed wire and guard dogs; eventually becoming a “war on graffiti” in the effort to decrease the number of writers in the city. It is therefore shocking to witness the transformation of a medium that was commonly viewed as delinquent and illegal into a style that is now widely appreciated and practiced. The concept of graffiti on commission is also quite new; many new businesses which provide the same service are emerging due to a fresh perspective on this art style. Although it is still quite a limited sector, I believe that it will progress very quickly in the future.

It is interesting to see how this service might develop, however, it will have to rely on a better public opinion. Although it is shifting, it is still in the process, and to this day in many places governments are still carrying out “wars” on graffiti. Sao Paolo’s mayor for example is actively trying to remove all examples of “pichação”, a lettering style that developed in the city, however leaving all street art intact.

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To this day in many places governments are still carrying out “wars” on graffiti

I am confident that this art style will develop in the future and evolve through mixing with other mediums and I believe businesses that provide this service will be paving the way for this to happen, demonstrating the creativity behind graffiti. I believe this will eventually break the taboo surrounding the movement, giving more freedom and possibility for the artists of this culture to fully express themselves.

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Working with Paint Freaks has given me first hand insight into this process and how this art style has now been adapted for more commercial purposes. An example is the work I carried out with the team in Edinburgh for Ryze Trampoline Park, and is also a demonstration of graffiti utilized for these means. I believe these businesses can push the boundaries of this medium into interesting new directions, one example being murals fitted with LED Lights, which the company previously created for a different client.

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PETRO Semi-Retired Graffiti Addict9 Can ‘authenticity’ be achieved out of the sub-culture in which it was originally conceived? Is ‘appropriation’ ever convincing or morally feasible? There has been a stigma attached to the spray can, the medium has an ‘edge’ but street art is really just mural painting. They are two separate cultures, that happen to share a medium and audience (the public) and terrain, but the intent couldn’t be more different. Graffiti has its history firmly planted in its intention, every person who does graffiti has a different intent. Graf will always have its own life, someone will always want to do it illegally. It’s aimed entirely at its community.  True graffiti is the only visual sign of anarchy left. There are cameras everywhere, and there’s unrest. Street art is used as a marketing and gentrification tool. Street art makes people feel safe and graffiti makes people feel on edge. Street art is graphic design and illustration, just large scale, and public. People are used to it. You have to unpick graffiti and work out what it says, it’s a language within.  Graffiti is an addiction. People go to prison, and still come out and do it again, they don’t stop doing it. Fuck me, I’m 45 and I still sit up at night thinking shall I do it? I’m not anti-street art, they’re two different things. Graf has been in this country since the early 80s, 40 years, and we’re still having this conversation like its only just begun, its older than me and I’m 45. and it’s strange the same questions are always asked of it. 

9. PETRO Semi-Retired Graffiti Addict www.a-by-p.com/artist/petro spraydaily.com/t/petro

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Senegal: Design and Priorities by Maxwell Da Silva

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Participating in the Route Artlantique program in Senegal may not have been a life changing experience but it does really make you think and reflect about priorities. You can be sure you will meet great people, make new friendships and create networks. Looking from a design point of view, there are two words that can describe how art and design in Senegal are created. These words are simplicity and improvisation. The scarcity of resources and technology forces people to be cleverly creative and this proves that it is possible to be creative without only relying on computer programs. This also creates a culture of repurposing materials which is another good example of improvisation. I learnt a lot being there. What is important in Senegal is that priorities in design are not the same as in the developed world. The idea there, it seemed to me, is that the work needs to communicate in the most easy and cheap way possible. The necessity for traditional methods and tools of creation is still current. The graphic design world in Senegal often tries to copy the commercial style of the western world, mainly from the USA. This does not necessarily work well. In some ways Senegal can be quite shocking if you come from London for example. Design there does not require such a high finish, because the population has different priorities. It is possible to find a market for design in the capital Dakar, but outside there the best typeface, a good colour scheme or high resolution images will not matter when food is scarce, you have to walk a long way to find drinkable water, the education is poor or you do not have a comfortable place to live. The cultural and religious traditions help to keep some creativity happening in the country. It is in their everyday lives, their accessories, tools, clothing and religious artefacts that you will find great sources for inspiration.

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It is in their everyday lives, their accessories, tools, clothing and religious artefacts that you will find great sources for inspiration

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Too Feminine? by Marion Bisserier After seven months of interning in graphic design studios both in Paris and London, I feel that I am starting to get a good introduction to the creative industries and the unspoken rules of working in a design studio. No matter how great you are doing academically on a design course, you will not understand the professional studio environment unless you’ve actually physically immersed yourself in it. One of the most important notions I have learned by joining the teams at both Artworklove and Pentagram is to design while managing the client’s expectations and outside perspective on design. “The logo needs to be bigger”, “serif typefaces don’t reflect modernity” or even “can you copy that style we saw on another brand” are all part of a client vocabulary I’ve now become accustomed to hearing. Regardless of the possible debates that could take place around each of these sentences, there is one recurring comment in particular that has caused me a fair amount of reflection and even concern. “The logo is too feminine and therefore too sensitive”, said a client who had approached us for a rebrand of his publishing house in Spain. Knowing that the brand essentially focused on design, art and travel books, I was surprised to hear that the client was unsatisfied with appealing to at least half of his audience – yes, women (or anyone who identifies as a female) read too… Okay, this is just me being a sarcastic feminist but when seriously analysing that comment I realised that two questions had yet to be answered. Firstly, does the mediated image of femininity make feminine design less valid than a gender-neutral or masculine design? The client’s comment revealed how ‘problematic’ it still is for a brand to be perceived as feminine: you are unavoidably associated with emotional instability, fragility and a lack of dominance and therefore you will not stand out. Having designed the logo myself, this remark immediately brought me to realise that as a female designer, you are somehow expected to perform an outcome identical to a man’s in order to be taken seriously.

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Secondly, does a supposedly feminine-looking brand automatically exclude other genders from the audience? Back when I was a child, my parents bought a Volvo. If you are familiar with the obvious sexist symbolism of the Volvo logo, you probably already have an idea of where I’m trying to get to here. Even though the logo clearly excludes females from being Volvo drivers, my mum drove our car just as often and as well as my dad, never really questioning why she wouldn’t. Somehow it is acceptable for brands to perform toxic masculinity and to expect women to unquestionably fit in that masculine culture. But when a logo starts to be slightly interpreted as feminine because the strokes are more delicate or the typeface has rounded serifs, everybody loses their mind? Until that volvo logo perseveres in our visual culture, I will not take this as valid design criticism.

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Somehow it is acceptable for brands to perform toxic masculinity and to expect women to fit in that masculine culture. But when a logo starts to be slightly interpreted as feminine because the strokes are more delicate or the typeface has rounded serifs, everybody loses their mind?

As much as this discussion clearly deserves more depth and reflection, my initial thoughts to tackle this problem is to progressively convince clients that within femininity there is a strong presence, there is stability and determination to succeed, just as much as in a gender-neutral or masculine identity. To achieve that we need to celebrate its diverse forms of expression and encourage any creative who identifies as female to not suppress the femininity in their work in the name of acceptable design. Acceptable design never became groundbreaking design anyway.

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The client’s comment revealed how ‘problematic’ it still is for a brand to be perceived as feminine

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The Balkan Greenhouse Effect by Eva Poponic

Ethnic cleansing, genocide and enormous losses marked the 90’s. It was quite possibly the worst conflict Europe has seen since the Second World War. The fall of socialist ideology left gaps to be filled. Now independent Yugoslav countries faced the extreme rise of nationalism. In Croatia, the war ended in 1995, which is the year when I was born. I was born in Osijek, a city in Croatia’s eastern region of Slavonia and Baranja which was severely war-torn. I was born to a Croatian father and a Serbian Hungarian mother. Our patriarchal society dictates you adopt your father’s nationality. I was lucky my father was Croatian enough.

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My mother’s father, Milan, is a Serb from central Croatia. As a child, Milan and his family survived a Nazi camp in then Independent State of Croatia – a fascist puppet state of Germany. In fear of war, my mother changed her nationality to Croatian to be able to live to Germany. She returned quickly after experiencing extreme sexual harassment in her workplace. For a long time, I struggled to understand my identity. The atmosphere in our society put great meaning onto our parents nationalities. This made me disinterested in every part of it. I never wanted to be Croatian, Serbian or Hungarian. As many others born in early and mid 90’s, I didn’t find any relevance to my birth place or nationality in forming my identity.

Coming to the UK made understanding it more complicated, or perhaps overly simplistic. There is an archaical tendency to understand Europe as two hemispheres – West and East, and even in an academic surrounding, I was (am) Eastern European. This perception has proven to be very problematic. Interactions I have with my colleagues are mostly polarising. There is either a perception of Croatia as an exotic land or a fetishisation of my ability to academically compete with my British colleagues. My work wasn’t allowed to have layers and be understood as such. My politically conscious work about Balkan was always Eastern European. Actually, it was personal. Comments such as ‘I get it, you’re using red and blue because those are colours of your flag’, ‘I see, you used this image because it’s typically Western and you grew up differently’ became a normality. There was a clear problem of ownership. My work only existed as a supporting piece of people’s preconceived narrative of what being Eastern European is like (or should be).

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There was a perception that my work tried to point out to how different Balkan and I were compared to the West. In reality, I was more mature about it. I also recognised that the duality of my feelings was entirely normal and there was a reason why I felt this way.

Balkan’s cultural and social infrastructure differs greatly from the rest of Eastern European countries. Understanding it as its own geopolitical contextual space would allow for artists’ work to gain greater conceptual understanding.

