Off-site: Designing at a Distance
With the doors of Central Saint Martins closed during lockdown, our graduating students were challenged like never before. In this digital London Design Festival show, we celebrate their ability to adapt in an uncertain, dislocated world and design new ways of living.
Working off-site for the last few months of their studies, our graduating students were disconnected not only from the places but also the people and materials that had made up their daily lives at the College. In these three collections, hosted on the Central Saint Martins Graduate Showcase, we share projects that address the challenge of designing at a distance.
A Map of Us, Mabel Chen, BA Graphic Communication Design, Central Saint Martins
During the confinement of lockdown, our students have faced a reconsideration of space. Addressing both the personal and political, they have launched enquiries into the systems, actions and ideologies which impact our environment. Some have reassessed architecture’s role within the judicial system, while others have responded to the reduction of LGBTQ+ spaces in the UK. Turning to more immediate surroundings, some explored the relationship between site, home and community and how places can inform identity. From inner worlds to speculative spaces, this collection brings together work which critically engages with our relationship to that which surrounds us.
New Languages of Making
Disconnected from workshops, many of our graduating students questioned how they could manifest their ideas: jewellery-makers turned to digital animation, live performers turned to collective film-making. Through their resourcefulness new material languages emerged. Distanced from daily consumption, some invented new, sustainable fabrics and processes, while some committed to wholly digital design. The focus of this collection is twofold, bringing together innovative, tactile design and dematerialised design that can’t be touched at all.
The Social and the Self in Isolation
Lockdown and social distancing has altered our relationships to others and to ourselves. Although many of our students were physically distanced from people, they also found themselves in a new world of virtual proximity. Reflections on our interactions and daily routines has led to renewed thinking about communication, labour and the workplace, community and health. Here, we gather together work which explores both sides of our social lives in lockdown: community and social engagement but also the exploration of the isolated self.
Class of 2020: Archiving ourselves
We take a look at the 2020 graduating students who are reframing and reinventing the archive.
Class of 2020: Waste at Work
From unwanted food to industrial byproducts, we are producing waste at an alarming rate. Many of our graduating students are rethinking waste as raw material and here, we speak to just a few of them.
Class of 2020: Queer Space
A 2017 study found the number of LGBTQ+ venues in London had declined 58% in a decade. Here, we talk to graduating students presenting new manifestations of queer space.
Class of 2020: Nature Speaks
As the climate emergency emphasises just how dysfunctional our collective relationship with nature truly is, we take a look at graduating work – spanning from a biocomputer to a gull costume – that gives nature a voice.