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.

Hunter Tura (2x4) and Yoonjai Choi

Hunter Tura recieved a degree in Architecture from Havard and now is the managing director at 2x4 which is a multidisciplinary studio focusing on design for art, architecture, fashion and cultural clients worldwide. He had a really interesting slant for our project where by he sees many portfolios from a number of different areas and places wanting jobs or interns at 2x4 and therefore has a certain idea of design inside and outside the US. He was extremely welcoming, he had his little girl at work and always had one eye on her checking she was ok it was lovely, yet he still had all his attention for us. Conversation seemed so easy yet so interesting, he expressed how his education in architecture led him to have a different sort of education however he has no regrets as there are skills he has learnt that he may only have got from his education. Also 2x4 is a multidisciplinary studio and therefore needs people with a variety of skills and maybe by having a broader design education it will enable us to have a better perspective of design, and maybe using design inspiration for a piece of design is not the best way to do it? He opened up a number of questions for us so thank you. He also then introduced us to Yoonjai Choi who was newer in 2x4, she too had had an unusual education, she had grown up outside of the US and had strong attachments to England where she had spent some years growing up, after she completed her degree she wanted more education and it was either the RCA or Yale and it eventually was Yale and she said shes so glad it worked out that way as more then anything its the peer group you learn around that enhances who you are and she had an amazing graduate class and has no doubt that it was them that has helped her get to where she is today. Both had really great insights and are at a brilliant studio so thank you and good luck to you both.

Pablo A. Medina

Pablo grew up between Washington and New Jersey and is the founder of Cubanica, he is an exceptionally talented designer and typographer you can check out some of his typefaces here. He had just got off a 10 hour flight from Buenos Aries and Claire and I were literally waiting outside his door before we had even got there, he had sort of forgotten but was so pleased that fate or something had meant we were there waiting for him the moment he arrived home, he let us in his house and within minutes had changed and got ready and took us for the most amazing hot chocolate and Coffee either of us had ever had, the decoration on top was beautiful and as designers led us all off onto a tangent for a while. He expressed how his role as a lecturer at Pratt and also at an affiliate school gave him a great insight into design and that further his visit to Buenos Aries had all given him a fresh outlook on our project. He seemed to feel like students in the US worked really hard but they also expected a lot from their lecturers, then his experience in Buenos Aries was more of a street scene it was more free and in a way exciting. Really it is down to the individual to succeed and a great student will be great anywhere as long as they have the drive to do well. He had a fine art background and expressed how that has definitely had a huge imact on the way he works and that he will always fight for students to have a more "hands on approach" how can you learn anything unless you can do it by hand? This is exactly what Milton Glaser had said and its a very valuable point - by seeing something you simply see it but by drawing it you analyse and learn to appreciate it. Computers and the hand need to be used together and neither one or the other can replace each-other. Although he must have felt exhausted Pablo never slowed down, his enthusiasm for our project was great to hear and he even then came to lunch with us with Ian Wright and Ritta Ikonen. I cant wait to transcribe this interview and reveal more - so look out, Thank you Pablo and good luck in your travels.

Milton Glaser

Everyone in the design world and many people not even in that field will have heard of the name "Milton Glaser" he is among the most celebrated graphic designer in the united states. "The founder of Push Pin design in 1954 was his first big step in the design world, their design was well received internationally. He then in 1968 along with Felker they founded the New York Magazine, then in 1983 Milton was part of WBMG a publication design firm and now its Milton inc. This man seems unstoppable, he still had such enthusiasm for the design field which could have easily been lost in todays day and age of the computer "making everyone a designer". He expressed how a computer is like a microwave to cooking" and also that Talent was only going to go as far as you were willing to push it. He was very wise and I feel we all felt very nervous when we first went to talk to him, however we sat around in a smallish room full of beautiful artifacts and pieces of his design, it felt homely yet inspiring. He sat down and just began listening carefully and then answering concisely our questions. One of the most memorable things he said was that it is important to listen to others but really his opinion was only really relevant to him and therefore people need to learn their own views and opinions - if you were to live your life in agreement with someone else you would really just be living their life. It was very interesting to here from such an influential man but important to remember. Thank you.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Jonathan Bartlett

Jonathan Bartlett is a Graduate student at SVA and was recommended to us by Marshall Arisman, and a good recommendation he was. Four English girls turned up at his door and he seemed at first shocked and then was more the happy to talk to us! He expressed the importance of learning on the job after his degree he took a job at a publishing house where he learnt a lot especially about design, he felt that this period of his life was immense for learning, unlike school where its all about classes and teachers, on the job there is a pressure and a reality that school cannot give, yet it is most necessary. He then decided to undertake a course at SVA and this a great school but also an expensive one but when questioned about was his schooling worth what he paid for he replied "yes" he said the money is ridiculous but the things he has learnt and the people he has met and places his been due to it all couldn't ever have a price put on them and that seems very honest and very true. its a shame that education has a price put on it at all but i guess we have little choice in it and just have to make the most of it. Jonathan is a really talented illustrator and designer and I know all of us girls had a great time at his apartment enjoying great conversation so thanks and good luck Jonathan!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Graphic Havoc