I felt defensive and ashamed at times. I knew Balkan wasn’t just bad, but I had the right to critique it. It was sort of implied I needed to take a stance in my work to describe Balkan as either negative or positive, but I refused to do so.

As individuals and artists we are in charge of that narrative. We have rights to our history and culture. Our individual experiences create a larger narrative of what Balkan is. Those experiences then belong to Balkan identity as a whole.

There is either a perception of Croatia as an exotic land or a fetishisation of my ability to academically compete with my British colleagues.

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European history changed drastically in 1989 when Berlin Wall fell. Quickly after, socialist states started falling apart. Soviet Union separated quietly, while the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was in for years of bloody conflict - the Yugoslav wars.

To best understand this I thought of an example of the Greenhouse Effect. I also believe this should be used as a universal model. My individuality, dreams, aspirations and thoughts are motivated by my own wanting to be a better individual and artist. The way I execute my individuality into an experience depends on the Greenhouse. Greenhouse is made out of what the dominant social identity is based on. In Croatia, it is the idea of independence and total disconnect from the idea of Yugoslavia’s existence. I named my Greenhouse ‘post’ because of ideology that was born after the ’91 conflict.

Unfortunately, Croatia’s post space produced extreme nationalism now used for the manipulation of the masses. Dominant politics in Croatia wanted us to feel like our individuality existed only inside of the Greenhouse. There was a strong willing that we adapt Croatia’s social identity as our primary one. Choosing not to meant our Croatness was lesser. Perhaps this is why Balkan people struggle to escape preconceived notions that we only exist as post-war children instead of individuals. However, if this is a universal model, why is it that Balkan struggles to escape already formed notions of its past, presence and future? My belief is that every nation and people group has its Greenhouse. However, it is a matter of recognising that that space doesn’t necessarily dictate individuality, but shapes the way we experience.

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What Home Feels Like by Elisa Czerwenka

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Simply put: the place where life happens, the place where my family is, where my friends are, and where my own bed is. As a child I never questioned this. Home was not a concept for me, it was a place and one place only. As I reached the end of school, my life was about to change drastically. My ambitions for the future grew and so did my horizons, looking to all the places the world has to offer. I was curious about other languages and cultures. When I was 18 I made my decision: I’m moving abroad to study in London. Without knowing anyone there, I wanted to challenge myself and build a new life in a new town. I chose London. I remember the first time I went there on my own, my moving day. The moment the plane landed I felt only one thing. Excitement. To my surprise, I didn’t feel sad for leaving Salzburg, I was ready for something new. And I am glad I took this step, as hard as it was. London has become a new focus of my life. I have made many friends there and have met amazing people. I have grown as a creative and as a person. I have learned what it means to be a foreigner and how to be an adult (still a work in progress). After a year I casually began to refer to London as my “second home” when talking to friends. No big deal, I needed to give it some kind of name. And then it happened. I was on holiday with some friends from Austria. I mentioned flying back to London after the holiday and called it “flying back home”. My friends just looked at me and said: “Wait, what do you mean by ‘home’? We thought you were flying back to London?” “…Yeah, I am”. Silence. Somehow they were confused. And so was I. I didn’t just call this fairly new city I moved to my “home”, did I? For the first time in my life, “home” was not just that one place it always was.

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I had this other place that I felt comfortable in, accepted, safe and understood. I had gained another home. And somehow that was scary. I almost felt like it was a betrayal of the place I grew up in, to my family and friends that were still there. I felt like there couldn’t be another home, or that I would lose one home if I had another. Can I have two homes? Is that allowed? Who says what home means anyways?

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I grew up in a fairly small town called Salzburg in Austria. You might have heard about it because of its beautiful landscape, Sound of Music clichés or Mozart balls (and desserts, we have way too many good ones). For me however, Salzburg was never more than just this: Home.

I feel like most of my life my definition of home was based on the definition. “The place where one lives permanently” like it’s described in the Oxford Dictionary. This is simple, as long as you don’t leave your birthplace. Many people simply don’t have a permanent home. Often times people choose to go abroad to university or like many of us Diplom in Professional Studies students, for internships and work. This year, I have been living in Berlin for the duration of my internship. I love this city and feel more inspired than ever. I don’t know if it’s the people I have met, the things I have learned here or the wonderful architecture and art I’m surrounded with. I feel at home.

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So what do I say when someone asks me where my home is? I think my answer is still evolving. It will always be. I stopped trying to find one right answer for such a personal concept that I don’t even understand myself. And I don’t have to. Everyone has their own definition of home. For some, this might be where their parents are or it could be the feeling of laying in the arms of a loved one. It could be where they know how to use the kitchen, where they can be themselves without judgment or wherever their phone connects to the wifi automatically. I don’t mind having more than one home. I’m only 20. I think I have space in my heart for more. Where is your home? What does home feel like to you?

What do I say when someone asks me where my home is? I think my answer is still evolving. It will always be.

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Hwasoo Shim Internationally Fluid10 Does it matter where a designer calls Home? Does ‘provenance’ matter to the creater of meaningful work? Does it improve design understanding and insight to come from several places or is a local contextual framework more important than a global one? Working from home, working remotely, flexible working, nomad working, pop-up agency, and virtual office. These terms were less known or unknown just 5 years ago. However, thanks to ground-breaking technologies, more flexible and diverse options to choose to fit into your certain lifestyle. When there were huge social or technological revolutions in human history, design has always been there to lead the change and help to form better lifestyle and convey the ideas of the change in our society. Even when iPhone was introduced in 2007, just because of “this one phone”, now we have lots of new design jobs, like UX architect, UI designer, mobile game designer and mobile interaction designer. These changes made it possible to undertake design practices in a variety of forms on a global scale.   My past experience of working in South Korea, Japan, The Netherlands, and now in the UK, have broadened the pool of my professional networks. Nowadays, without travelling those countries again, it’s become possible to work with those whom I met and worked with thanks to the working paradigm shift; working remotely and globally have become more accessible to designers than any other times in the past. In addition, it has given me further global experiences, allowing me to broaden my portfolio, and conduct design projects with the USA, Thailand and Nigeria. There is nothing wrong with becoming a great designer for local needs or being based in one location for long. However, I still believe that as a designer, discovery and inquisitiveness are the most important attitudes that you need. As mentioned above, living with new social and technological change allows us to break geological limitations in a way which is easier than ever. The design industry has become a pioneering force in this change, led by Yuno Juno, Toptal, Bonsai.   It’s been always the designers who challenged conventional ways of working and I am sure that we’ll see more of this paradigm shift coming from designers all around the world. 10. HWASOO SHIM Design Leader, Rufus Leonard hs-hwasoo.com

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The casual visitor to Berlin will be taken aback by many things that seem counter-normative in other major European cities, but designers especially will notice one thing; the prominence of fly posting. Predictably the roots of this are grounded in the club scene as formerly illegal club spaces legitimised and found themselves in a position where they could now advertise openly throughout the 1990’s. There are parallels between this and the generation of British designers that emerged from musical subcultures in the 1980’s, designing posters and flyers for events up and down the country throughout the Acid House boom. Where the two differ is in their legal treatment by their respective governments. Fly posting in the UK is treated in the same legal framework as graffiti and can be charged as criminal damage. In Berlin, though not Germany as a whole, it exists in a legislative grey area and is not considered criminal damage. With no real grounds for prosecution it goes largely ignored by the authorities and in most neighbourhoods any given lamp post, electrical box or doorway will be pasted entirely with posters. From this entrepreneurial individuals and companies have made their living out of fly posting. From freelance ‘wild posters’ to companies such as Plakat kultur (Poster Culture) offering fly posting services companies and organisations are afforded access to cheap, mass advertising with an audience of millions. The city itself exists to benefit from it as well as the colourful and rugged streetscape left behind by the weekly decay and replenishment of the posters lends itself to the ‘poor but sexy’ image Berlin has sold itself on for so long. The effect of this is well documented, not least by designer Patrick Thomas in his successful instagram account Berlin Street Graphics. Designers benefit, the city benefits, organisations benefit, everyone benefits. Ja? Nein. A walk around some of the most popular fly posting spots will likely disappoint most designers. One would assume that such a competitive design environment with relatively little legal kickback would breed a high calibre of design and an excellent platform for emerging designers but, with a few notable exceptions; Ruben

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Mata’s work for OHM club, the in house team at the Volksbuehne Theatre and Vanja Golubovic / Onlab’s work for techno institution Tresor, the standard of work is decidedly poor. At worst though this is irksome to those that take an interest in it and does not have any bearing on the overall scene. A far greater threat has come from the expansion of designated advertising space available in the city. Previously wild posting and corporate advertising had co-existed fairly easily - fly posting in designated advertising spaces was seen as taboo, conformist and disrespectful by wild posters and advertisers had largely reciprocated this by distancing themselves from the guerrilla marketing tactics of the posters. However with a greater number of these spaces being made available to big companies to purchase, fly posters are increasingly marginalised and have found their guerrilla marketing tactics diminished by corporate imitation. This reached a climax when two historic pieces of graffiti overlooking the site of the former Berlin Wall in Prenzlauer Berg were painted over by Nike and Fanta as part of their respective World Cup advertising campaigns. The desecration of a social statement by big companies attempting to appear youthful and in touch had brought about a major realisation. What was once the preserve of political radicals, creatives and entrepreneurs was now a platform to sell shoes, apps and sunglasses. Predictably this saturation of advertising has gone the way of the billboard and the pop-up; people are simply tuning it out. This would be especially disappoint as it hugely diversifies the urban tapestry and streetscape in a city that, with a few exceptions, is not the most architecturally enthralling. Fly posting is a deeply ingrained part of Berlin’s visual culture and is intrinsically linked to the city’s musical and anti capitalist values but it faces a far greater threat than being wiped out…being rendered meaningless.

