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Insights Summer Schools return to King’s Cross

©Thai Mahendrakumar
Written by
Published date
17 July 2017

Last month the UAL Insights Summer Schools returned to our King’s Cross campus for a week long programme of workshops. With subjects spanning from fashion communication to architecture, graphic and product design, students from local partner FE colleges and schools had the chance to explore their creativity in a university environment.

Students divided themselves into six groups, each with a specialised topic and brief to get their minds working creatively and to allow them to produce work for their future portfolios. Here’s what each group worked on:

Fine Art:


Introducing the students to the culture of the BA Fine Art course at Central Saint Martins, this workshop focused on the course’s four pathways: 2D, 3D, 4D and XD (cross-disciplinary). Entitled ‘Trace!’ , students were encouraged to go out and trace, photograph and collect inspiration from the local area which they would then use as the basis to produce a final collection of work. Students worked both individually and in groups throughout the week, experimenting with a range of materials from digital to analogue as well as techniques including sculpture, casting, drawing and socially engaged practice.

The week culminated in an exhibition of everyone’s finished pieces with everyone curating and installing the work in an open studio format. Commenting on what she had learnt during the school, Madison Lee said “we’ve been shown media that we wouldn’t have normally used before, I’d definitely like to incorporate sound in my next work”.

Textiles with Jewellery Design

Led by tutor Derek Lawlor, students experimented with print and jewellery design to create pieces inspired by the character of King’s Cross. Through walk and draw sessions the students recorded the characteristics and characters of three central King’s Cross locations – the station, the Skip Garden and Regent’s Canal. From experimental mark making to embellishment and heat press transfer, the students were introduced to new techniques and approaches to give them the tools to translate their drawings into 3D design for the body and a range of printed fabric samples.

Fashion Communication

Exploring the concept of identity, students created their own video piece, zine and personal portfolios. Working across video, photography, social media and print, students were encouraged to develop skills including research, graphic design, creative direction and styling. Drawing inspiration from the library’s magazine archive, students worked to produce sketchbooks and original artworks to populate their zines. Cem Altan Hartles noted how the course had helped him to approach fashion communication from a different perspective and had shown him the importance of theory and research.


Exploring form, shape and silhouette, learning design development techniques via a Tate exhibition visit to experimental draping and sewing workshops, students were exposed to new processes and skills with the final goal of designing, making and presenting a garment.


Students were asked to respond to the statement ‘BE YOU, ONLY YOU, JUST YOU’! and to focus on expressing their identity through fashion. After researching themes and subjects close to them as well as sewing, tailoring and pattern cutting students created their own personalised shirt block. Student Ruby Thongphraiwan told us about her ballet influenced designs which addressed gender stereotypes through feminine tailoring styles.

Architecture, Graphic Design and Product Design

This multi-disciplinary group were presented with a brief with a twist – to accommodate animals from London Zoo within Central Saint Martins. Aligning the animals with specific disciplines, students had to consider everything from design proposals to scale, research, customer needs, graphic communication and the significance of narratives in design in order to create a set of work that would suit their animal clients. The wonderfully creative results included giraffe scale models, monkeys and advertising brainstorms, crocodile feeding facilities, signage for macaques and a London Zoo x Central Saint Martins mash-up gift shop.

The week of hard work came to a close with a celebratory exhibition of everyone’s final projects taking place throughout The Street and studios – view the galleries above to take a look at the brilliant work produced.

Well done and congratulations to everyone who took part.