Posted Friday 25 September 2009
Staff and graduates of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture were showcased throughout the capital this week at the London Design Festival.
Among them were Dr Anne Chick, Director of the University's Sustainable Design Research Centre, who helped organise a five-day series of lectures and workshops aimed at raising awareness of sustainability in design, and artist and lecturer Simon Hasan who displayed his latest product collection.
Dr Chick described Kingston University's presence at the festival as a huge success, adding that many of the sustainability events were oversubscribed. "We're a leader in sustainable design research, and it's important for us to join with external organisations and to share that knowledge," she said. "There's still a lack of awareness within the profession about the need for sustainable design and we want to change that."
Lecturer Simon Hasan, a key contributor to the University's MA Product and Space, showed his new collection of cabinets, vases and stools based on traditional British craft techniques which are designed to be manufactured in batches rather than individually. He uses cleft-wood - which is split along the grain allowing it to retain its strength - in his products. Simon said working as both an artist and a lecturer had helped his own work. "It's made me look at objects more critically and to think more about my responses to them."
Three recent graduates of Kingston's MA in Curating Contemporary Design - Ariana Mouyiaris, Marion Friedmann and Ellie Parke - also curated exhibitions during the week.
In October, Dr Chick, her MA Design for Development student Rao Qingfang and a team from Greengaged - the not-for-profit organisation co-founded by Dr Chick in 2008 to advance the design industry's ability to respond to environmental challenges - will travel to Beijing, China, where they have been invited to host a similar range of talks and events at the prestigious Icograda World Design Congress.
"It's important for us as a Higher Education institution to be out there, involved with the community and forging partnerships," Dr Chick added. "That's how we'll develop the knowledge transfer that's so important to building a stronger, sustainable society."
The London Design Festival forms an exciting prelude to the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture's MA Graduation Show which runs from 7 - 11 October at the Bargehouse exhibition space on London's South Bank, and which will showcase cutting-edge work by more than 150 of the next generation of artists and designers graduating from Kingston.