A walk around some of the most popular fly posting spots will likely disappoint most designers.

From a Trip to a Challenge by Ana Carina Figueiredo After getting back from my Senegalese trip, a lot had changed. I’ve known for a while that I have been interested in sustainability and ecological issues and as a person I consider myself aware and responsible for my choices as a consumer. Having the chance with DPS of going through such a radical experience (visiting Dakar, St. Louis, Casamance and Thies with an amazing international group) of course seemed a once in a lifetime experience, a bucket list wishes crossed, a chance to live an African experience through the eyes of a local. I was expecting to acquire traditional and handmade techniques and skills from the artisans that had an open door at their home for us. A tea ready to be drunk, and a pile of pillows ready for us to sit in the most comfortable place of the house. Being in Senegal was such an inspiring and rich experience. Being able to see how happily their lives were lived, and how easily they gave to someone that they knew has more material wealth than them. They gave you the little they have just to make you feel welcome. It was a life lesson. I remember when walking through different places, the thing that shocked me the most was the trash. On the streets, on the beach, in a goats mouth, underneath my feet, it was everywhere. One of the days, while we were visiting Maison des Esclaves (House of Slaves) in Gorée Island, after an emotionally intense visit, we spent some time on the beach of the island. It was small, but full of loud and funny children. After spending such an amazing time with the kids, water bottles and water bags were notable everywhere on the beach, something that was ruining my wonderful experience. I couldn’t understand why would they leave the plastic mess there, there were bins at the exit of the beach, there was no reason to float next to trash. This was when I decided to grab a bin bag and start collecting all the plastic. I wanted to see their reaction, and what would it happen after that? Would it create any impact? Or make any difference?

In the end, my actions didn’t make sense for them, they couldn’t understand why was I doing it, but incredibly it made all the sense for me. I remember while I was collecting it, there was this kid who looked at me, finished his water and dropped the bag on the floor. I couldn’t judge him, everyone was doing it. The couple of years of life he had known he always has seen trash as something that was alright to throw onto the floor. After having a talk with one of the locals that were introduced to me, she explained to me that no one ever told them how prejudicial it was. It’s like Maslow’s pyramid of needs, if they don’t have basic needs, how can they be aware of secondary obligations? Another day, on a different beach the same scenario was repeated; trash everywhere, people throwing dirty liquids into the water where children would bathe. I started analyzing what was in the piles of trash and buried in the sand. Easily you could identify things that didn’t belong there, mostly plastics. This trash that was coming from us, from Europe, dragged by the flow of the waters. When I got back to London, I was angry. I had to act to change it, this plastic problem was everywhere. It was making me so unstable, wanting to buy food for instance and everything, everywhere has plastic. Here is where it started, the more I see the more I want to learn. I have since then been trying to consume the least plastic possible. I started looking for artists, designers, and activists, people that were doing something to change this worldwide problem. I’m part of it now, I’m doing the best I can and know to share this knowledge. I have been working with plastics and getting to know this once precious material that is killing our planet and us.

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Not on Mein Watch: The Rise and Fall of Plakat Culture by Tom Medlicott

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Christopher Lutterodt-Quarcoo S.T.E.A.M Designer11 Is Africa leading the way? How much does Western education consider issues below the Equator? How in the West are we responding to Africa-rising? What about design with the other 90%? “As I rediscover Africa with a new lens, it is a great disservice to discuss potential without acknowledging the pioneering innovations from the continent. M-Pesa, Koniku Kore and VR Mining, categorised as S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) have flourished over the past decade. However, this is not in absentia of Art & Design. We are observing the central value of creativity in life-altering developments in agriculture, architecture, security, transportation, health - this is S.T.E.A.M in all its glory.  It’s no surprise hubs, labs and centres are emerging in every region, with cultural institutions following. The diaspora is enchanted by the ingenuity within the continent, therefore gifting their networks, resources and knowledge to the innovation revolution in Africa.  From my observation, there is an awareness of balance between excessive technological assistance and analogue methodologies as are still being passed on in tandem. Africa represents one of the most polarising portrayals of digital technology.  The sentiment ‘Africa is not a country’ screams African needs are as diverse as their kingdoms, from no electricity to robot traffic wardens.  Eerily, there is a familiar dichotomy afoot, this time between foreign and homegrown tech.”

11. CHRISTOPHER LUTTERODT-QUARCOO Director, The Adv_ Forum the-adv.com

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Photo by Dustan Woodhouse via Unsplash

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Sometimes it can be uncomfortable venturing outside of the studio because workplaces can be unfamiliar and pressured environments. But also because I have often found myself to be an outsider in a new workplace. Will being gay and working in offices be as uncomfortable as bar and shop jobs have been? As invasive or volatile or patronising? As secretive or embarrassing? I hoped not. At Office 1 I entered a female-dominated environment. I expected to be empowered and at ease surrounded by high-achieving, hard-working women. But for the few weeks I was there – despite having a great and educational time – I was tense, tight-lipped, and impersonal. I nodded and smiled when colleagues talked about boyfriends, holidays, and weddings. Everything was very straight.

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It was safe yet claustrophobic to be able to ‘fit in’ while I chose to. I didn’t come out to anyone while I was there. Why would you need to? Who needs to know? Who cares? Other people don’t talk about their personal lives or sexuality. Sure. But mentally policing what I ‘let slip’ when I was on the phone to my girlfriend at lunch was surprisingly exhausting. As was the specific brand of dodging personal questions – editing my life so it was condensed and anonymous and palatable.

I have put energy into finding communities and movements that I can get behind and that get behind me. Looking for collaborations, events, and companies that put an emphasis on what would not other me and potentially put me at a disadvantage in certain environments has been a gratifying experience. It has been very important to transform that stifled feeling of not wanting to be out to anyone in an office into creating work and meeting other creatives specifically based on queerness, likemindedness, or the intersecting ways minorities can support each other.

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Outside Officer by Brogan Bertie

It probably won’t be the last time I choose to omit the precious details of my full and loving life out of protectiveness, defensiveness or discomfort – but hopefully as I pursue these projects and communities my support system will just get bigger and bigger and this alienation that could hinder me will become a strength and that claustrophobic feeling will get smaller in the back of my throat and slowly but surely that wariness won’t define any experiences I have.

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Going into an office is almost like entering a vacuum

Office 1 was a pleasant, productive, robotic and slightly empty experience. At Office 2 the set up was different. It was a bigger office with different sections, different cliques. There were two female heads in the creative department I worked in, a very friendly atmosphere, and – for whatever reason – a less claustrophobic environment. I had beers with some other interns, the group much more diverse and open than in Office 1. Office 2 was a much more authentic, much more open experience and without the internal tenseness I had during my residence at Office 1 I found that I wasn’t wishing it away and was much more present to do the best work that I could.

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We Have All The Time In The World... by Celeste Mueth Facing one of my fears was a bold way to go but I think it was necessary

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As I started the term I managed to get an internship really quickly, the only issue was it was starting mid-November. I struggled to find another internship that would last a month or two while finishing before the month of November. I realized that if I didn’t manage to secure one for the time being, I would have to work on something personal.

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I decided to work on something that would make me learn new skills and fill my free time. I was going to improve my digital drawing abilities; this was my goal starting off. I also wanted to do something that would have a daily outcome. This way I was sure to work on it every day and make it a priority.

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Visual magnitude is the outcome of this project. It is an Instagram account where I post digital portraits that I made daily. (@visual_magnitude) I started by making several portraits every day without posting anything. I figured that I should have a few of them ready for busy days. An aspect that I think was a good way to keep me going for a long period of time was the variety. Each portrait takes a couple of hours to do which means it doesn’t feel like working on the same thing for too long. It then makes it difficult to get discouraged and it is also very pleasing to have regular outcomes. Using Instagram was a good way to showcase my work by allowing a wider audience to see it. I think the feedback from the viewers replace the feedback I was used to having in school. It feels rewarding and encouraged me to continue the project for longer than I intended to. Having free time ended up being a lot less terrifying than I thought. It is a time we have to learn new skills and working on projects that I would have been unable to undertake in addition to uni work. It is also a time that I use to start very different ventures at the same time. For example, I have been very intrigued by virtual and augmented reality for a long time. I started to learn how to code so I could have a better shot at working with those techniques one day. Starting by facing one of my fears was a bold way to go but I think it was necessary.

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When I was in foundation and filling applications for different Bachelors courses, I was, as I assume everyone is, pretty nervous about finding the course that would suit me best. My biggest fear was to end up in one that would give us open briefs and a very long time to work on them. I would say to all of my teachers that I had a hard time doing personal work if no one was watching or if we didn’t have a lot of guidelines on what to do. The reality is I had a hard time doing work for myself instead of for the teachers and the grades. I guess our school education is made to have us think that way. Starting DPS I was then anxious about the free time between internships and the big roles that self-initiated projects have in the year.

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Martin Galton Writer, Poet, Painter, Curator, Commentator, Initiator12 How important is it to self-initiate projects as a creative person, and why? Does working in a speculative manner increase a creative person’s potential? “I don’t paint to get exhibited. I don’t write poetry to get published. I paint because I love painting. I write because there’s a poem inside that’s bursting to get out. In my day job, I write advertising. I work with people called strategic planners. They tell me what to say and I say it in the most creative way I can. It’s a collaborative business but I’m not sure I’m a great collaborator. It’s why I paint and write poetry. I use the news to make pictures. Newspapers provide me with a constant and immediate stream of inspiration. Sometimes I make my own comment on the news, my equivalent of a cartoon, or maybe I’ll just interpret a photo from a newspaper, but at the heart of it, is an idea. I love ideas. Ideas are powerful. They make you think. They can even change the world. It’s what my poems are. Simple ideas. I might have an idea about Autism, or how bloody rude people are these days. Advertising relies on the power of a simple idea and so does poetry. Poetry allows me to express an idea in a sharp, pithy way. Seems everything I do is connected.”