Another great interview in the afternoon which we were all lucky enough to be able to attend. We met with Graphic Havoc a design studio based in Brooklyn compiled of five members and we were lucky enough to speak with Randall Lane, Derek Lerner, David Merten and Peter Rentz. I have to admit we were all a little nervous to meet with a studio whose work we know and admire but they were all really great and put us at ease immediately and from then on conversation seemed to just flow. They had not all initially received a design education however expressed how by having a more open path of education it allowed for a more rounded person. Derek liked how he could effectively build his own degree by picking the classes he most preferred at Georgia Tech, Atlanta. They all agreed on the cultural diversity that New York gave them which even if after a time can be taken for granted is definitely a plus point to the design world. Randall was adamant that school was a time for play and experimenting, and they all showed a fondness and respect for British design explaining how maybe designers takes more risks as well as it having a deep design history that inevitably has an influence on its design scene. Lastly in response to "what's the most important thing you know and where did you learn it?" Peter believed it was all about making mistakes and learning from them and along with Derek's thoughts that if you set your heart and mind to something then you can achieve it we feel that that is pretty great advice. Thank you very much guys.

Anna Raff

A great day for interviews today. Firstly Bronwyn and I went to meet Anna Raff an illustrator from New York who has over 15 years experience at Harper Collins Publishers and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has also completed a Graduate degree at the School of Visual Art New York. She was so willing to sit and talk to us for ages in a beautiful little garden in Greenwich Village. She gave honest and appropriate answers expressing how working and studying in the UK at one point made her feel empowered as a human being which is just as valuable as formal education. Also how it's important to be well rounded and that maybe you cannot put a price on education. The best answer was that she learnt from her mother and father that "you can go pretty far by not being a jerk" that made us both smile as its simple and the truth so there you go. Thank you very much Anna. 

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Sea Port

We went to the Bodies exhibition today in Sea Port. I think we all left more uneasy than enlightened. It certainly wasn't what I was expecting, although it was fascinating.
Sea Port on the other hand was amazing. It looked like a little toy Victorian town just plonked under all these skyscrapers. All the red brick houses and decking and painted signs looked nice but a little contrived. We found an amazing stationers called Browne & Co which had a letterpress studio in the back of the shop and made the most gorgeous stationary. We all went a bit mad and our purses will be suffering for it now!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Michael Bierut - Pentagram

Michael Bierut was born in Cleveland, Ohio and studied graphic design at the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. Prior to joining Pentagram as a partner in 1990, he was vice president of graphic design at Vignelli Associates. He is also an active member of the AIGA an was president of the New York Chapter from 1988-1990.

The interview with him was really inspiring, he was very honest and came up with answers that really did hit the nail on the head. Explaining to us how his education really began after he graduated from experiencing through others and therefore becoming "culturally literate" He expressed how we as designers are problem solvers and that however no matter how much formal education we do or do not have it is our ability to listen to others as human beings and there more often then not will be the answer staring right at us, alongside a drive to learn  that is what will inevitably lead to our own success - "A good designer is someone who is passionate about learning".

He then gave an exciting and informative talk about some of the work in his portfolio. As design students it was a great experience to witness a designer in the professional world talk about his work. It was a great morning so a huge thank you to Michael.

Paul Sproll

While we were at RISD Chris Rose was kind enough to introduce us to a couple other members of staff including Paul Sproll. He was a really interesting guy to interview as he was British born and bred however after his degree at Corsham he then took a year long fulbright Teacher Exchange. This experience in the USA then led him to take further art education in the US. He now has a PHD from Ohio State and is head of department at RISD in a program quite unusual - teaching and learning in and through the arts in schools, museums and community settings. So one of his main focus' is Education. He expressed how teachers needed to be practicing in their fields as well as teaching, even though that can be difficult. He says teaching in art education cannot just be theoretical students need to meet people and that needs funding so possibly in the US that is where private schools benefit. Therefore by being government led maybe schools in the UK have more restrictions and the US has a much more "malleable hierarchy"? To end he talked about how the most important thing he knows is that "anything is possible" a lovely note to end on an extremely interesting interview. Thank you.

Chris Rose- RISD

Thank you to Chris Rose and his Wife Christine . They put Chloe and I up for a night and gave us a beautiful day in Rhode Island. The RISD School of Art is an impressive school with many influential people at the helm of it. It has a nature lab as well as an amazing museum. It is a school I could only dream of attending. Chris is an extremely intelligent man who has brought new ideas and questions to this project so a huge thank you to him and his kindness towards us.