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Structured Chaos: New York,

Student Profile – Becky Kirk, BA Graphic Design Communication

Written by Isabelle Gressel
Published date 20 March 2015

Today we caught up with Chelsea student Becky Kirk, currently in her 2nd year of her BA Graphic Design Communication degree.

What do you enjoy most about studying at Chelsea?

The intellectual freedom.

What would you say to anyone thinking of studying at Chelsea?

The good thing about University of the Arts London (UAL) is there is a college for everyone. Chelsea is very much embedded in a working towards professional future. Have a look at the course handbook and see if the areas interest you.

Have you met people here you think you will continue to work with post-degree?

Absolutely. That’s the great thing about Chelsea, it attracts motivated people. I’ve met people here I’ll be in touch with for a long time, it’s a real network.

What are your greatest achievements/awards/exhibitions?

Getting the chance to study in New York was amazing. Totally life changing.

What skills are you most proud of having learned at Chelsea?

Being at Chelsea has really developed my professional confidence, the ability to stand behind my ideas.

Do you often go to the shows/events of your peers here at Chelsea? Do you have a favourite exhibition so far?

I try to go to the graphic design shows all around UAL, I went to the foundation show at London College of Communication (LCC) last year which was amazing.

Structured Chaos: New York

Structured Chaos: New York, courtesy of the artist Becky Kirk

Which member of staff (this could be a technician, a librarian, a tutor etc) most inspires you most and why?

Wendy Carlton-Dewhirst and Nigel Bents were a stunning introduction to the  possibility of Graphic Design.

What’s your favourite space in the College and why?

‘The Office’ – the 2nd floor balcony in Graphic Design where I spent most of first year, it’s right under the glass roof and is constantly bathed in amazing light.

What resource in the library have you found the most interesting?

The magazines! I wish I had the money to be able to hoard a giant collection of all the best typographic magazines like eye and baseline – luckily they’re all in the library so for now I don’t have to.

What is your favourite tool to use in the workshops?

I love making three dimensional type in the wood workshops. An afternoon spent on the sanding machines is nothing short of dreamy.

What’s the best aspect of Chelsea’s location in London?

It’s super central. Great for cycling, everywhere is on the doorstep really.

Structured Chaos: New York, courtesy of the artist Becky Kirk

Structured Chaos: New York, courtesy of the artist Becky Kirk

How do you feel you have developed as a person during your time at Chelsea?

It’s a good mix of social and professional growth. It never feels too scary as you’re always in it with other people. We have a really good year, in second year it feels like more of a team.

What was your greatest challenge on the course and how did you overcome it?

My greatest challenge was finding my own voice but I suppose that’s anyone’s greatest challenge. It’s a gradual process of learning to listen to yourself and trust what you’re hearing.

How have you found the studio atmosphere?

I was initially worried about not having my own permanent space but it has definitely been for the best. Being able to move around and not being tied down to a space gives you lots of freedom.

What was the most unexpected yet useful thing you have learnt at Chelsea?

Never make a decision you can’t justify. I suppose that’s specific to creating rather than the general experience of Chelsea but it’s been my most important realisation. It’s not necessarily unexpected but it’s nice to have it nailed down in such black and white terms.

Which Chelsea Alumni inspires you the most?

Chris Ofili. I saw his most recent exhibition in the New Museum in New York and it was incredible. I’ve become quite disillusioned with Fine Art but this blew me away, his work is so intricate and considered and the exhibition was amazingly curated. Best exhibition I’ve seen in months.

Follow Becky’s work on her website.

Find out more about the BA Graphic Design Communication course.