As a follow-up to their recently published discussion in Eye on Design, 'On Breaking Down Power Structures, Navigating Tokenism + Building Community in Design Education'³, Kelly and Anoushka will elaborate on how personal journey and identity has shaped how they design and how they make. Their hope is to create a dialogue that supports emerging designers to be in touch with their own identities as a key aspect of developing their practice.
Kelly and Anoushka originally met at Central Saint Martins when they worked together on Open Dialogues, a design project that was part open forum, art exhibition and visible platform for UAL students of Afro-Caribbean descent. The project was initiated by Kelly in spring 2018, when she was a visiting tutor in GCD.⁴
For this first event in the series, Kelly and Anoushka will each speak for 15 minutes. This will be followed by a moderated discussion with the opportunity for the audience to contribute questions.⁵
This event will be streamed and archived on CSM's YouTube channel: youtu.be/CyzBTv5ogjg. You will need to log in if you would like to participate in the discussion.
We are delighted to welcome Danielle Aubert and Rathna Ramanathan for our second public event of the year which takes place on the occasion of the launch of CSM's new Publications Workshop.³ Their discussion will be focused on publishing in an expanded sense, and in particular, its relationship to politics. For many graphic designers, what comes to mind when thinking about publishing are books, magazines and newspapers. The starting point for this discussion will be to first consider publishing broadly, as a set of practices that engage publics.⁴ Likewise, we will be working from a wide view of politics as sets of power relations relating to or inherent in communities and practices that goes beyond specific political movements.
Danielle and Rathna will share examples from their own practices, elaborating their perspectives on interactions between publishing, cooperation, class, labour, language and printing. Danielle will speak primarily from her recent book on the history of the Detroit Printing Co-op, which is also the basis for a book and an exhibition at the Cranbrook Art Museum.⁵ Rathna will share a range of examples from her practice, including previous work with the BBC World Service on their approach to reaching rural Indian audiences.⁶ The discussion will draw out the contemporary relevance of historical approaches to publishing, communication and graphic design practices and their relevance and impact on political environments.
Rathna and Danielle will each speak for 15 minutes. This will be followed by a moderated discussion with the opportunity for the audience to contribute questions.⁷ This event will be streamed and archived on CSM's YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/pIsYba7-Gp0. You will need to log in if you would like to participate in the discussion.
Our third event in GCD’s 2020-21 series will consider the relationship between communication and the climate emergency. We will ask the question, how is the climate crisis a crisis of communication?
To explore this, we have invited guests from the frontline of producing imagery and other media designed to amplify public engagement with the climate emergency. In this work there is a need to carefully balance accurate presentation of scientific observations and facts, sometimes technical in nature, with visual languages that give rise to meaningful actions at scale. The choices that designers, artists and journalists make about how to depict our planet have a significant impact on how people perceive and interact with its potential futures.³ As designers, what considerations do we need to take into account in our own practices?
Susan Callery is the Manager of the Earth Science Public Engagement team with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She works alongside Susan Bell, a web and content producer. Their team works directly with satellite images and data and renowned NASA scientists to produce visual content for Earth science and climate education, outreach and media.⁴ Toby Smith is a photojournalist, now working for Climate Outreach as the lead on their Climate Visuals project. The initiative advocates for evidence-based approaches to illustrating the climate crisis which create a more compelling and diverse visual language for climate change.⁵ In addition, their Seven principles for visual climate change communication have also been adopted by a range of organisations including The Guardian.⁶
Susan, Susan and Toby will each speak for 15 minutes. This will be followed by a moderated discussion with the opportunity for the audience to contribute questions.⁷ This event will be streamed and archived on CSM’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/KepZN8o6lH0. You will need to log in if you would like to participate in the discussion.
This event will raise questions about the agency of graphic designers and other creatives in relation to the technology sector. In 2020, most people are more dependent on digital products and services than ever before. At the same time, for good reasons, we are increasingly scrutinizing their social, cultural, political and ethical implications. Designers and creatives, whether working with, within or around tech, play an integral role in the success of most platforms, hardware, software, services and games, but it is not clear how we should position ourselves in relation.
Jazmin Morris and E Roon Kang will share their different experiences and positionings working as creatives engaged with technology. Jazmin will begin from the perspective of young designers needing to find secure work in an unequal and rapidly changing economy.³ E Roon will follow this by drawing out some of the daily ethical challenges around tech inherent in everyday graphic design practice from the way we use tools to the decisions we make about who to collaborate with. The discussion will challenge us to take a more active and critical stance in relation to the conflicts and contradictions around tech faced by design students, graduates, professionals and educators.
