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KE Staff Awards 2022 Public and Community Engagement: Design Transforms Borders

peoples hands gathered around a table making things out of clay and using art supplies
  • Written byYana Kasa
  • Published date 27 April 2023
peoples hands gathered around a table making things out of clay and using art supplies
Image Credit: Plate-making | Photography by Jackie Molloy, 2022

Knowledge Exchange is how we work with external partners to create positive change in our society, economy and environment. The KE Staff Awards 2022 celebrated and made visible the diverse range of Knowledge Exchange practices at UAL.

A Product Ceramic and Industrial Design team at CSM, led by Nick Rhodes, collaborated with the non-profit activist group Touching Land - led by artist and migrant rights lawyer Carolina Rubio MacWright and design collective Territorial Empathy to create a project called Design Transforms Borders. This project aimed to promote social justice and access in Sunset Park, a Brooklyn area facing multiple deprivation and challenges of equitability.

The project saw staff and students from CSM contribute skills and expertise to co-create a programme of experiential making as a tool for education, community building and migrant empowerment.

Over four days, workshop participants produced ceramic plates exploring the meaning of borders and attending Touching Land’s empowerment workshops on migrant rights. A total of 247 plates were made by participants and exhibited as a single installation at Brooklyn’s Industry City.

Separately, PCID students and staff contributed unique plate designs to guests at a pair of themed fundraising dinners provided by chefs Manolo Lopez and Carolina Saavedra, experts in decolonising food.

Six hundred sixty-two people attended the workshops, which coincided with the New York City x Design Festival. The project successfully shared learning and established long-lasting partnerships between the Product Ceramic and Industrial Design programme and local social-activist not-for-profit groups and communities.

Find out more about the winners of the KE Staff Awards 2022 (PDF 3.8MB).