12. MARTIN GALTON www.vccp.com https://www.martingalton.com/about https://www.martingalton.com https://www.bangsaidthegun.com

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Back To Nature by Aydin Mustafa

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Travelling more than the length of the UK whilst in the US required me to take on new ways of being independent. Being away from home wasn’t daunting, but the fact that I was localised in a place I am completely unfamiliar with, in terms of culture, people and laws, was what challenged me most. Simple tasks I hadn’t experienced before from living at home such as food shopping or finding accommodation was even more challenging to do for the first time in the US as I was unaware of what supermarkets they had to offer or what new food brands were ok to try. Luckily there was always a McDonald’s on most street corners. Beginning a coach trip in San Francisco which headed through some of America’s most spectacular landscapes such as Yosemite, Antelope Canyon, The Grand Canyon allowed me to experience being surrounded by nature which again I was yearning for after being in London for so long. It dawned on me how these habitats had such a small display of design which is a dramatic contrast from being in ‘city life’ for so long where brands are always trying to capture

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your attention and where advertisements claim our landscape. Realising the irrelevance of design in these places was refreshing, it made me realise how seriously we take our city lives due to design constantly selling ideas or directing our thoughts. I feel that I will become more explorative and playful with my work as I believe these aspects are often lost in studios that are just constantly trying to ‘out advertise’ competitors. I began questioning whether design can have a place amongst these natural landscapes and whether this is something I can explore. Apart from having a truly incredible travelling experience I did have a strong desire to gain new inspiration and ideas for future projects. I found this to be difficult while in the natural habitats which was the majority of the time but I became less literal with the inspiration I found and drew from it from the textures and colours I encountered. Travelling through cities in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas opened my eyes to new cultures which offered potential new problems to be solved. The cities contrasted each other in terms of design, LA displayed many large scale modern advertisements whereas Las Vegas was mostly designing for the night hours, where there was a reliance on light and scale. Travelling the US was an amazing experience where I was able to embrace some of our most natural wonders, I feel that it matured me as a person plus gave me a fresh insight to design and advertising in a new culture.

Realising the irrelevance of design in these places was refreshing

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Yosemite National Park, Photo by Kyle Cottrell via Unsplash

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It has always been a dream of mine to visit the west coast of America for its iconic cities and its unique natural landscapes. Still living at home with my parents during my time at university hasn’t given me that opportunity to be independent. So, my trip through four states, six national parks and three major cities allowed me to experience new learning curves about being a self dependent adult and the design world.

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John Glasgow Printmaker & Co-Founder Vault49 NYC13 How do you set up a design business which reflects your values as a designer? “Vault49, our Design business in New York City, was born while Jonathan Kenyon and I were in our final year at LCC. The course shaped our future and it was there where we learnt the importance of collaboration and developed a love for craft. This is the key to the way we work. These were two important lessons that helped establish Vault49’s DNA. Jonathan and I met in the college screen-printing studio where we found ourselves admiring (and envying) one another’s work, and hence started collaborating on projects. The name Vault49 came out of a branding class at the university. Rather than creating a fake product or rebranding an established one, Jonathan and I worked on developing our nascent studio. The name derives from a handson approach to design, with the “vault” being the nickname of the cupboard under the stairs where the printing equipment was stored. The “49” comes from our first location – a student house at 49 Addington Square, London. In the first two years of business, working on some fun and diverse commissions, we started to attract clients in the US. Despite being born and bred in London myself and Jonathon spending the past six years studying in London from Huddersfield, we made the decision to change our lifestyles and try our luck abroad. In 2004, we moved to New York and from literally the first day our studio (a spare bedroom at this time) had great success landing a large range of commissions. We began to evolve organically from this point and we brought in designers and artists whose skills complemented our own. Since leaving college we have always had an off-site screen-printing studio, but we recently moved into a 2,500sq ft. office in the heart of Manhattan, where we now have a full onsite screen-printing space set up in the office. The past couple of years have been spent positioning the studio as more of an all-round creative agency and working with clients to get involved earlier in the creative process, where the company can have more impact. From the birth of the company, our guiding principle was “more is more”.

13. JOHN GLASGLOW Printmaker & Co Founder Vault49 NYC www.vault49.com

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It has to be beautiful and relevant at the same time. It has to have an element of the unexpected, and our favourite work has viewers finding new things each time they look. This is true whether it’s a large-scale experiential event or a poster campaign. On a typical day in the studio, we could have someone preparing screens to print in one corner, the creative director briefing the latest branding project in another, the accounts service team buzzing around on the phone or fighting to book one of the two conference rooms for client meetings, the CGI team crafting away on key visuals or, as of last week, experimenting with dead cockroaches for a commission. Clients tell us that they come to us because we don’t just have one house style – we have a wide range of styles to offer and are constantly evolving the kind of work we do. The team has significantly grown in the past few years and we are now a studio of 26 people and house a talented branding, CGI and illustration team, account services and strategy: but what is important to us is that these teams collaborate at every opportunity to create the best pieces of work our studio can produce. There’s one thing that we have been passionate about replicating within our studio, and it’s the inspiring and diverse college environment we experienced at LCC. ”

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Are You Hanging? Brief. Recruitment. Sex. Publish. Ollie East. Reference. Ping Pong. Deadline. Campaign. Evidence. Creative Director. Production. Shoot. Finance. Drinks After Work? Cunt. Who The Fuck Took My...? What Printer Is That? Review. Resources. Payday. Identity. Poster. Brand. Cinema. Denis. A List Of Things I Heard, Said & Read The Most This Year — Oli East WAYS OF WORKING

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The Deck. Bleed. Can You Stay This Weekend? In-Situ. Package The File. Do You Want A Beer? See You In The Morning. PSD. Tissue. Pitch. Deliveroo. Meeting. Redundancy. Creative. Yes. What’s Your Email? File. Studio. Strategy. Bifta? Where Are You? You are Late. Pub? Can You Comp This For Me? Pride. Client. 9AM. Designer Have A Day Off. Whatever. Illustrator. Freelancer. Book. Interview. Stress. Don’t Care. Fuck Off. How Much To Not Go Back To Uni?

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How To by Anete Sreibere

When moving to another country it’s more than just getting to know another city it’s learning about the culture and building your network again from scratch. From friends to work colleges, I moved from London to New York to embark on a new adventure working at Vault49. Moving to and working in a new place can be very alienating from the off set but you need to have a brave mentality to embrace this feeling, living and learning in a completely different environment. Moving from classroom to studio is more different than you would expect, the projects move faster, and you have to deliver. As a student this is what you crave, we train, work day in and day out to be working on these projects and it’s about putting all of this to practice when in the studio.

“How to use graphic design to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and (every once in a while) change the world” is a book by Michael Bierut and my latest reading material. “How to” showcases thirty-five of Bierut’s projects and describes the story, process and thoughts behind them.

When being an intern you have to throw yourself into everything; it is a bit like being an alien of sorts, you are experiencing everything for the first time. You are learning new things all the time and this can be all forms of exciting and exhausting (but mostly exciting). It’s inspiring to be around people that all want to work and do an amazing job, this can have a real impact on your mentality as a person as well as a designer. I really wanted to get the most out for my time in New York with the people I was surrounded by and decided to say yes to everything (within reason) so when Daniel’s Music came to give a talk I wanted to take an opportunity to give back while I was there. Daniel’s Music is a foundation set up by Daniel himself and his father. It is a foundation that provides music classes and opportunities for people with disabilities. I was lucky enough to be able to volunteer. It was a really eye opening experience, seeing how people with disabilities respond to music. I have contacted the foundation and am looking to create some album art for them in the future.

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When being an intern you have to throw yourself into everything; it is a bit like being an alien of sorts, you are experiencing everything for the first time. John and Jonathan started Vault 49 and both attended UAL which is really inspiring as a young designer that intends to have their own company one day. Seeing a company such as Vault49 that has such a diverse and different approach to design is really refreshing. When at Vault49 you are surrounded by people that are extremely talented but are also the most down to earth people that want to help you learn and grow. They have their own screen-printing facility which is rare to have in a working design studio, and I have been able to help do some printing while I was there, being able to work on big brands as well as having the facilities to keep craft at the heart of the agency.

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Any of the chapters for me as a design students are extremely interesting. To see how these projects have come together and especially what are Bierut’s thoughts on different problems that designers face every day. One of the chapters/sections tells about Bierut’s work for Parallax Theatre - How to work for free. Beirut tells story about his school friend Victor D’Altorio. Victor wanted to follow a career as an actor and Michael started out as a designer. Michael did posters for all the plays that Victor was in or later would direct. He did all the posters for free. Beirut writes:

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Extraterrestrial by Lauryn Raymond

“First, the work was fun. Victor would explain what the play was about in two sentences, and would send me the text that had to go on the poster. The explanation was always vivid and inspiring, and the text was always complete and free of typographical errors.

Second, after receiving my design, Victor would permit himself a single question: “How can I thank you?” 89 Finally, he never promised me exposure to movie stars on opening night or high-paying jobs down the road. I think as an actor, he understood what so many clients don’t: that for a creative person the real reward is to simply do the work. Getting a “Hey, Mike?” call from Victor meant I’d have one more chance to do my best.” Reading this paragraph was like a little reminder of why I am here and why I study and that this is what I love to do. Just to point out, of course not everything you do should be for free. But I think free work gives you complete freedom to do whatever you can possibly think of. The financial responsibility that you are getting paid doesn’t exist there. And if it works out and your work ends up on the wall, even better.