Jazmin and E Roon will each speak for 15 minutes. This will be followed by a moderated discussion with the opportunity for the audience to contribute questions.⁴ This event will be streamed and archived on CSM's YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/yI5wZlALy-0". You will need to log in if you would like to participate in the discussion.
In the early part of 2020, before the UK's first national lockdown, many members of the GCD community visited the W.E.B Du Bois: Charting Black Lives exhibition³, which was on view at The House of Illustration, right next to CSM's building in Granary Square, London.
This important exhibition will be the springboard for the fifth event in our 2020-21 series. W.E.B. Du Bois is well-known as a sociologist and for co-founding the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP). The exhibition presented a collection of information graphics, developed by Du Bois and a team of African American students at Atlanta University, that challenged pseudo-scientific racism and charted the lives of Black Americans. In addition to disputing racist claims, these graphics raise a number of important questions about the relationship between information, data, visual language, politics and identity. In 2021, as misinformation proliferates and algorithms which process our identity characteristics become more prevalent, these questions take on a new importance.
Using the Du Bois exhibition as a starting point to a wider discussion about how information graphics and data visualisation relate to identity, Silas Munro, Associate Professor of Communication Arts at Otis College of Art and Design, and Patricio Dávila, Associate Professor at York University and Co-Director of the Public Visualization Lab and Studio⁴, will each bring their own perspectives as creatives and researchers. Silas, who has previously spoken in-depth about the Du Bois information graphics⁵ and is currently delivering a course in Black Data at California College of Art⁶ as well as online short-course on BIPOC Design in America,⁷ will elaborate on their wider historical and thematic context. Patricio will draw from examples featured in an exhibition he curated in the Netherlands and Toronto, Diagrams of Power,⁸ to connect with pressing contemporary questions about the politics of information and data. The discussion will consider the challenges created by contemporary data visualization and information design practices in the context of contemporary racial and other social justice movements. In particular, questions will be raised about how to consider and deploy information design and data visualisation techniques in ways that strengthen accountability and reciprocity in relation to their wider contexts.
Silas and Patricio will each speak for 15 minutes. This will be followed by a moderated discussion with the opportunity for the audience to contribute questions.⁹ This event will be streamed and archived on CSM's YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/lEYAR6Y98FE. You will need to log in if you would like to participate in the discussion.
The springboard for our final event in the series is the publication of a new edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson's 1841 essay, Self-reliance,³ featuring a new series of contemporary essays by writer, designer, artist, educator and Design Observer co-founder, Jessica Helfand⁴ working in collaboration with graphic designer Jarrett Fuller,⁵ published by Thames & Hudson: “When Emerson published his most famous essay in 1841, it was in the aftermath of the calamitous financial collapse of 1837. His positive vision for the power of individualism and personal responsibility was issued in a climate filled with panic and uncertainty, and at a time, much like today, when the values of society and humanity were in the process of being reformed.”
The choice to revisit and reconsider Emerson through the lens of graphic design education and practice, in the context of contemporary events, will serve as the backbone for a roundtable discussion which breaks the format of our previous events. We have invited three guests, each offering a different perspective on some of the questions weighing most heavily on the mind of our own students about to graduate, as well as those of other institutions.
As we all weather the largest public health crisis in living memory, David Davenport-Firth,⁶ Managing Partner at Ogilvy Health, will speak to the expanding role for design in the future of healthcare communication. London-based Digital Designer and Member of Common Knowledge, Gemma Copeland,⁷ will speak about the potential role of designer-worker cooperatives in reconfiguring the ways creative practitioners structure their work. And, Mike Calandra Achode,⁸ who in addition to lecturing on BA GCD, will bring his perspective as a documentary filmmaker working on projects that cross national and cultural boundaries. This discussion will be moderated by Rebecca Ross, GCD Programme Director. As a group, we will be exploring the unique and transformative potential that graduating students during this complex and unusual period bring to professional practice.
This event is brought to you in partnership with Design Observer, an internationally recognised online publication for commentary and criticism about design, and global book publisher Thames & Hudson. In addition to the roundtable discussion, it will feature a few special guest interventions from Design Observer as well as Thames & Hudson.
This event will be streamed and archived on CSM's YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/STnlU1T9im4. You will need to log in if you would like to participate in the discussion.