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Posted Thursday 8 October 2015
A Kingston University academic's fundraising campaign to establish a design hub in the heart of the borough has received a £15,000 boost from London Mayor Boris Johnson. Fixshop was one of a select group of 20 projects earmarked for a cash injection after the Mayor announced plans to pledge £285,000 from his High Street Fund to community ventures across the capital.
Spearheaded by Professor Alex Williams, Associate Dean of Enterprise at the University's Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Fixshop is due to open its doors in November. It will give members of the public looking for creative ways to solve everyday problems the chance to tap into the ingenuity of design experts face to face....
Posted Thursday 24 September 2015
Kingston University has been rated among the top 15 per cent of institutions in the globe in the prestigious QS World University Rankings. The newly-released 2015 tables have seen the University propelled into an elite listing of the world's 500 premier higher education providers, with its expertise in art and design recognised as among the top 100 internationally.
Regarded as one of the world's most authoritative university rankings, the QS tables are widely referenced by prospective and current students, university professionals and government policy-makers across the globe. They assess research, teaching, employability and international activity at hundreds of universities worldwide....
Posted Wednesday 5 August 2015
Have you ever wanted to live the life of a famous pop star? Or learn more about an artist's state of mind while they were in the process of creating a career-defining piece of work?
That's exactly what an academic from Kingston University is doing as part of a year-long research project. Film and cultural studies expert Professor Will Brooker will cover 40 years of music legend David Bowie's career during a year-long study, spending a few months at a time experiencing specific moments in the star's life.
"The idea is to inhabit Bowie's head space at points in his life and career to understand his work from an original angle, while retaining a critical and objective perspective at the same time - a kind of split persona perhaps," Professor Brooker explained.
Professor Brooker discussed the project with Australian network ABC while he was in Melbourne to speak at the David Bowie symposium taking place as part of the David Bowie Is exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving image.
Part of the process of the research involves only consuming the cultural content Bowie would have encountered during each period. For example, Professor Brooker is currently only listening to music, watching films and reading books produced before 1974 to get a deeper insight into Bowie's creative thought process. It was during this period that the star became interested in Philadelphia soul, leading to the production of the Young Americans album and the creation of the Thin White Duke character. "If you're reading some strange science fiction and books about magic, you can kind of get into Bowie's head. It's sometimes quite a strange place, a dangerous place, a place you wouldn't want to live for too long," Professor Brooker said.
He has also been dressing as Bowie, wearing the same make-up, experimenting with sleep deprivation, attempting to follow Bowie's dubious diet of milk and red peppers and has even started to take singing lessons. However, some aspects of the icon's life are more difficult recreate. "His mansion in Beckenham has been demolished, for instance, and I'm unlikely to have a fling with Mick Jagger," Professor Brooker said. "However it is possible to engage with and get a feel for his experiences without immersing oneself to a dangerous extent."
It was during his teenage years that Professor Brooker first came into contact with Bowie, repeatedly listening to a cassette of the Let's Dance album on his Walkman. Looking back, he believes he felt an affinity to Bowie because he achieved a 'balance between success and strangeness, between a necessary commercial pragmatism and a core of personal authenticity'.
Professor Brooker is not sure how Bowie would feel about his latest project: "I hope he would be interested in and amused by my research," he said. "I do feel, though, that everything he says and does in public is performance, so if he did hear about it, we would be unlikely to know what he genuinely thought."
Posted Friday 31 July 2015
Simon Callow - one of Britain's most respected stage and screen stars - has been named an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Kingston University. As well as being known to millions for his acting roles in such hit films as ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral, ‘Shakespeare in Love' and ‘Room with a View' and in television shows such as ‘Doctor Who', Mr Callow is a critically acclaimed writer and director. He has been honoured for his contribution to theatre and film practice and research and also to literary biography.
