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MA Publishing students win at London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards 2019

Photograph of Leanne's work using book covers to create a 3D structure.
Photograph of Leanne's work using book covers to create a 3D structure.
Re-Imagining the Archive: activating creativity through publishing by Emilie Manfredi
Written by
Jake May
Published date
11 April 2019

Two students from London College of Communication’s MA Publishing course won awards at London Book Fair 2019’s International Excellence Awards – winning two out of three of the prizes up for grabs.

Emilie Hames won the Postgraduate Dissertation Prize for 'Environment Sustainability within the UK Book Publishing Industry’, and Leanne Manfredi won Best Major Project for ‘Re-Imagining the Archive: activating creativity through publishing’. Emilie was also rewarded with overall winner.

Fanny Allart, who currently studies on London College of Communication’s MA Public Relations course, won the third of the three awards for her undergraduate dissertation whilst a student at Oxford Brookes University.

The Association for Publishing Education (APE) rewards deserving dissertations and prize-worthy projects, selected from the best final projects and dissertations from Publishing courses across the UK Publishing courses.

Emilie, Leanne and Fanny were awarded at the prestigious ceremony Olympia London in March, and were invited to present their research at the publishing education showcase at the London Book Fair.

Frania Hall, Course Leader for MA Publishing at London College of Communication, said: “We are extremely proud of Emilie and Leanne. They worked very hard on their projects and followed through on ideas that were cutting edge and innovative. Congratulations to both of them for their very well-deserved prizes.”

Photograph of Leanne's work using book covers to create a 3D structure.
Re-Imagining the Archive: activating creativity through publishing by Emilie Manfredi

We caught up with Leanne to find out a little more about her project, the research process and her plans now she has been awarded this prestigious prize...

Tell us a bit more about your project – how did it start and what was the process like?

My final MA project ‘Re-imaging the archive: activating creativity through publishing’ developed a prototype learning resource. The tool was informed by the concepts of filtering, framing and amplification theorised by Michael Bhaskar in his publication The Content Machine (2013).

This framework enabled V&A online archive content to be re-purposed into the form of a structure. In turn each component piece of the structure can be used to form the cover of a book.

Through a series of DIY publishing sessions, participants were invited to interact with the structure and create books using a range of print techniques. The project emerged out of my research at the Victoria and Albert Museum in the Learning and National team. As Programme Manager for Participation and Co-design I devise projects for a wide range of audiences which look at ways in which we can make our collections as accessible as possible.

What were some of the challenges?

I worked and studied full time which meant I condensed my full-time hours into four days to attend University... I really had to manage my time effectively and plan accordingly.

Interestingly the course had many collaborative projects which in some ways mirror my day to day role at the museum, so lots of juggling!

What did you most enjoy?

The course provided a pause to think about acquiring some new knowledge and skills, I particularly enjoyed the practical components units.

These involved book-making and associated techniques, working collaboratively and the iterative processes involved in working on design projects.

What attracted you to MA Publishing at London College of Communication?

The course appealed to me because it is rooted in an art school approach to pedagogy as well as strong links to industry and the creative sector. The opportunity to make publications was a big draw for me, to produce effective content with a compelling narrative.

What are your plans now following your award success?

I have recently began a Faber Academy online course to develop my creative writing, through the MA I discovered many new forms of experimental writing and content.

In my day to day role at the V&A I have been looking at ways of incorporating DIY publishing into programming and events.

As a mature student going back to university some twenty years after I graduated from my BA it was incredibly valuable to be immersed in a different kind of learning, especially digital which has also contributed to the development of my skill set.

Words by Fanny Allart, MA Public Relations student at London College of Communication.

Find out about MA Publishing at London College of Communication.

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