As part of Shanghai Expo 2010, students will run a live project from the MA Curating Contemporary Design course run by Kingston University and the Design Museum London. The project will be developed in partnership with students and staff from the curating programme at China Academy of Art in Hangzhou and is supported by the British Council’s Student Mobility programme. The aim of the project is to devise ways in which the legacy of the Expo can be used to build and develop creative links between the two great cities of Shanghai and London.
Throughout May, eight curating postgraduates students from Kingston will work with 20 curating students from Hangzhou to a brief set by the British Council. At the same time tutors from the Chinese Academy of Arts will work with students at Kingston. On May 25th they will present a series of curating proposals to an industry panel of judges, with the winning idea then developed as a live event to run in London and Shanghai during the London Design Festival, 18 – 26 September 2010. You can track the progress on the project online though a Blog as it develops on the KINGSTON UNIVERSITY website throughout the summer until the event runs live.
The legacy project developed by the students from Kingston University and China Academy of Art will aim to nurture existing relationships between the two countries and help create new contacts between creative groups. In particular key topics such as bio-diversity and climate change will addressed in response to the unique design of Thomas Heatherwick’s British Pavilion and the partnership with the Millennium Seed Bank.
The project will attempt to ensure that Shanghai Expo 2010 has a lasting legacy beyond this year and continues to engage and connect with people throughout the decade to come.
On May 5th at Knights Park Kingston University there will a reception to launch the project and welcome our Visiting Tutors from China Academy of Art.
For further details please contact Professor Catherine McDermott: C.McDermott@kingston.ac.uk
Professor Catherine McDermott was named one of the hottest properties in the design world last month by eminent industry magazine, Design Week. The magazine’s ‘Hot 50’ was a list of design champions whose commitment and determination burned brightest during 2009.
An eclectic collection of the people, places and organisations that have been inspirational during the past year, the list contained some surprising inclusions alongside the Kingston academic. Not only did Professor Mc Dermott find herself rubbing shoulders with such cultural icons as Anish Kapoor and Anthony Gormley; the list also included broadcasting heavyweight the BBC and retail power-house Selfridges, alongside the even more surreal entries of Abu Dhabi and London.
A Professor in the School of Communication Design, Catherine set up Kingston’s MA in Curating Contemporary Design with the Design Museum in 2001. Amongst other things, Design Week cited her pivotal role in instigating the Dream Lab challenge, in which Chinese design students were invited to communicate the science of sleep and dreaming using their creative skills, and Project Kingston Africa, a new venture linking design students at Kingston with South African Aids Charity Wola Nani, as reasons for including her on the list.
Professor McDermott said that although she did not place much importance on industry roll calls, to have received recognition from her peers was a welcome acknowledgement of her work: “Any industry lists of who’s in and who’s out are always interesting – but they do need to be more enjoyed than celebrated,” she said. “It is nice to be selected, especially by such well known industry peers and colleagues. It’s also a way of getting our work here at Kingston better known, and hopefully better funded.”
However, for Professor McDermott, it was the projects she has developed, with the support of colleagues from Kingston and across the wider design community, which were of real importance. “From my point of view, what makes me really proud is work such as Dream Lab and Project Kingston Africa, which reflects the teamwork of colleagues from several university faculties, including designers Simon Maidment and Rebecca Wright from our Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture.”
The School of Three-dimensional Design has been invited to take part in the SaloneSatellite exhibition which is held in Milan from 14th -19th April.
The exhibition takes place at the same time as the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the world’s biggest design trade fair. Designers and manufacturers from every corner of the world show their work to 278,000 visitors from over 151 countries
The 24 square metre display will feature work by product and furniture students chosen by Simon Maidment along with information about postgraduate courses and research projects.
Kingston University’s Reader in Fine Art, Elizabeth Price, has been shortlisted for the 2009 – 2011 Max Mara Art Prize for Women. The Prize is awarded biannually to one UK based artist who has not previously had a major survey exhibition. The short-listed artists for the Max Mara Art Prize 2009 – 2011 alongside Elizabeth Price are Becky Beasley and Andrea Buttner,
Chaired by Iwona Blazwick, the jury for the prize comprises; Fiona Banner, Turner Prize nominated artist and Kingston alumna; Alison Jacques, Gallerist; Valeria Napoleone, Collector and Polly Staple, writer and Director of Chisenhale Gallery.
The winner is to be announced on Tuesday 23 March at the Whitechapel Gallery. For more information please visit: http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/about-us/prizes
Exhibition and installation by Carol Mancke at the Mid Pennine Gallery in Burnley Lancashire.
Get Over It is an interactive exhibition that took inspiration from Burnley’s industrial heritage. Through her ‘Safe and Healthy Art’, artist Carol Mancke explores how rules and regulations can take away opportunities for people to exercise judgement, understand risk and take responsibility as individuals. She also questions the growing culture of people and organisations being forced to tick boxes, rather than having the opportunity to address underlying causes of problems that are perceived to pose unacceptable risk.
The exhibition also challenges the popular notion that art is something to be viewed from a comfortable distance. The work invites participation, thereby raising questions about the potential risks to both the visitor and the artwork. By getting the audience to physically engage with the exhibition the artist raises issues about the fragility and durability of an artwork, and what determines its commercial and cultural value.
Alyse North writes about the exhibition her review published in the Lancaster Art Network Newsletter:
The haptic nature of the installation is enjoyable and thought provoking. The act of touching and climbing on the art works – ultimately transgressive in all but a smallish corner of contemporary visual art – provides a particular sense of freedom and involvement that view-only artworks would struggle to offer. The requirement of physical participation presents a possibility of knowing and understanding in a way that cannot be achieved by just looking. The expletive title of the show encourages the visitor to accomplish something while they are there. Perhaps the limited and limiting nature of what we accept as our reality is simply an amalgamation of petty concerns, a string of monotone beliefs and rules, which can easily be overcome. Our set of circumstances can be altered; a new freedom can be found, through engagement and participation. The invitation is there.
There is a valuable topic for contemplation offered by this exhibition, which is this: our expectations of ourselves and others, coupled with our inhibitive fears and the memory of past physical injury, compounded by the corporate way of dealing with these things, combine together to feed countless limitations into our daily lives. We are stringently limited in social and work environments… This climate of limitation profoundly affects the way we live, and in recent decades has given rise to the extensive and influential industry known to us now as ‘Health and Safety’. (Such a promise in an uncertain world!) This industry is in many ways ridiculous, and widely ridiculed – a thread that Mancke takes pleasure in tugging. Yet it is undeniable that ‘H&S’ is essential in the increasingly litigious culture we have in Great Britain. And undoubtedly we owe the non-arrival of many precarious even calamitous happenings to its existence. The way things are, we cannot manage without it. But isn’t it enlivening and refreshing to poke a bit of fun, to employ our physical and creative selves to – very simply – get over it? Individual and societal limitations reflect and reinforce each other. There is much that wants to hold us back. But once we take action and engage our sense of humour, our serious surroundings can once again become a playground.
Get Over It continues until 13 March. For more information visit
Morgan Layton, a second year Landscape Architecture student, has been shortlisted for the recent Paper Cities open competition at the Royal Academy. Morgan’s proposal for a floating city explores the potential of the city as a mega-structure. The judging panel, that included Archigram architect Peter Cook RA, the illustrator Sara Fanelli, the Blueprint editor Vicky Richardson and the RA’s Curator Kate Goodwin, stated that this was “an amazing idea and proposition for a super-city structure located in the sea”.
More information about the competition can be found at: