Jess Baines

Profile image of Senior Lecturer Contextual & Theoretical Studies

Senior Lecturer Contextual & Theoretical Studies

London College of Communication


Jess is part of the Contextual and Theoretical Studies team in the School of Design at LCC, teaching across undergraduate design programmes for over ten years, including in the studio.

Jess received her MA in Contemporary Art History and Theory from Goldsmiths in 2003, her thesis looked at the domestication and dismantling of modernist social housing. Prior to this she produced a series of works for Hackney Building Exploratory and Hackney Council related to the demolition and archiving of a local public housing block.

From 2002 to 2008 she was a director of Time & Place Projects (TAPP). TAPP created projects for museums, schools and community groups based on the imaginative use of archives. She co-edited and wrote for the ‘literary zine’ White Collar between 2004 and 2007.  

More recently she has been writing and presenting on the history of radical printing collectives, the subject of her doctoral research and part of her own biography prior to working in higher education. Jess was part of setting up BA Design Cultures at LCC in 2013 and co-instigating the Design Activism Research Hub (DARH) in 2014. 

Research interests

Design and media activism, aesthetics and politics, socially engaged practice, feminist media, work and organisation studies, alternative organisation, co-operatives, social movements, spatial and urban politics. 

Research statement

Jess' current research is mostly focussed on developing a critical history of the radical, community and feminist printshop that proliferated in Britain in the late twentieth century.

She is interested in the particular historical constellation of political, cultural, technological and economic possibility that enabled this phenomenon as well as the political subjectivities of their participants.

Equally she is interested in their radical democratic organisational and production practices. The research was partly motivated by the evident parallels between the printshops aspirations for autonomous and participatory media production with more recent discursive claims regarding the ‘democratic potential’ of new media. The research bridges various disciplinary contexts, from the history of social movement and radical media to work and organisation studies. It has also generated particular interest from politically engaged contemporary artists and designers as well as new producers of radical and alternative print media. 

Selected research outputs