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UAL to present honorary awards to leading creative figures

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Published date 14 July 2016
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L – R: Shane Smith, Kanya King MBE, Sebastian Conran, Laure Prouvost

VICE Founder and CEO, Shane Smith, MOBO Founder, Kanya King MBE, pioneering designer, Sebastian Conran and Turner Prize-winning artist, Laure Prouvost are among 13 leading figures in the creative and cultural sectors to be given honorary awards by UAL this year.

They will be recognised for their outstanding contributions to the creative industries at UAL’s graduation ceremonies at the Royal Festival Hall from 18 – 21 July 2016.

The full list of Honoraries for 2016 is:

  • Phyllida Barlow CBE RA, Sculptor
  • Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge, The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute
  • Sebastian Conran, Designer
  • Hal Foster, Author and Professor
  • Jonathan Harvey OBE, Co-founder of ACME
  • Kanya King MBE, Founder of MOBO
  • Peter Murray CBE, Founder of Yorkshire Sculpture Park
  • Magdalene Odundo OBE, Ceramicist
  • Laure Prouvost, Artist
  • Shane Smith, Founder and CEO of VICE
  • Sophie Thomas, Designer and social campaigner
  • Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia
  • Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey OBE, Political voice and sustainability fashion champion

Shane Smith
Founder and CEO of VICE, Smith is a critically acclaimed journalist and one of the industry’s most respected visionaries.

As it grows and diversifies, VICE continues to win awards – but it’s not just accolades that count. Smith’s advice to graduates is this: “The times you learn are not when you’re receiving an award, or appearing on TV – it’s the difficult times like when you’re going to school. Failure and problems are where you get the knowledge you need to succeed.”

Andrew Bolton
Curator in Charge at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York, Bolton is the force behind the museum’s annual blockbuster spring fashion exhibitions.

A Visiting Professor at London College of Fashion, Bolton says he loves “working with the students”. Thrilled about being honoured at UAL, he gives this excellent advice to graduates: “Stay true to yourself. Don’t be afraid to fail.”

Magdalene Odundo OBE
Celebrated ceramicist, Odundo’s extraordinary body of work has been collected by major international institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the V&A and The British Museum among others.

She said upon receiving the award: “I’m very proud to have got to a level where a university like UAL wants to recognise me – it’s a recognition I take very seriously.” Odundo claims that her students have arguably taught her more than she’s taught them over the years and says: “These passionate young people make you work hard – they give you the answers. It’s a process of osmosis.”

Jimmy Wales
Founder of the world’s sixth most popular website Wikipedia – with 15 billion page-views a month – Wales was drawn to UAL because of its London location and it seeming like a “cool” university.

Wales says that the most important thing is failure: “I encourage kids to go out and fail as much as possible. I’ve had lots of failures in my life and I think it’s really important. Particularly early in people’s careers there can be a real thing about early failures, and I think we should be more tolerant of it so that we don’t feel afraid to try to do something different.”

Sebastian Conran
Born into the second generation of the Conran design dynasty begun by his father Sir Terence Conran and his mother Shirley Conran – who both attended Central Saint Martins – Sebastian Conran also attended the College and studied Industrial Design Engineering.

It was his brush with the punk movement at UAL – where he gave The Sex Pistols their first booking for a gig – and his poster and album cover designs for The Clash that gave him his first break in the design field.

Now a visiting professor at UAL, Conran says: “I left College about a year before I ended and never got a degree and regretted it for 40 years. But now I’ve been offered a Fellowship and have been vindicated. That piece of the jigsaw of my puzzle that was missing is now going to be filled in.”

The Honoraries will be recognised for their contributions to their fields in nine graduation ceremonies over four days at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank. Each will address graduating UAL students and share their experiences and advice for a successful career in the creative industries.

The ceremonies will be streamed live on UAL’s website and live-tweeted under the hashtag #UALGrads.