If you haven’t been to the new Central Saint Martins campus in London, take the opportunity to go now and enjoy the degree shows as well. When walking from King’s Cross, the easiest way to get to the venue is to follow Kings Boulevard, a road built specifically to access the campus easily. The building is absolutely beautiful, an old factory/warehouse space coupled to a brand new building with a lot of open space and fountains in front. Compare this building to Camberwell (almost in ruins) or LCC (sterile mental asylum?) …
Anyways, I did not get to go to the Industry private view and the Friday was much more quieter. A few people were walking around, but overall it was a lot more enjoyable than your typical busy private view night. I was amazed by the first departement I visited. I had never really heard of Textile Futures, but each project featured interesting ideas. From garments based on scales to necklaces that decompose when left in the rain, both the technology and the visuals were eye catching and interactive. One garment changed color depending on the pH level of the rain in your area, while another was made out of recycled living (now dead) tissue.
I then walked through a few other departements without anything particularly catching my attention and made my way up to Graphic Design, to check out the competition.
Like in LCC, the BA is divided in multiple pathways and each had their own area. Everything was displayed on these gridded fences, which some students used well to display their work, making it more invisible. There were great info graphics, gorgeous illustrations and a lot of experimental typography.
The animations were in my opinion somewhat uninnovative, using familiar techniques and unimaginative storylines. Although I do seem to remember a few of them particularly stood out (and really forced the viewer to interact), like one that forced you to lay down like in a massage parlour or even one your knees on some sort of prayer mat. While I really enjoyed the show, some bits were a bit disappointing. A lot of Illustration work was nothing but pretty pictures and certain very interesting projects were badly executed. There was a very big contrast between each piece, as some levels were so professional and involved that it felt like a real shame they would be exhibited next to such a weaker project. From what I’ve heard from students that attended the college, the students do not get much guidance and very few technical classes. While this is a great system for ambitious and talented individuals, someone who really needs a helping hand will end up finishing in a suboptimal position.
Overall it’s a shame I could not make the Industry night. From what I gathered, the private view featured free drinks, live screen printing and letterpress workshop. While I managed to enjoy the work a lot more, private view are more of an event anyways.