Luise Vormittag

Profile image of Lecturer, Graphic Communication Design Central Saint Martins

Lecturer, Graphic Communication Design Central Saint Martins


Luise Vormittag is a lecturer on the Graphic Communication Design programme at Central Saint Martins. She is also a PhD candidate at the London College of Communication where she is pursuing a practice-led research project on the contribution of illustration to socio-cultural discourse.

Luise has completed a number of projects in healthcare environments working with patient and community groups and she has an ongoing working relationship with Vital Arts, the arts organization for Barts Health NHS Trust. From 2002 -2014 she practiced as a commercial illustrator and designer under the name ‘Container’, working in various collaborative constellations and completing a broad range of commissions for national and international clients. More recently she has been developing her written output in articles published in the Journal of Illustration and Varoom magazine.

Luise has many years experience working as a design educator at UAL. She initially worked at Camberwell College of Art, where she taught illustration as well as developing The Expanded Designer, a cross-course contextual module that helped students situate their design practice in a wider socio-political context. At Central Saint Martins she lectures on both BA and MA Graphic Communication Design, and contributes to curriculum development with a particular focus on the relationship between graphic design and research practices.

Research interests

Graphic design: illustration; visual culture; participation; public art; community; civic engagement.

Research statement

My research is concerned with the overlap of design and image-making practices with social and political concerns. I have a particular interest in participatory and collaborative approaches to creative practice.

Community-focused public art, gallery-based work with an emphasis on social relations, and consultation processes for architectural developments often generate debates on notions of community, participation, legacy, aesthetics and evaluative criteria. Ethical dilemmas arise from the nature of power relations in the group and questions of remuneration and cultural capital. I am interested in how graphic design and illustration practitioners are addressing these concerns through their practice by attending not only to the process of collaboration but also to tangible outcomes that can be shared and distributed amongst the group.

While one possible function of design is to offer solutions, it is important to remember that this is not the only one: designers and illustrators can also engage with social and political scenarios in a multiplicity of other ways, for example they might provoke discussion, reframe a problem or provide a commentary. I am currently exploring this line of inquiry through a number of case studies, my own practice, curriculum initiatives and a knowledge transfer partnership with Vital Arts.

Selected research outputs