Thursday, 24 June 2010

Transatlantic Design- The Exhibition.

At this years Brighton University degree show- 'Hook, Line and Sinker.' We put together a little presentation to let people know about our 'Transatlantic Design' project.
With thanks to Matt Wingfield for the vinyl and our second year helpers: Karin and Monique for painting our display a lovely shade of yellow for us.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

New Era

Yesterday saw the scramble to form a coalition government come to an end, and an end to Labour's 13 year run in power. I can't quite believe it all happened in one day, but there you go. 
This has been an interesting and unusual election, and we're effectively stepping into the unknown, from a political point of view. 
Surprisingly, the Conservatives have compromised on many of their policies in order to get Lib Dems on side, and this morning we woke up to the news that Clegg is deputy PM and there are 5 Lib Dems in the Cabinet. But what we're interested in here is education, and that is still an issue that is going to be a topic of debate. Both parties have admitted that there will have to be huge cuts in order to reduce the deficit and public debt, although we have been promised that these cuts will not come from 'frontline services', such as the NHS. It's unclear if higher education counts as a frontline service, but we feel that cuts in this area are inevitable, and will follow on from the trend in spending cuts that we've witnessed at our time in University.

Hopefully in the next few days we will find out who has been appointed in charge of education, and we're hoping that a more detailed version of the new government's main aims and intentions will be published shortly so we can know the fate of future students. All we do know for now is that in the run up to the election, the Conservatives were in favour of taking the cap off tuition fees, but the Lib Dems were in favour of scrapping them all together. Hopefully in the next few weeks we will find out if either party has had to compromise on this issue. 

Monday, 3 May 2010

UK Tuition Fees

We've all been interested in the financial side of education here and in the states, and it was one of the main themes of the project initially. In the UK, the whole higher education system is about to go through some serious overhauls in terms of funding. So far, we've all felt the effects of drastic budget cuts to universities and to the arts in particular. Whoever wins the general election this week will be looking to address university funding. An official review that's been going on for some time now is due to finish soon, and whoever our new Prime Minister and other relevant MPs are will take this report as the basis for their decision on funding. At the moment it looks like the cap on tuition fees (currently at £3325) will be gone, meaning that universities can charge what they like. It's the first step in privatising the university education system, making it something more akin to the American system now. 
I personally don't think that having an elitist system right, but I do acknowledge that funding has to change somehow, and if students are the only way to offset budget cuts then so be it. Either way, it's a time of considerable change right now, which means that our project could not have come at a better time. 
For a very informative article (and comments) on the issue from the Times, click here

Wednesday, 17 March 2010



Yesterday we went to interview Apfel, a practice for everyday life. This is a really beautiful studio in East London which has even more beautiful work. Kirsty and Emma gave us a really great interview, it was very honest and really inspirational. They expressed how they felt design education was essential and that its the people you meet in education who are invaluable to you. Kirsty and Emma met while at the RCA and told us the lovely story of how they first planned to set up a studio in a kind of traveling studio/ library/ cafe, it sounded amazing but luckily for everyone they settled in London and created Apfel. They also talked about how common sense and independence/ determination were some of the greatest qualities to have. It was a really great interview, Thank you very much.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Sam Winston

sam winston

On Friday 29th january Chloe and I went up to London again to conduct another interview with the great Sam Winston. He was a really incredible guy, very inspiring and he also gave us jam doughnuts so what more could we of asked for! Well the interview was great, he had to leave by 5.30 but by 6pm we were all still there getting to see first hand some of his beautiful work. I think Ian Wrights interruption was a big factor in the over running but it was his birthday and hes super cool too and we enjoyed the conversation immensely. Sam being both a designer and a lecturer gave a really interesting perspective on the topic of design education, he also just gave some great advice, like when a tutor criticises something you do and it really bothers you and you get upset or angry about it, well thats because it has an element of truth in it but then when you work on those faults and if someone criticses again and you feel nothing you know its untrue. Simple but such great advice. A down to earth guy with so much to give, he wants to see us again in a years time to see what we are up to so watch this space I think we will definitely keep him up on that offer.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Andreas at Six Creative.

This Thursday we went to the very trendy Six Creative Studio to meet the talented Andreas Neophytou.
Another great interview to get us all excited about our project and our own education. Andreas reminded us of the importance of ideas in a world that is saturated with design. He also gave us a tour of the studio and let us take a sneaky peak at some of the wonderful projects they have been doing.

We look forward to listening back to the interview very soon.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

A Great Week

cetld_newsletter_1 cetld_newsletter_2
It has been a great week for the Transatlantic Design project. We were in the CETLD newsletter and were asked to do two talks. One for the CETLD department where we held our won for a whole hour we were so scared to do this and wondered whether we were going to be able to talk for that long, but in hindsight I have no idea why we were worried, for a start we can all talk for england and also our project is so strong it almost speaks for itself. We also were invited to speak in a level two Product Design talk by Chris Rose a great lecturer who we had actually interviewed in New York. Both went down really well and it felt great to talk about such a successful project, It was even suggested we publish a book, I never thought we could do something like this but it showed me we can I think we all feel very proud.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Another talk!

