Down the King’s Boulevard — Textiles Future and some unmemorable shows

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.

Nathan Gotlib
About author:
Nathan Gotlib
Nathan's work tends to be about information and the way it is spread. His enthusiasm and love for neon signage stems from this interest. A subject he continually tries to explore is how people react to experiencing certain bits of information and the psychological effect it has on them. This goes hand in hand with his practice of Design, a discipli... Read further >
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