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Daniel Britton Design Dyslexic14 How important is it that we consider inclusivity when undertaking the design process. As a disabled person do you feel well catered-for? “You have to experience disability to understand it. You have to understand disability to design for it. The only way I can describe having a disability is either like turning up to work or university every day with a weight around your neck or being born at 3rd base having missed out on 1st and 2nd. To get to where you need to be you have to put in at least two or three times the amount of work and effort just to get to the first post (university) but once you’re out and you’re able to better control the environment you are in and put the right people around you – you are flying. It has taken me a good 25 years to reap the rewards of Dyslexia but now I’m here I wouldn’t have it any other way. With Dyslexia you have a completely different perspective, you see and solve problems differently to others and more often than not you solve them quicker and more efficiently, which in business is everything. Once you leave university you can employ people to help you with e-mails, reading and the day to day life. As for designers understanding disability better – I heartily recommend co-design and “Empathy” and empathy tools for genuine insight.”

14. DANIEL BRITTON Freelance Designer davielbritton.info

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One Star Rating by Jack Stutchbury This was always a dream for me and to even have the opportunity to work at Converse was incredible

CULTURE

“The One Star is back for the third time. The classic Converse silhouette made a name for itself on the feet of the world’s best basketballers and 20 years later, transitioned to the soles of skaters worldwide. Now in 2017, the One Star returns to leave another mark on youth culture.” – Steve Duck ‘Youth Culture’ was a phrase that was used frequently around. It was a project that really integrated young creatives, bloggers, skaters, artists, designers and many more to Converse. These sort of people became a major feature in Converse’s approach. The names like Gully Guy Leo, Ryan Hawaii, Yung Lean, ASAP Nast and Tyler, The Creator all represented what Converse felt was youth culture, and changing the perception of creativity. All young, inspiring and pretty fucking cool. Being ‘One Star Rated’ was a phrase that was identified to the product, the Converse One Star. A shoe that was being pushed constantly, throughout my time there. The next step for Converse was to really push the One Star in the major key cities; one of them was London. A hub for creativity, inspiration, art, fashion, and not giving a fuck, were all elements to be ‘One Star Rated’. This then developed to the idea of really putting Converse on the map, and identifying as a major game player once again in trainer culture.

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‘The One Star Hotel’ was a huge campaign located in East London. The concept was simple, a hotel dedicated to the Converse One Star trainer. The place was huge. There were various rooms that represented a specific campaign, creative or moment in the One Star history. Ranging from a room dedicated to the brand MadeMe, Cotton Candy Room, The Basement, Year of the Dog room, the list goes on.

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Highsnobiety, Steffen Grap Berlin, 2018

Each room has a unique element to it, dedicated to that collaboration, artist, person or whoever. The whole concept was incredible. Each room had so many Instagram-worthy moments, which made this idea really influential throughout all media. Open to the public during the day, then VIP parties in The Basement in the evening. It was an amazing event and a great opportunity to really see what the Converse team had been working on, come into fruition. It’s best to just to look at all the photos and videos for a better idea… Since a very young age, I had always had a strong passion for trainers and everything related. Converse Chuck Taylors were an essential in my trainer rotation. This was always a dream for me and to even have the opportunity to work at Converse was incredible. I started my internship in September and straight from the beginning it was an amazing experience. The Converse building was situated in Hilversum, The Netherlands, right by the Nike EHQ building. As Nike bought Converse a few years ago, we were always involved and heavily integrated with Nike. Whether it was through events, moments or projects, it allowed you to meet people from all over the world in so many different places. The internship spanned 6 months in which I was heavily involved in day-to-day tasks of a designer in the team. When I started, the whole design and marketing team totalled to be around 8 people, including me. The following weeks the whole team multiplied and there were new faces everywhere. You could sense a change in brand direction for Converse, and this was an exciting time to be part of a new team.

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CULTURE

The Converse ‘One Star’ was a trainer that Converse were really pushing to market during my time with them. It was a classic trainer, originally released in 1969 and now Converse wanted to re-release the classic shoe.

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FUTURE

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Talking about the future has never been more problematic than it is now. It would be naive to discuss the future as an end goal, something to which we are working towards. The thought of the future as a time or a place, a form of utopia, ripe with untold possibility, is over. To understand how we should position ourselves for this future relies on the questions we ask ourselves, and the actions we take both individually and collectively. The unstoppable ubiquity of technology, political certainty, Brexit, global warming, the redefinition of the current geological epoch, fake news, precarious workforces, societal displacement… the conditions in which we find ourselves and the impacting implications for our future, and of course not to mention the creative industries, present a landscape of uncertain possibility. Who are we now and what are the roles we should forge for ourselves?

FUTURE

E R U T U F E R U T U FFUTU R E U T U F E R U T U F FUTURE E R U T UTURE FFU U T U F FFU UTTUURE R E E R U T FU

Laura Vent

However, the future is not over there, it is here. It is continuous, it is the point where the ocean meets the sky. Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi talks in his book Futurability about the designer. A ‘strange guy’, a person who is the only one who has the ability to think in a double way, to feel the environment, the bodies that are all around him, and who tries to create a full connection between ‘the machine and the environment’. For Bifo the designer is a key figure, one in which he can perceive the full extent of possibility within an idea of the future. As designers, we need to focus on the creation of a ‘future’ that is both sustaining, and sustainable. Our role is to forge communication between us and our environment. To create possibilities for a life that is defined by ways of working, that will allow us to be and act in ways that fulfil our role as both individual and global citizens. It is important to recognise the future is in fact now. It is the consequences of our individual and collective actions, the choices and decisions we make, and the factors we allow to influence the paths we forge for ourselves, and those around us. The future is uncertain, but one thing is for sure, it is not yet written. And in that, we can find hope and optimism for things to come. Through ways of working, through the perseverance of design, we have the potential to shape what it means to be here now. And in the next now, and the now after that.

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What change do you want to see (and make!) in the creative industry in the next ten years?

The T Word by Beneditta Souto

First of all, I think it’s important to point out how different every place is and so how you are always guaranteed to have completely unique experiences. In the same way, different people will fit into their roles and the places they are working at in different ways. This is all somewhat common knowledge but, despite all these divergences, there was one common factor that I noticed affected the experiences of most people across wildly different job specs and work places. And the unifying factor, for me at least, seems to be trust. Not only the trust and belief that people have in their employers but also the trust that is given back to them as employees. In the first case, it seems somewhat obvious that almost everyone works better when they believe in what they are doing, when they are made to feel like they have a purpose and are making a valuable contribution not only directly to their employer but also in a wider sense to the world.

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This sense of fulfilment and purpose is also why it’s important for managers and directors to be able to trust their employees, all the way down to the interns they hire. For an employee to feel like they have value in a workplace they need to be trusted enough to be able to show exactly what they can bring to the table.

Unfortunately, it seems far too often, interns are reduced to coffee fetchers and micromanaged to exhaustion.

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If a person is treated and viewed as a tool rather than an able, contributing member of the discussion and work process, then they will never have a chance to show the value they could’ve brought in. Yet, it seems almost taboo in some places to trust an intern with anything bigger than focusing on one task at a time. This is justified by mentioning their lack of experience, the fact that they are just starting out, that you can’t possibly know if they’ll be capable until you’ve seen their skills. All fair arguments, but isn’t there another way to do things? If you take the time to sit down with a new person you’ve just started working with and create an environment where it’s possible to have an honest, open conversation, then the people you work with, interns or not, will feels comfortable telling you where they are the most and least confident. Instead of trying to micro-manage, control and place a safety net around interns – just in case they screw up – wouldn’t it be better to feel confident enough in the people you’ve hired to challenge them, to push their boundaries and allow them to grow while in the meantime also knowing they are comfortable enough to reach out for help and support if they need it? This is what, in my belief, a healthy, productive and engaging working environment should look like. But to enable a situation like this, the key will always be trust. It’s a shame that still seems to be a scary concept across so much fo the creative sector. But things are changing and, not only through my experience but through the experiences of the people I’ve talked to, it’s heartwarming and empowering to see how more and more interns are given the chance to grow and have a meaningful role during their time at a company. I believe that’s what’ll make us better professionals and better people when the time comes: to know how to trust and to be able to trust others.

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FUTURE

FUTURE

A few months and a couple of internships into the professional world and I thought it might be a good idea to look back and think about what has worked better or worse across different the different places I’ve been at or that I’ve heard about from my friends going through the same experience.

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Marina Willer Generative Practitioner15 What ‘conditions’ are the most productive for a designer to practice in as part of this contemporary, chaotic, capitalist culture? How individualistic and trusting should a creative be? “Me = We. I believe that design in our times is about collaboration, it’s about co-creation. We absorb what is going on in the world and react to it. We find ideas in the most unpredictable places. We put them together with our groups. We create ideas, languages and systems that are engaging and participative (most of the time). Audiences don’t want to be told what to do, they want to assemble, make, and create. Our job is to create frameworks for that to happen. The best way of working is hands on, with the group, with kids, with friends, with clients, always creating and making. Design has to be strategic. It needs to respond to needs, to the world, to contexts. Design is no beauty contest. Instead design creates relevant stories for the cultures and audiences that it will engage with. This cannot be done in isolation. It’s all about togetherness.”

15. MARINA WILLER Patner, Pentagram https://www.pentagram.com/about/marina-willer Red Trees Directed by: Marina Willer

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Part I – Beginning, end

Part III – Expired

All objects spend their lives doing what they were made to do. But eventually these objects fail, they break and stop working, they expire. Yes maybe you can use the object for something else, or replenish the batteries, but what I’m more interested in is that they change. Their once sole purpose in our lives, gone. Or is it?

Not only did this transformation alter the way it looked, but also changed the amount and direction of light that was being spread. This week long evolving lamp now shone through the cracks, as well as below.

