MA Graphic Media Design

Course

Course Philosophy

MA Graphic Media Design welcomes curious, thoughtful and critical participants.

Rooted in the logic of critical thinking through critical making, MA Graphic Media Design participants deal with timely challenges (course and self-initiated) through a broad range of processes and media. Employing established and emergent methods and technologies, we work towards producing new and unlikely perspectives on and for the world.

This practice-led, research-oriented design course is delivered in two modes to accommodate the varied requirements and aspirations of the contemporary practitioner – full-time (45 weeks) and part-time (80 weeks).

Participants within the course are situated within a progressive site of award-winning pedagogic development and critical subject debate. An integrated approach to theory and practice threads through the course delivered by an accomplished course team of awarded design practitioners, published researchers and experienced educators. Leading critical thinkers, design practitioners, critics and writers are frequent guests and correspondents to the course.

Though challenging, our approach offers a distinct opportunity to develop a cogent body of work that is relative and progressive. Our graduates enter into complex contexts with curiosity and confidence, informed by in-depth subject knowledge, advanced design skills and a resilient attitude.

Course Leader

Contact

p.bailey@lcc.arts.ac.uk
@LCC_Graphics
Official UAL Page

London College of Communication
University of The Arts London
Elephant and Castle
London SE1 6SB
020 7514 6901

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Site design and build: Oliver Smith

Participants

  • Project

    DAMNED GREEN

    DAMNED GREEN is a publication that sits within a larger research project titled The Green Book, The Red Book, and The Blue Book. The research is positioned within the field of political design, and is intended as a think tank for ideas about power and leadership, the status quo and subversion, representation and reproduction. The key inquiry of the research is to establish the original network behind the production and diffusion of The Green Book, the ideological frame of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

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  • Project

    Better Babies / Higher Humans

    Better Babies/Higher Humans is a Design Fiction narrative that combines visual language and digital interactivity to expose gene editing as a controversial technology for designing human beings in the near future. Which limits should be defined between curing hereditary diseases and ‘enhancing’ genetic traits that are subject to personal preferences? The project methodology is based on research through design: a critical language is formed from the visual analysis of historic and contemporary artefacts associated with eugenics and the biotech industry. The final outcome illustrates a scenario in which a new form of eugenic rhetoric is employed to promote the commercialisation of gene editing.

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  • Project

    commonpractice.info

    A Common Practice presents an intention, a methodology and a terrain. It is a proposition for a design studio and ongoing research inquiry which takes the context of accelerated culture as its starting point. It explores the methodology of digression and association to reshape practice around values of the common(s). The briefly vacant site, commonpractice.info, marks the terrain of anticipated dialogue, which will emerge through writing, intimate conversations and group discussions. The project framework – roam, traverse and trespass – is navigated through an expanding index, and prompt us to rethink relations to self, labour and the commons. Website evolving in conversation with Jake Dow-Smith

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  • Project

    Flash study

    A dummy hand grenade from the film 'Full Metal Jacket' is held in the Stanley Kubrick Archive at London College of Communication. The status of this object has been used as a case study to address a broader research question: ‘How can the perception of an object be problematized through graphic design?’

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  • Project

    Superabundant Flow

    The simplest and most ordinary of objects can enable us to look at things differently. Focussing upon something as seemingly commonplace as a shipping container, the intent of my project is to critically address an invention which is actually steeped in relevance and consequence. Three short films depict the journey of the commodity. Incorporating simple, vignetted monologues by the workers who physically handle the steel boxes and what’s inside them; enormous ships being observed and catalogued from a windy sea shore; through to the pulsating rhythm as containers pass through railway stations largely unnoticed. All part of the ‘Superabundant Flow.’

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  • Project

    Here be Dragons

    Here be Dragons is a book that describes Terra Ignota, a mysterious island, autonomous from the rest of the world – ‘Mainland’ – and alien to the notions of law and government. The expression ‘Here be Dragons’, in fact, refers to the medieval cartographers’ practice of decorating maps with terrifying creatures representing what might be lurking in uncharted territories. Terra Ignota, however, is not a far away land in an undefined past; it is, instead, a physical representation of how the darknet is being represented by the media. The book creates a parallelism between the fascination and terror of remote lands in the past, and the spread of exaggerated fantasies and fears around the darknet today.

