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2018: year in review

One extraordinary characteristic of an art and design college is that students surface their concerns in a manner that is material, visual and conceptual – in a manner that makes the invisible forces of the world palpably visible. In the past few years, an increasing urgency has arisen in the production of work at Central Saint Martins – often made in response to fluctuating, external forces, as our students’ find their very identities challenged by the politics and economics of the world.

In 2018, we have turned the College inside out more than ever. Our Degree Show identity centred around and responded to the general public – an interactive design which reacted to our audience and digital influences. Our second Creative Unions exhibition during London Design Festival showcased the ingenuity with which our students continue to tackle our current socio-political climate. We have instigated new partnerships locally and globally; we have worked with our neighbours and artists, academics and students across the world. We continue to do this because we continue to believe that arts and design can generate real, productive change.

Here is just a few of the year’s highlights:

College highlights

Degree shows 2018


The Age of New Babylon

From 23 November–13 December, the Lethaby Gallery’s hosted our first student-led exhibition.

Creative Unions

Creative Unions 2018

In its second year, Creative Unions demonstrated that design can become an active agent in the dissolution of boundaries.

Programme highlights

Access and Progression to Higher Education

In January, 120 students took over Waterlow Park and its buildings.


From April–September 2018, MA Fine Art students took part in OVERPR!NT, AG!TATE, ACT!VATE at Centre de la Gravure.

A room full of people looking at each other

Culture and Enterprise

The Central Saint Martins Birkbeck MBA was shortlisted for a Reimagine Education award for innovative business education.

Elderly people and students in a theatre workshop
Generations, Platform Theatre, 2018. Photo: Monica Alcazar-Duarte

Drama and Performance

In January, Improbable, Islington residents and Performance Design and Practice students collaborated on a series of improvisation workshops.


During London Fashion Week 2018, Fashion alum Richard Quinn was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design.

Graphic Communication Design

On view in the Lethaby Gallery and Window Galleries, Normal to Dissent. marked the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918.

Page image of mycelium rubber details by Carole Collet

Jewellery and Textiles

2018 saw the launch of our groundbreaking MA Biodesign.

Board Games in lilac

Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design

In November, the programme hosted an evening of celebration and discussion on the role of women in product design.

Spatial Practices

At this year's annual Crowdfund London programme, the winners included three recent M ARCH: Architecture graduates.

Hellos and goodbyes

Anne Smith

Anne Smith stepped down from her role as Dean of Academic Programmes for Fashion; Jewellery and Textiles; Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design and Spatial Practices.

Caroline Broadhead

After nearly ten years as Jewellery and Textiles Programme Director and BA Jewellery Design Course Leader, Caroline Broadhead stepped from her roles at the College.

Rachel Dickson

Rachel Dickson joined us as Dean of Academic Programmes for Fashion; Jewellery and Textiles; Product, Ceramic and Industrial Design and Spatial Practices.

2018 stories

The Eductor Meets Bridget Riley

Written by Julia Ovenden, MA Art and Science student at Central Saint Martins. "The physics of medicine is relevant to all as human functioning consists of multiple interactive energy systems. One aspect of my practice is the Eductor biofeedback