Why don’t we treat objects or products that we own as though they are living things? What if we did treat them with such compassion? What if they evolved or grew as we did? Would this forge a connection with an object or product that may have been overlooked through otherwise? These are some of the questions I have been asking myself since a lamp I was making evolved into something much more captivating.

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Lamp (I, fresh), Charlie Boyden, 2018

Lamp (II, cracked), Charlie Boyden, 2018

Lamp (III, lit up), Charlie Boyden, 2018

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This got me thinking, what if I made a deliberate choice, during the process of designing and making an object, to give it an expiry date. What if you knew this object was going to evolve, mould, modify, reform, reshape, and change the way it works and looks over a noticeable period of time. Would that add more value to the object?

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FUTURE

Expiry Date by Charlie Boyden

I could make : [one day] objects, [1 week] objects, [1 month] objects, [1 year] objects.

At this current time, I’m working in Barcelona, exploring material uses for lamps, furniture and installations. One project we’ve been working on is ‘Dipping Lamps’ – using white globes, we dip them into paint multiple times, creating different layers of coloured opacity from the paint overlapping. The leftover paint then sets like silicon within 24 hours of being made.

You could have objects that lasted for as long as you lived. They are born when you are born, live, grow and eventually decease when you do. Your own little object companion, (wo)man’s best friend. It could grow little hairs, like those grass seed soil tight puppets you used to make as a kid. Think about how you connected with that little grassy being, feeding it, nurturing it, trimming its little hedgehog hairs when they got too long. That was love, that was companionship.

Why waste the paint? Why not do something with it? … I had an idea to take the bucket of paint and make a lamp using a glass jar. The result worked well, the paint set around the jar and I was able to flip it over. It seemed like it could work.

There’s something nice about an object that you know is going to expire, because not only will it change its form or function, but it may change the way you see it, it may just bring you closer to something that is just as alive as you are.

I knew that the paint was prone to cracking once dried, but I still wanted to see if it was possible… A week went by and like expected it cracked, but beyond the extent I had predicted. The best way I could describe it would be when the bottom of a lake dries up and the top layer cracks open.

I will leave you with this statement written by Palle Oswald and adapted by Charlie Boyden – “If to live is to die, then to die is to alter your state of being and live on”.

Blue tones Soft smooth surface, Blue toned cracks, Air tunnels, Rough channels, Expired?

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Ramon Llonch Cultural Innovator16 Education can be undertaken in new ‘classrooms’. With some crucial materials in short supply, what can other cultures teach us about re-purposing materials and invention? “ROUTE is the first creative workshop journey held in Senegal. A small limited group of design students and professionals travel to this exciting destination to broaden their subject knowledge, be inspired, combine tradition and innovation, meet local craftspeople, designers, artists and ‘artisans from Senegal. Carefully planned and guided workshops by the ROUTE team, along with unique travel moments, allow participants to discover the natural beauty of Africa’s heritage.’ Our creative journey is designed for those with an open mind and the willingness to give, receive and adapt to different cultures and new experiences. ROUTE provides experiential knowledge, local creative exchanges, practice-led disciplines, and an understanding in both research and practice.  ‘Routers can incorporate this authentic inter-cultural experience into their portfolio as they expand their horizons and deepen their creative knowledge by observing and taking part in what they’ve only learnt in books.”

16. RAMON LLONCH Founder, ROUTE Artlantique www.routeartlantique.com

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Bone Tools, Creative Machines by Alexander Robertson

Creativity: The use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.

FUTURE

FUTURE

It’s easy to get caught up with the possibilities of the future as a youth of today because of the amount of technology at our disposal. Generations below us will grow up with these technologies for years to come, and will continue to develop and innovate. Presently we are witnessing artificial intelligence becoming more integrated into the existing systems and networks already available to us. I can’t help but be interested in how this may affect my life and career in the future.

Right now it doesn’t seem possible for a computer to be creative at a level which can compete with the great artists, designers and entrepreneurs of today, after all it was the humans who invented computers in the first place, and that took a bit of creativity…right? You could say that creativity can be regarded as one of the most human traits we have over other species on this planet. For example, in the opening scene of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey made in 1968, we see Kubrick depict ‘the dawn of man’ and what could be considered to be the dawn of creativity in a single clip. If you haven’t already seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, you need to. It’s important to remember where we all come from, and the generations that built this world to be what it is today. In order to progress, we must appreciate what we have.

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There are many examples of computers being programmed in a way which could be considered creative. Harold Cohen, former artist and Professor at the University of San Diego started working on a creative art programme called AARON in 1973. By the 90’s ARRON was able to situate objects or people in 3D space and could paint in colour. It’s worth mentioning too that ARRON paints, not with pixels but with real paint on canvas. Richard Moss writes about ARRON in an article for New Atlas. Moss, 2015

‘Cohen never showed AARON any images, but rather taught his robot with lists of object/body elements and the relationships between them. Fundamental rules, essentially, that allow a robot that has never seen a human or a chair or flower to nevertheless paint something that looks like an abstract representation of those things’. So the programme has to be given directions to know what it’s painting and the appropriate restraints which can be put in place in order for it to perform, but it interprets it through the physicality of a paint brush which enables the characteristics of creativity to be visible. Therefore this could be regarded as a computer being creative. More recent developments of AI was demonstrated with the 3,000 year old game Go. In 2017 Google’s artificial intelligence system actually won against the reigning world champion Ke Jie. In Go, players take turns placing stones on a 19-by-19 grid, competing to take control of the most territory.

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Omar Karim Creative Anomaly17 What is the future of creative work? What happens when the robots take over? Will an AI write my favourite novel, or put my design studio out of business? Ever seen a creative toaster? No? Then, your creative job is safe. What that sets human creativity apart from AI is its ability to be absurd, weave together alien concepts and ideas to create emotional reaction. Machines will never be creative but, they’ll get really good at faking it. Until a machine writes the next Die Hard then, creative work is save. The only thing a machine can’t replicate is human creativity, it might fake it but, your brain is designed to know. A machine can’t be crazy, wild or cunning. Therefore, it can’t be creative. The future of creative work will be one of symbiosis with machines, tools built from neural networks, fusing thousands of images and references, easily digestible by any creative. Suggestions on angle, stroke and mark. Already we have realistic VFX in movies, how long before actors are AI? And their interactions happen? The future of creative work is wild.

17. OMAR KARIM @arthurchance prawncomet.com

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It is considered to be one of the world’s most complex games, and is much more challenging for computers than chess. — BBC

FUTURE 100 Terdiman, 2017

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Generative design could be considered to be artificial intelligence being creative, it’s generating a design; it’s being innovative in the way it solves a problem through data. And this system doesn’t necessarily have to be confined to physical products, it can be replicated to physical or social problems too, as long as there’s an objective and source of data there are no limits. For example transport App CityMapper recently launched a new service called Smart-bus. It uses a system similar to a bus but it’s a 9 seater van. There aren’t any permanent stops and you book it from your phone. It uses collected data to map the quickest route, sticking to a specific network of roads in order for it to be accessible for other passengers heading in similar directions. Connecting the passengers through the data and using AI to direct the bus drivers to the passengers. With the increase in the amount of data we produce today, the possibilities are unimaginable as to what an AI could do with it. Forbes, 2015

‘The data volumes are exploding, more data has been created in the past two years than in the entire previous history of the human race.’ So, the way I see this is that artificial intelligence offers a platform for creative people to use as a tool instead of it undertaking what we would consider to be creativity on a more human level. This data can be creatively used by an AI to help solve problems the best to enable progression. We’re at the dawn of it right now, like the scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey but it’s not a bone being smashed up. It’s generative artificial intelligence.

‘The plan has been to take all the data from this automotive nervous system and plug it into Autodesk’s Dreamcatcher, a generative design software system that takes input of design objectives–including types of materials, functional goals, methods of manufacturing, performance criteria, and even cost limits–and spits out numerous design alternatives to satisfy all those requirements. For Mickey and Mouse, the result was a new vehicle chassis design based on all the collected data. Intended to maximise driving performance and efficiency, it could never have been designed by humans.’

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FUTURE

Google used an AI named ‘AlphaGo’ to play against opponents and learn from every move the opposition and itself. Prof Cristianini from the University of Bristol said: ”we should focus on the good things that we can get out of them and be careful not to create situations in which we put ourselves in direct competition with machines.” But this was more a test than anything, the gaming platform is a good starting point for artificial intelligence as the algorithms could be adapted to other fields, such as healthcare and scientific research. But what’s really interesting about this is the fact that the AI had taught itself how to play by playing the game, it had adapted itself to be successful against the opponent. AlphaGo demonstrated that artificial intelligence is capable of being a logically conscious ‘tool’. In the past, all of our tools have been passive. From the tools which hunter gatherers used to the iPhone, our tools only do something with our explicit direction, we are in control. But now it’s possible to enable the computer to explore a process itself by learning and adapting to define the ultimate end-product using data. This is called generative design and it’s already starting to be used in the automotive industry. Car company Hack Rod and computer programmers Autodesk teamed up to produce the world’s first generativity-designed car chassis, all designed by a computer programme. Their project started with attaching sensors to a prototype car chassis and driving it round a track for a week. Daniel Terdiman, a San Francisco-based technology journalist wrote about the design process in an article for The Fast Company:

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The Future by Daisy Woollard

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Focusing within the future of the creative industry the two words that come to my mind are ‘exciting’ and ‘daunting’. Exciting because it is fascinating what can be achieved these days. Artists in their own right are ever striving for more, and continuously inspiring the masses. Technology is advancing, rapidly, and limits are being expanded. Daunting because the creative and digital world really is progressing so rapidly that I feel like myself and many, can’t keep up with it. In 1996, when I was born, we were 2 years prior to the likes of Google. Now, according to Forbes, as of May 2018, Google has a brand value of $132.1 Billion. ‘MMS was like a science fiction and WIFI only existed in the dream of researchers’ said Razib Ahmed talking for techblogbiz. This was only 22 years ago, who knows what 22 years into the future has to offer. We live in an ever emerging visual world. For example, in recent years, with the rise in popularity of augmented reality, we have entered an era where we can explore in ‘virtual reality’. Defined cleverly by Takashi Torisu, for interactive architecture lab as ‘this artificial digital space can transport viewer to another environment. In virtual environment, viewers may feel others emotion or situation strongly by being in the same space with a character and closer from a character. To absorb oneself in virtual reality can stimulate empathy. Stimulated empathy with other in virtual reality can make users feel virtual environment more realistic. This will define how virtual reality and machines can stimulate empathy between people, and to what extent they allow people to understand others.’ Now, while this is insane progression in the technological world, I can’t help but personally not be a huge fan of Augmented and Virtual reality. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is incredible and anyone who is involved in the progress of developing it is enormously talented.

