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Binoli Shah

College
London College of Communication
Person Type
Student
Binoli  Shah

Biography

Binoli is a current student studying MA Design for Social Innovation and Sustainable Futures at London College of Communication.

Interview

Why did you decide to study MA Design for Social Innovation and Sustainable Futures and why London College of Communication?

I have always been somewhat fascinated by people, their behaviour and their stories along with the problems that we face as a society, problems that have become an everyday affair, that makes them go so unnoticed. While working in the industry, I realised that I wasn’t using design to make a difference, the thing that made me want to become a designer in the first place. That’s when I decided to study this MA, to understand how to work on problems that are so systemic.

I have friends who had previously studied at London College of Communication and have had a great experience. Also, this course at LCC taught skills like participatory design and social entrepreneurship that I was particularly interested in. UAL is also known for having an alumnus who have had a successful career and that was a source of inspiration for me.

Can you tell us a little bit about the project you have most enjoyed working on so far?

I was working on the problem of food insecurity in the UK for the first unit that I also got a chance to further with my classmates for the next unit. For me, it was interesting to break down the problem of hunger and understand how it differs in each culture. I first looked at it holistically and then, for the group assignment got to break it down further and find an area of innovation. It was challenging to work with such systemic problems but during the course I also learned how to work with them using design methods.

Has the course included any involvement with industry?

Yes, we have had workshops and lectures by a number of industry experts. It was inspiring to see how each one of them have created their own little space in the world to make a difference. We also had sessions with a number of design studios working in the public and private sector and learned how each one them approach their projects differently. Being on a course like this, you constantly question what kind of designer you are or where do you fit in the design world, but I think being involved with the industry and seeing those remarkable projects made me think about all the possible directions I can take to do the kind of work I want to.

How do you find the postgraduate student community?

I think the postgraduate student community is such a source of inspiration. It is a diverse group of people from different backgrounds and there is so much to learn from each one. There is always so much going on, to be involved in, to collaborate across UAL.

Why would you recommend studying MA Design for Social Innovation and Sustainable Futures?

I would highly recommend MA Design for Social Innovation and Sustainable Futures to anyone who has been curious about our world and how it works, how we as designers have an important role to play. We as humans need points of comparison and this course has successfully done that, giving us perspective from what exists in the world today to new ideas that are coming up, what works and why. The course takes a very neutral standpoint and hence allows you to make that comparison yourself. The course is just like a puzzle. Each piece is so small but so important. Each unit of the course is just like that tiny part of the puzzle. You don’t realise how much you have learned until you start moving ahead. Things suddenly start making sense and you start implementing all the things you have learned on the course. But more than anything, I think you just start looking at the world differently, more critically. The course has contributed not only to my academic growth but also personal. I have a better understanding of my voice, of who I am and what kind of space I want to create for myself.

Related area

Visit the MA Design for Social Innovation and Sustainable Futures course page.