Tomorrow’s designers need to be able to think critically and act practically. They are required to be contextually insightful and creative, and thereby well placed to meet new challenges in a strategic, ambitious and entrepreneurial manner. The Design School is committed to creative rigour in the context of design education, practice, research and enterprise. It is a critically engaged community of design practitioners, educators, researchers and entrepreneurs. It is a School that is discipline-focused, in which making is central to its practice.
In the Design School we believe discipline, excellence and knowledge are key to the development of confident, agile and creative contemporary design practitioners meeting and setting the challenges for society and industry. Thinking and doing underpin design practice across the School and supports the students as their work traverses disciplines and subjects in hybrid spaces defining the emerging roles and responsibilities for designers of the future.
We aspire to design practice that is vested with personality, purpose and vision resulting from an appetite for life and a desire to make a difference. As a school, we aim to graduate creative designers and researchers clearly engaged in and aware of their ethical, moral, social and environmental responsibilities, as 21st century citizens.
The School is made up of the following departments:
- Department of 3D Design
- Department of Fashion
- Department of Graphics
- Department of Illustration and Animation
The Department of 3D Design comprises BA (Hons) Product & Furniture, BA (Hons) Interior Design and MA Product & Furniture Design. You will study within one of the leading art and design schools in the world with some of the most extensive workshop facilities available anywhere.
The BA Product & Furniture course develops the creative professional practice, technological knowledge and theoretical understanding necessary to enter a variety of design careers. Emphasis is placed on acquiring and developing the skills needed to use current and emerging materials and technologies in a creative, intelligent and sustainable way. Central to your experience is an appreciation of ‘intelligent making’. Practical knowledge will be gathered from direct experience and the use of materials in context. You will develop sensitivity towards the qualities of materials as well as their potential sustainable and appropriate application. You will also become aware that designers, through the specification of materials and processes, are responsible for the preservation or abuse of the world’s resources.
You will be required to think strategically and demonstrate industry awareness, which will underpin the focus for your projects at all levels. You will interact and engage with the industry throughout your studies. The curriculum covers design and making skills, materials, manufacturing technology, digital skills and business studies for design. Your creative development will be underpinned by a user-based approach to design, while integrated studies in design history and contemporary issues will provide a theoretical and contextual framework to your work. There’s a wide variety of projects of differing lengths, each carefully designed to develop your creativity and curiosity. Courses on professional practice help you survive and thrive after graduation.
Department of Fashion
The Department of Fashion enjoys a global reputation and its graduates can be found at all levels of the fashion industry. It is renowned for producing graduates who are well versed in all aspects of the design process – from research and design development, to creating garments using cut and construction. You will study within one of the leading art and design schools in the world, with access to some of the most extensive workshop facilities available.
There is also a continuous engagement with professional practice, through internship opportunities in cities such as Amsterdam, La Coruna, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco or Stockholm), and 'live' projects, working directly with major brands. This professional approach means that Kingston’s graduates are highly sought after. It’s no surprise then that Kingston’s BA Fashion programme was awarded the Creative Skillset Tick. The excellence and professionalism of the course has also been recognised by the following rankings:
- Second in the Business of Fashion Global Fashion School Ranking 2016.
- Second in the Guardian's subject league table 2017 for fashion and textiles.
Fashion, at masters level, continues to develop a holistic and innovative approach to fashion design and beyond. The course allows you to develop your work towards launching your own label or becoming a leader in creative and social teams.
Department of Graphics
Exploiting our well-established industry links, and working on live projects, we take an outward-facing approach to design. 'Studio culture' is key to the dynamics of this experience. We use our studio spaces and workshops to experiment and explore new ways to push the boundaries of visual communication. You will study within one of the leading art and design schools in the world with some of the most extensive workshop facilities available anywhere.
The breadth of investigation encompasses: film, animation/motion graphics, interactivity, app design, brand development, promotion, packaging, product concepts, photography, art direction, type design, typography, editorial/book design, information design, copy writing and critical writing.
Tomorrow’s designers need to be able to think critically and act practically; they are required to be contextually insightful and creative and thereby well placed to meet new challenges in a strategic, ambitious and entrepreneurial manner. The Department is concerned with creative rigour in the context of design education, practice, research and enterprise. It is a critically engaged community of design practitioners, educators, researchers and entrepreneurs. It is a department which is discipline focused and in which making is central to its practice.
The BA (Hons) course offers a broad focus to give you the experience you need for an ever-widening industry. You will develop a highly individual portfolio that reflects your career aspirations. You will work on real projects. Exceptional achievements in international competitions mean that our students enjoy a strong reputation for innovation, creativity and commercial understanding. A choice of modules at Levels 2 and 3 enables you to tailor your degree to your interests and career goals.
At masters level you will be encouraged in the exploration and understanding of the methods and processes at work in contemporary visual communication. They will further develop their personal practice and approach to graphic design. There is a focus on individual research and inquiry helping you to develop your understanding of the significance of the wider cultural role of the visual designer.
Department of Illustration and Animation
Illustration Animation has an enviable reputation for producing some of the best practitioners in their subject areas. The BA course combines two subjects to make a diverse, exciting and demanding studio based experience. Illustration is prominent in many current forms of communication media, from advertising and design, newspaper and magazine editorials, through to children’s publishing and graphic narratives.
It is increasingly essential to e-readers, interactive and game applications linking to the discipline of animation.
In the Department we combine the teaching and development of thinking and observation skills with an open and innovative exploration of communication forms including developing digital platforms.
This course is designed to develop highly individual approaches to the creation of communicative images for print, and interactive and moving image. Students from this degree have consistently produced internationally recognised, award-winning illustration and animation.
The Illustration MA encourages the exploration and understanding of the methods and processes at work in contemporary visual communication. It will further develop your personal practice and approach to the making of images. The course also provides a focus on individual research and inquiry and helps you to understand the significance of the wider cultural role of the visual designer and illustrator. In addition, it will introduce disciplinary and interdisciplinary models of thinking that will underpin your own focused study on the course.