His career, which has spanned more than five decades, got off the ground when a fan letter he sent Sir Laurence Olivier landed him a job in the box office at London's National Theatre. The National Theatre under the leadership of Olivier had carved out a reputation as one of the world's truly great companies and it was here, surrounded by the cream of British acting, writing, technical and directorial talent that Mr Callow developed a lifelong fascination with text, character and the process of creating theatre. Having been inspired to forge out a theatrical career of his own, Mr Callow spent much of his 20s developing his craft - studying acting and appearing in a range of fringe and repertory productions, including working with the pioneering Gay Sweatshop and playing ‘Titus Andronicus' at Bristol's Old Vic. His acclaimed performance in the title role of Peter Shaffer's ‘Amadeus' at the National Theatre brought him much wider public recognition and was the springboard to a highly successful film and television career. Simon Callow published his first book ‘Being an Actor' in 1985 - a bold dissection of the acting profession and as a passionate writer/educator he has written prolifically on literary and performance themes. His volumes on the art of acting - whether it be for stage, film, Restoration Comedy or Shakespeare are studied by drama students everywhere....
Posted Wednesday 24 June 2015
Genome sequencing research completed by Kingston University has the potential to bring significant benefits to a key global health issue.
Bacterial infections are a major cause of deaths and illnesses across the world. The rise in antibiotic resistance in bacteria is therefore a growing health concern, highlighted frequently in the mass media. Current government research priorities include the development of alternatives to common antibiotics....
Posted Wednesday 13 May 2015
Project SAFE YOU will educate young people about the perils of performance-enhancing drugs. Image: DreamstimeKingston University is playing a key role in a major European initiative to educate young fitness and sports enthusiasts about the dangers of doping and ways to avoid falling victim to the perils of performance and image-enhancing substances. Project SAFE YOU (Strengthening the Anti-doping Fight in Fitness and Exercise in Youth) is being launched with more than €400,000 backing from the European Commission. It will lead to the development of an online tool that will also serve as a comprehensive source of support for teachers, coaches and instructors responsible for anti-doping education.
Headed by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Greece, the project will draw on the knowledge of a consortium of global experts, including senior academics from Kingston University, the University of Rome Foro Italico and the University of Potsdam in Germany. They will work alongside the German Anti-Doping Agency, the Cyprus Sport Organisation and Greece's Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs....
Posted Wednesday 6 May 2015
A new book written by Kingston University Journalism professor Brian Cathcart has been given a helping hand by one of Britain's most famous names. Actor Hugh Grant has recorded a reading of the Duke of Wellington's famous dispatch, which carried news of the allied victory at the Battle of Waterloo, to support the release of 'The News From Waterloo: the race to tell Britain of Wellington's triumph'.
"I know him a little through my work with the press reform campaign Hacked Off," says Professor Cathcart. "I asked him if he would record a reading of Wellington's famous Waterloo Dis-patch and to my delight he said yes. The result is really terrific." The Hugh Grant recording, which is about 15 minutes in length, is of Wellington's official report to London after the battle, which in its day was very widely republished and well known.
The book - which appears in the 200th anniversary year of Napoleon Bonaparte's final defeat - owes its origins to a problem Professor Cathcart encountered when he was preparing a lecture for journalism students. Wanting to illustrate how slowly news travelled in the days before electrical and steam power, he looked up what happened after Waterloo.
"There just wasn't a clear answer, and the more I looked for it the more tangled the story became. That was five or six years ago, and I've had to write a whole book to get things straight," he says.
He sees the result as a case study in news communication that - though the events take place in the Regency period - is relevant even to the smartphone age. The story includes official and unofficial messengers, misinformation and propaganda, while the role of the London newspapers of the day is closely examined.
Posted Monday 23 March 2015
A report by University Alliance, of which Kingston University is a member, concludes that collaboration and connectivity must be top priorities for universities and funders if the UK is to continue to lead the world in research and innovation.
The report, Evolve. Connect. Succeed. Funding a healthy research and innovation ecosystem was launched at an event attended by vice-chancellors, parliamentarians, businesses and researchers. The accompanying website resource of more than 60 impact case studies was drawn from submitions from Alliance member universities to the REF 2014 exercise.
The case studies were grouped in four categories and the research from Kingston University is:
• Bridges for more effective post-stroke care (category: Improving healthcare)
• Protecting victims of press abuse (category: Shaping society)
• Tracking sports success (category: Shaping society)
Increased global competition means that for Britain's research and innovation ecosystem to continue to flourish it will need greater collaboration with partners within academia and with businesses, charities and governments. In response, Alliance universities are working collaboratively to deliver a new doctoral training scheme. The Doctoral Training Alliance will be built around joint research strengths and embed close relationships with industry from design to delivery.
Find out more about research at Kingston University.