Origins Creative Arts Festival
August 3-5, The Bargehouse: Oxo Tower Wharf
Join us August 3-5 for a free festival on London’s South Bank. Origins Creative Arts Festival brings together the best art, design and performance work and ideas from students taking UAL creative arts qualifications in fashion, performing arts, music, sculpture, drawing; and painting at schools, sixth forms and FE colleges across the UK.
A true first look at young UK talent and curated, produced and performed by students aged 16 to 18, it’s a unique preview of what to expect from the new generation of young British talent coming up into the creative arts – some of them sure to be future stars of UAL.
Origins is open to the public and expects to attract thousands of visitors over the three days, with entertainment on site for families and young children. The programme includes an awards event to select the top work across each subject area, CPD and performance tie-ins with The Design Museum and Barbican Box and an opening address on 2 August from special guest Helen Marriage, who recently directed the large-scale events London Lumiere and the UK Processions festival.
The festival is the first time we showcase the work of students across all UAL Awarding Body disciplines at one event, featuring work by students completing Diplomas and Extended Diplomas in Art & Design, Creative Media Production & Technology, Performing & Production Arts, Music Performance & Production and Fashion Business & Retail.
Origins: Behind the design
First year BA Graphic and Communication Design student at Central Saint Martins, Scene Peng is the creator of the visual identity for Origins festival. We caught up with Scene to hear more about the ideas – and the individual – behind the concept.
You took the CSM Foundation Diploma in Art and Design in 2017 and you are now in your first year at CSM. Can you tell us what course you are taking and why you chose it?
I am taking Graphic and Communication Design. I am always trying to find a balanced me between logic and freedom. GCD immersed me with these two things. It’s a wild course. I feel I can observe and create anything with millions of ways — it’s a process to input this universe but output myself and there is no limit. I also enjoy that sometimes I have to be the pacifist to try to unite the impossible. Text, image, movement, view and so many.
Can you tell us what inspired your idea for the visual identity for the Origins festival?
I was very thankful the curating team did not set any limit at first. I created initial designs based on, as a young person too, my understandings about this generation. Fusion of culture. The Origins is a celebration where the young exhibitors get a chance to merge — that’s how I reach the melting faces. I also wanted to make the design universal but current, simple and bold. The smiley faces are the best for me to play with. The book Joy in People by Jeremy Deller I found in the library inspired me a lot. And the letter eyes — the book Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far by Stefan Sagmeister puts me up to play the letters. And finally, when I was not sure about the whole idea, NOISEY’s research into the smiley faces helped a lot: Joy in People, A Brief History of the Smiley Face, Rave Culture’s Most Ubiquitous Symbol.
How did the idea develop/what were the main considerations that informed the final design?
The faces and the background pattern are actually two separate designs. I felt like the faces need a body — so I transformed the ORIGINS letters into simple and bold shapes. They became the body as well as the background. Then the Origins is complete! The mono colour was decided with the curating and business team. Haha, it is beautiful.
Do you feel there is an added dimension and meaning to the popular culture around the smiley in a world where the emoji is so prevalent?
Yes. I would say growing social media, diverse communication and contagious happiness with only a big smile.
The Origins festival celebrates the work of young people taking further education in creative arts. Why is it important to celebrate their work and what would you say to them about potentially pursuing creative arts at university and as a profession?
I think..our generation can’t be defined by one voice — and it is great to hear someone’s voice whatever it is loud or low-key, young or old. Definitely the freedom to hear and merge with the young people makes the us hopeful for the future. All I want to say is get off your phone and look at the world when there’s no exit through. Believe your eyes, your nose, and your ears. Believe your environment. Don’t limit yourself in what your courses teach you and ask you to do.
Last year you won the CSM Foundation Diploma in Art & Design’s London/Paris project in collaboration with Eurostar, on the theme of EUROPE. How was that experience for you?
I am very thankful that I participated in that wild project! I love how us CSM students communicated with our partners at PSA. We did not meet or talk. We exchanged our sketchbooks. It was cool to see how people from different pathway created works towards one direction — It was funny we made it happen while our deadlines were pushing. It’s a project totally out of my course so I also did try something out of my comfort zone of graphic design!
You also freelance as a designer – can you tell us what else you are working on at the moment, and how you will be spending your summer?
Recently I am editing and printing the second edition of my zine Might Be A London Guide — it takes time because I want to photograph them in different old markets. I am still interested in the relation between people and their living space so I will visit more houses of strangers in China and Burma for my ongoing project Subjective&Objective. Look for some will-be-dismantled residential buildings in Asia. And the last, trying to be a kid trilling on a flute!
UAL Awarding Body design and award creative qualifications that empower and inspire educators to help students reach their potential. UAL Awarding Body qualifications are delivered at around 200 schools and FE institutions across the UK. We are regulated by Ofqual and offer qualifications in art and design, fashion, creative media, music and performing and production arts.