We're giving a talk about our experiences with the project at the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Through Design at the University of Brighton next week. The CETLD department kindly funded part of the project as well as helping us out with equipment and advice, so we're pleased to show them what we've learned. 
The event is being held on Wednesday 18th November from 4pm until 5.30pm in the CETLD room at the University of Brighton.
To register for the event please email



Just thought we'd let you all know that the lack of posts is not due to neglect, we've all been busy bees starting our third year at university and all that that entails. Transatlantic Design has been continuing nonetheless, we're just about finished catching up with our transcribing for all of our New York interviews and busy setting up new ones for the London leg of the project. We'll post more information as we get it!

Sunday, 4 October 2009

It's nice that we met:

Alex Bec and Will Hudson in their studio in London.
Friday the 2nd of October and phase two of our research project begins. We were all very excited to get back to our project and talk to some more people about their design education and we could not fail to be enthused and excited by talking to Alex and Will. Having studied Illustration and Graphic Design at Brighton University they are now both working together in a studio in trendy Shoreditch. They are doing extremely well with their blog: 'It's Nice That', magazine no.2 (just launched) and a new series of: 'If you could' on the way. Both lovely people, it is easy to see how these young entrepreneurs have managed to move in the right circles and why many designers hold them in high esteem. We met them earlier in the year when talking at the D&AD lectures with Ian Wright and decided they were in our 'must interview' category. Kindly they made time for us and an interesting and honest interview followed. They chatted casually about their design education, offered interesting views and opinions, gave great advice and witty one liners and then we all went to the pub for a pint. We look forward to sharing with you more about this interview soon.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Design for Life: on the BBC.

Since starting this project, our ears have pricked up in interest by the very mention of design education. A new reality show type show has been brought to us by the BBC and this time Alan Sugar has moved aside for Philippe Starck in the battle of the British designers. Both students and practicing designers are competing for an apprenticeship with Philippe Starck. The legendary product designer, controversially condemns Britain as having had no great design since Terrance Conran. Watch to see how the British team fair up under the pressure and challenges that the competition has to throw at them. I will be watching to see how British designers are judged by the Frenchman, I hope we won't be embarrassed.

BBC Two: every monday at 9pm

Thursday, 10 September 2009

D&AD Xchange

As part of our project the Transatlantic Divide in Design education that we completed in New York, we met Ian Wright a really great guy who couldn't do enough for us, he is an ex brighton lecturer and very talented designer. He was asked to do a lecture about him and his work at the D&AD Xchange and thought that our project was worthy of a 10 minute slot in his! It was so scary, there were lecturers and people from the industry everywhere, there were people like Storm Thorgerson and then there was us the only students there! We had to give a powerpoint presentation and talk for 10mins, it felt like a huge ask but I think once we were there and just started we just thought it was a great experience lets make the most of it and once we all got in to it the nerves seemed to fade and hopefully we just came across as us - four girls excited about a project we have created. It was really great so thank you Ian and after we all went for a well deserved drink yay.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

D&AD Xchange 09 7/8 September

We were invited by Ian Wright, to speak at the D&AD Xchange about our research project. We are to do so on the 8th of September.

Monday, 24 August 2009

David Gersten at Cooper Union.

David was himself a graduate in architecture at Cooper Union and he now lectures at the school. It was interesting to discuss design education within the building that David himself has had such a close and long history with, having spent over half his life there. David considered the building itself as a space that was engineered for the right creative environment and as a place for the three creative disciplines of: Engineering, Architecture and Art to collide within. David began his talk with us, with his theory of Cooper Union as the 'eight story house'. He took us on a tour of the school which began in the foundations of the building where there was a great lecture space, where Abraham Lincoln had spoken and many other notable orators. David proposed that this gave the school a foundation in free speech, that filters up the school. He describes how all creative energies flow upwards through the space and the negative impact of walking down into a dark dingy basement is never felt, as it maybe in other institutions. We then walked up to the second floor where knowledge and context were realised with a library that looked outwards through vast glass windows. This was designed to allow an infinite plane of cultural memory and a preservation of history. Then at the heart of the building was a shared working environment where a gallery forces the intrigued into the belly of the school. These analogies between architectural design and their application within education was very interesting and was consistent with David's predominant influence and point of reference: Literature. In this instance the school itself was an instrument capable of telling a story.
We also discussed the implications of the small numbers of students at Cooper Union and the fact that they were all there with a full scholarship. He described his development and use of the 'listening crit' and showed us a project he had been working on extensively to be published by Didot.
David is an extremely intelligent man who's fervour and philosophies are reflected within the course he teaches and upon the space he lectures in.
I look forward to relaying more of what I learnt from David to you in the future.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Welcome to Legs

Georgie G at legs was amazing showing us around this beautiful studio and also talking for us. This is a fairly new studio and its main area is film, its a unique place where they have everything they need on site therefore the design ideas do not need to be diluted as they can do it all, its really inspirational to see how that can be a reality. She was so passionate and was also able to try many areas and work with amazing people. The studio has aspirations to break international boundaries and I wish them good luck and thank you.