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I’m just a tiny bit old fashioned and It actually just terrifies me slightly. Maybe I have watched too many Black Mirror episodes, but the relationship between a hypothetical ‘what if’ and ‘what actually could be’ is a little bit too close for comfort when it comes to the future of the technical world. Black Mirror is a British television series, described by IMDb as ‘An anthology series exploring a twisted, high-tech world where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide.’ If you haven’t watched it, you should!

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The ‘Future’, in general, I think is a very controversial subject. I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, or the next day, or what will replace an iPhone in 20 years time. Who does? Maybe specialists within their fields have some idea and maybe even quite a lot of control on how the future may look, but the world is a huge place and no one knows everything!

I particularly find this a very interesting topic to think about, the future of my industry, when reminiscing on my recent travels to India. Here, despite the likes of Mumbai and Chennai, I felt like I had gone back in time. It was amazing. I explored a lot of the rural communities alongside the south west coast where hardly anyone had a smart phone, let alone an iPhone. Everyone would look up and around them, it is far more common for strangers to smile at one another, people ask each other questions as they don’t have a screen to look into and Google to harass. I can’t help but feel that with the rise of technology in the western world, we are slightly losing touch with reality and those around us. This is coming from someone who studies visual communication, spends the majority of her time using digital software and Googles until the sun goes down, so I’m no saint. But I do wish we could just slow down a little, for the sake of our mental health and our bank accounts. I’m aware this is very one sided and I also respect that there are many many positives to these digital developments, it’s just a personal love hate relationship I have with technology.

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Photo by NASA via Unsplash

As for my immediate future in the creative world. I am about to start a new internship writing for METAL magazine in Barcelona. I am excited and nervous as this is way out of my comfort zone but I am ready for the new challenge ahead.

Who knows, maybe I won’t be a graphic designer after all.

Pondicherry, India, Daisie Woollard, 2018

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One Step Closer by Kathleen Berthus What am I good at? What kind of designer am I or do I want to be?

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Now fast forward to almost a year later. There’s only a few months left till the end of DPS. I worked for various companies and studios who did all different kinds of design such as Product Design, Illustration, Editorial and Packaging.

FUTURE

I have probably asked myself those questions a thousand times throughout this year. It’s the reason why I decided to do Diploma in Professional Studies in the first place. To figure out or at least get closer to knowing what I wanted to do with my life after I finished my course.

One thing I started noticing throughout the year was that I’m better at some design areas than others. Branding for example is not one of the better ones. I feel like it took me longer to create something I am happy about than in other areas of design. And because of that I sometimes tend to avoid it a little bit. I realised while working at my most recent internship at Conde Nast, that I love layout and Editorial design. When I worked in group projects at college I would always gravitate towards designing the layouts and looking at the little details and making sure that everything was nicely aligned against the grid.

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This might not seem like a big deal or that important, but it is to me because now I can use what I’ve learnt about myself and work on areas that I’m not as good at and just keep improving. Better understanding of yourself can get you closer to your goal, whatever it may be.

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The Future Is Open Mindedness by Louisiane Trotobas

FUTURE

“Be observing constantly. Stay open minded. Be eager to learn and improve.” — John Wooden

Places where we live in help us define our identity and shape our understanding of our true self. Local contexts influence how to be, how to behave well and what our lives should look like. They create cultural norms and social rules which unconsciously apply to yourself, sometimes restraining you from being who you really are. Moving to a new place and being confronted to a different culture play a major role in shaping the understanding of the sense of self. It helps defining who you want to be by getting rid of cultural norms and social rules. Even though it is not necessary to change your beliefs, having the possibility to do so enable you to reach an emotion- al and mental freedom. I believe that cultivating open-mindedness, acknowledging diversity, and embracing individuality empower people to be the best versions of themselves and embrace their true identity. In a world of endless potential, keeping an open mind is the key to a prosperous future.

From the moment I moved to New York, I decided to embrace that state of open-mindedness. As a result, my experience was beyond rewarding. We must be willing to step out of our comfort zone and preconceived way of thinking to fully experience the beauty of the world. It is easy to remain safe in your familiar environment, but broadening your mind makes creativity flourish, by providing a gateway to new ideas.

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My experience abroad had a real impact on my work and creativity. As a result, I felt a dire need to create and portray what I experienced. Therefore I decided to start an ambitious self-initiated project – I/C “Inspired by people, portraying bold and genuine identities that became real from free thinking places.”

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The world is an ever changing environment. As we experience those changes and evolve through them, our view of the world instinctively grow to adapt to this new perspective. We are at a pivot- al period in which open-mindedness is necessary to innovate. After spending six months working in New York, I discovered that being fearless and keeping an open minded creativity make change easier. Being confronted to a new city and culture, as well as meeting new people, allowed to me to expand my mind further than I would have expected. Experiencing such a city, made me realised that tolerance and acceptance of uniqueness drive change. Living in your self-contained shell and rejecting to keep an open mind interfere with your personal growth.

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Size Matters? by Alissa Metsnik

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It takes less than a minute to type into Google “Ways to inspire creativity at work” and get millions of results, including articles about Google, Facebook, Nike, Adidas, Pixar and other similar giants that all seem to prioritize creativity of their employees and cultivate innovative office culture. Last year I have been fortunate enough to work for one of those companies. As I stepped my foot through the doors of Adidas shiny headquarters, there was no doubt in my mind that I am in a creative haven. Modern glass building, specialized workshop space equipped with latest expensive technology and materials, flexible working hours and frequent talks and workshops by famous invited designers and professionals. As I was getting ready to spend the most amazing six months of my life, it very quickly became obvious that very few people I came across seemed to share the same enthusiasm. Considering all efforts of the company to keep their employees engaged it was very curious to me why the lack of motivation might have been taking place. In fact, about halfway through my internship, I came to experience lack of motivation myself, despite a comfy office seat with height adjustable desks, outside tennis courts and office favourite of all, ping-pong tables. While I can’t speak for every creative, I can certainly say that monetary compensation, a key incentive usually used by businesses, is less important for me. That includes employee discounts, bonuses, promotion opportunities etc. Team inspiration trips, inspiring lectures, and workshops only provide are great while they are happening, but fail to provide satisfaction long-term. What motivates me most a sense of purpose accompanied by clear objectives and tangible results of my work. Turns out that my feelings on this matter are backed by research. According to Dr. Carola Salvi, who studies creativity, creative people aren’t the easiest ones to motivate. The reason she names for this is that they typically see their work as their calling.

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This is also referred to as intrinsic motivation, meaning an engagement in behaviour that is personally rewarding, rather than dependent on an external reward. Small and medium-size companies seem to have the issue nailed; often they split teams into projects instead of departments, hierarchy plays way less significant role by welcoming ideas from anyone who has them, ability to see direct feedback from clients and consumers certainly makes personal impact more measurable, regular team hangouts are encouraged, some even go as far as having unlimited beer fridges in the office. It’s all designed to make you feel less as an employee and more of a contributor to the business. Perhaps, that explains why it’s not rare to hear designers of smaller studios and agencies describe their work as creatively rewarding. There is clear evidence that reinforcing those structures works, yet we see huge corporations implementing flexible time-management systems and competing on whose office is more attractive, while good ideas get rejected in favour of the safer ones inside their offices on daily basis. Does that mean that they are looking in the wrong direction or is it simply impossible to change structures that have existed for probably as long as businesses have on a large scale? While few companies, such as Google and Tesla, start taking steps towards reforming in favour of the flat organization, many are unwilling to bear the price tag such restructuring comes with or perhaps simply don’t see the benefits. What I think is important to consider is that we live in an incredibly fast-paced culture and companies are expected to innovate more than ever before in history. It seems to me, that the only way to keep coming up with innovative solutions more efficiently is to foster creativity in a workplace. There are plenty of reasons one might accept a corporate gig, all company benefits and security definitely being one of the main ones. It’s unlikely that large corporations will ever be short of talent, yet if they don’t find a way to tap into that talent and bring out the best in people they might soon find themselves behind the competition.

There are multiple design environments that one can work in, for example, large-scale design studios and agencies, small-scale ones, freelance or in-house. I had the amazing opportunity to work for Mainstage Festivals as a design intern for Snowboxx, a winter music festival held in the French Alps. The internship later led me to designing the branding for a new music festival called Kala. It was the first international festival held in Albania last June. Working as the only designer alongside the marketing manager and with an extremely detailed marketing plan, taught me to work on a very tight deadline, while still assuring impeccable design and marketing. Furthermore, working in a small festival team and being the only creative team member was sometimes challenging. From this experience, I have gathered valuable skills not only in design, but also in marketing, running a festival and business and dealing with strict time limits and high-pressure situations (like hundreds of changes to a lineup poster). We paid close attention to how every ad, social media post and announcement is planned down to the tiniest detail and how to best get the message out to the consumers with the help of design. 

As a designer, you know best how long the design assignment will take you, so if the original idea won’t fit, you must come up with a different idea or approach that does fit the timeline. I’ve created content for an existing festival, including designing the Snowboxx 2018 app and getting a head start on branding for the upcoming Snowboxx 2019. I’ve branded a new festival from scratch with practically no time and have learned valuable skills along the way. Looking back at the amazing opportunities and fun that I had at Mainstage Festivals working on both Snowboxx and Kala, I have gained more experience than I expected and not forgetting the new connections and friends I’ve made. Seeing the designs I worked on showcased at the festival, was surreal to say the least.

Things do not always go as planned, which is normal, but sometimes we forget.

I would have never guessed how hard it is to design a lineup poster— trying to get every artist to be happy with it. It’s hard when you are trying to explain why using five different typefaces, six different type colours and seven different type sizes in one poster doesn’t work and why having some white space is very important. Things do not always go as planned, which is normal, but sometimes we forget. This is something that I have experienced multiple times working in the festival industry these past nine months. Therefore, problem solving and quick thinking are two key skills to have as a designer in the industry. When you’re not working in a big design studio or creative team, as the only designer you will be thrown into the deep end time and time again. You might not know how to create or design something, but you need to be ready to come up with a solution or another way of approaching it. Sometimes you will be asked to design in a unrealistic timeframe.

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FUTURE

FUTURE

We live in the era where so many companies seem to be obsessed with turning their offices into creative hubs and looking for constant ways to boost employee satisfaction. The days of grey office cubicles are definitely long forgotten.

Designing for Music festivals by Alexandra McCracken

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(50-100)

How does your portfolio today compare to the one you started DPS with? Exactly the same 2.7%

Yes replies

No replies

% Emails ignored

Dramatic changes Completely different 56.8% 2.7%

(4)

(10)

110

Minor changes 37.8%

Does working remotely make you feel detached from the collective nature of a studio environment? Yes 54.1%

No 29.7%

No idea 16.2%

(60-80) Should we accept free labour as an inevitable part of gaining experience in creative industries?

Interviews / coffee chats

(2-3)

Yes 24.3%

No 70.3%

No idea 24.3%

*mean (median, not nasty) WAYS OF WORKING

FUTURE

FUTURE

Average * emails sent out

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Average * hours of unpaid work done (200)

Is there still a need for specific job titles in creative industries?

FUTURE

hours of paid work done

(600)

112

Big Studio In-House Tool - TIP! Unpaid internships remain available only to those in a secure financial position, putting the wealthy at an advantage. Most young creatives cannot afford to offer free labour. Boycott them and support your peers !

No 21.6%

No idea 13.5%

Can design change the world? Yes 89.2%

No 5.4%

No idea 5.4%

Are these questions too complex to answer with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’? Yes 62.2%

No 35.1%

No idea 2.7%

*mean (median) WAYS OF WORKING

FUTURE

Yes 64.9%

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Vancouver California San Francisco Nevada Utah Arizona Philadelphia New York NYC London Guildford Brighton Devon

Amsterdam Nijmegen Paris Bezier Montpellier 114 Sète Costa Brava Barcelona Porto Copenhagen Berlin Kassel Leipzig Dortmund Bochum Düsseldorf Monchengladbach Cologne Frankfurt Bamberg Munich Switzerland Colombia Brazil

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collective drinks Dolomites Bolzano Trento Verona Venice Pisa Florence Warsaw Wrocław Krakow Tatra Mountains Pilsen Prague Ljubljana Zagreb Budapest Transylvania Vama Veche Bucharest Istanbul Malta Cyprus China UAE Dubai Delhi Senegal Thailand Malaysia Kenya Australia New Zealand

We got around International Curators Forum Magnified Magazine University of East London Venice Biennale London Design Festival BNP Paribas FotoDocument Standard 8 Lo Siento Studio Very Own Studio dieckertschmidt magCulture MerchantCantos Lewis Moberly RSA (Royal Society of Arts) River Island Ben Sherman COS Le Book Vero Moda JN Production Studio Blvd London Fashion Week Festival Sacatelle Polystyren Domaine de la Cavale Montblanc TFL DixonBaxi Pentagram Apple LCC Cafe at Jamyang AMEN Gestaltung Financial Times Surfers Against Sewage Myfi Mountford SASiety Territory Projects B-Reel Ignition Creative Grey London

de_form Droga5 Dorling Kindersley Lemoncake Firebelly Smartup Visuals National Trust The Mill BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty) Ogilvy Selfridges University College London Nunhead Art Trail UAL VML London B2302 Just So Extrapool Knust Press Olympia Publishers G. F. Smith 115 DONT WALK WALK Gallery Start-up and Go Main Yard Studios Sybarite Thomas Pink Design Portfolio Rufus Leonard Deal Maritime & Local History Museum Overture London Burobrakk Vault49 Karen Hofstetter Holmes Wood Harrison Agency Corin Kennington Camden Town Brewery FUTURE

FUTURE

Creator/equator

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116

Carlsson, Chris. Nowtopia: How Pirate Programmers, Outlaw Bicyclists, and Vacantlot Gardeners Are Inventing the Future Today. Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2008. Capitalism. It is in the air that we breathe, in the food that we eat, in the earth that we walk and on the faces that we pass each and every day. It fails most, and endows just a few. On our own, we have very little means to change it, however this potential for progress is magnified when small efforts join, co-operate, organise and strategise.

Perlin, Ross. Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy. London and New York: Verso, 2011. Interns draw the short straw in almost every professional situation - many of us can vouch for that. Our perceptions and personal experiences of this cheap labour phenomenon, however, are somewhat dwarfed as we hear of how this often exploitative mechanism plays out on a larger corporate scale. Looks like The Walt Disney Company ain’t all bunnies and fairies after all. Precarious Workers Brigade. Training For Exploitation. London / Leipzig / Los Angeles: Journal of Aesthetics and Protest Press, 2017. How can we start to resist as precarious workers on the ground? What are the ways we can stand up for ourselves and begin conversations with our employers? A toolkit of candid initiatives is never a bad thing when you’re working in the midst of the gig economy.

Denning, Michael. ‘Wageless Life’. New Left Review 66 (November–December 2010). Our need to earn a wage, especially as students and precarious workers, can often cause us to lose sight of the reasons we might actually enjoy the work we’re doing. Suddenly, the amount we earn becomes the most important thing. Money takes over. How can we reclaim gratification and pride inwhat we do, rather than in how much it earns us?

Quigg, Anne-Marie. Bullying in the Arts: Vocation, Exploitation and Abuse of Power. Aldershot: Gower, 2011. But artists are all so nice. And designers are all so cool. How balanced really is power in the creative industries? And are creative organisations really as fair and free to all as they make out to be?

Gregg, Melissa. Work’s Intimacy. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011. We live out our lives in a new and peculiar world; a virtual space which is largely open and visible to anyone at all. What are the implications in the workplace of making our private lives and our personal information so readily accessible in this way?

Sholette, Gregory. Dark Matter: Art, Politics and the Age of the Enterprise Culture. London: Pluto Press, 2011. We are often told that great creativity is reactionary; a response to challenging social, political and economic terrain. That being said, it rings ever true to us that ‘making it’ in the art world is largely contingent on background, financial stability, and knowing the right people. How are young, alternative and often marginalised artists fighting the tide of the mainstream bigwigs?

Klein, Naomi. No Logo. Fourth Estate, 2010. First published by Knopf Canada and Picador in 1999. It can be difficult to at all times ensure an ethical practice, especially when the conditions of poorer nations have been normalised as a part of today’s western working world. How has globalisation turbo charged the abandonment of morality in corporations and industries which rely so heavily on design and visual branding to generate custom and profit? Malik, Shiv, and Ed Howker. Jilted Generation: How Britain Has Bankrupted Its Youth. London: Icon Books, 2010. We got stitched up. Big time. As our parents tell us how they had plump savings accounts by their mid-twenties, and our grandparents just can’t understand why we’re not homeowners yet, we are all left wondering, “How did this happen to us? And who can we blame?”.

McRobbie, Angela. Be Creative: Making a Living in the New Culture Industries. London: Polity Press, 2014. Our creativity is not a cog in your capitalist machine. How was the vitality of the creative re-appropriated as a characteristic of the casual labour economy we are all so very familiar with today?

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Amariglio, Jack et al., eds. Sublime Economy: On the Intersection of Art and Economics. London and New York: Routledge, 2009. In the shift in value as something dictated by function; commanded by supply and demand, how has the emergence of the autonomous artist influenced the creation of economic value as a measure of aesthetic and cultural influence?

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Taylor, Stephanie, and Karen Littleton. Contemporary Identities of Creativity and Creative Work. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2012. We are participants in building the future of creative labour. By implicating the subjectivity of our experiences in our work, can a career be a means for wider systemic change? Weeks, Kathi. The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011. Who says we have to work anyway? The need to labour has become a politicised use of our time, so entrenched in today’s society that the absence of freedom of choice over how we spend our time has become the norm. How can we radicalise our approach to work? What could be achieved if people were given the freedom to spend their time as they wish to? What possibilities could be imagined if we just had our time back?

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WOW JOURNAL: Ways of Working in Print for LDF 2018  

What does it mean to be a creative practitioner in today’s ever-shifting global creative industry? As part of London College of Communicatio...

WOW JOURNAL: Ways of Working in Print for LDF 2018  

What does it mean to be a creative practitioner in today’s ever-shifting global creative industry? As part of London College of Communicatio...

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