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  • Project

    Expanding the Field of Architectural Publishing

    EF—AP is an open platform for the dissemination of discourse on architectural publishing. It aims to gather diverse practices about the discipline that push forward its boundaries and establish discussions with transversal fields of practice. The project establishes a methodology in which the speculative publication is the source for discussions, research and conversations. The results are subsequently distilled into a collection of separate publications which are ready to be updated, contested, and subverted.

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  • Project

    The Order of Critical Shape Givers

    The Order of Critical Shape Givers is part of a larger research about contemporary ‘ugly’ aesthetics in critical graphic design practices. Based on a speculative approach, the project unfolds a possible/plausible narrative where graphic designers are forced—by the progeny of the current populist, anti-globalisation, and anti-cultural movements—to retaliate behind visual esotericism to express their critical voice. Through the conception of ideological artefacts of a fictitious secret society of graphic designers, The Order of Critical Shape Givers explores the paradoxical qualities of ‘ugly’ aesthetics, both gathering and fascinating while isolating and barren.

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  • Project

    DinnerData

    Our perception of food is greatly influenced by how it looks. I am suggesting we use this knowledge to help people make better choices around food. This project also touches upon some of the concerns around the food industry: Food scares make us doubt what a healthy diet is, we waste loads of food and the food industry is the main cause of many environmental issues. Designers have a growing responsibility to facilitate change. If what we see has such an important role, could the appearance of food guide us to a healthier, more responsible and more sustainable diet?

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  • Project

    Leisure This Way

    Leisure This Way explores how the boundaries of work and leisure time are continually shifting due to the expectations associated with both terms and their environments. Experience Factories are environments which provide (and capitalise on) a steady stream of pleasurable experiences to a society that has come to expect them. These Experience Factories prompt, capture and distract audiences whilst providing as many options for leisure as possible. Within the publication, writing is accompanied by three visual essays that utilise Westfield London as a case study to highlight the semiotics of the leisure industry and its ability to control consumers’ actions and time.

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  • Project

    ~ Exploring cross-signification, shifting meaning & punctuational appropriation in a digital age

    This project uses the tilde (~) to discuss diverse historical, linguistic and social themes. Not having as fixed a meaning as, for instance, the question mark, frees ~ up to be used in many ways – be that in mathematics, programming or joking around on twitter. The process begins by considering how graphic marks come to carry meaning, and whether or not their shape influences how we attribute meaning to them. It goes on to explore several of the more widely-used or important historical meanings of the tilde (abbreviation, approximation, destruction, elongation, sarcasm/irony), connecting associated themes to discuss wider contemporary communication behaviours.

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  • Project

    Hantin

    HANTIN is a hybrid modular typeface that combines of Hangul and Latin letter forms and writing systems. This typeface enables a reader to understand Latin phonetic sounds without needing to study English beforehand. Conversely, the typeface also allows a reader to understand Korean phonetic sounds without the need to study Korean. HANTIN consist of two distinct styles: HANTIN A and HANTIN B. HANTIN A is arranged by following the Korean writing system and allows English speakers to read Korean. HANTIN B writes both alphabets in the linear Latin writing system. In this way, Korean speakers can read Latin letters. This typeface is for the Korean or Latin speakers who want to know or learn about the other’s language.

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  • Project

    Aggregate of Artefacts

    My objective is to question and reveal what seems to have ceased to astonish us within the everyday, provoking alternative ways of perceiving and questioning what it is that consumes our space. The method of ‘defamiliarisation’ has been a key theory that has informed my work, that is, ‘making strange’ by presenting common things in unexpected or confusing ways in order to delay and enhance perception of the familiar. Collecting disregarded printed matter, I organize and assemble my material deciding how it is to be read, negotiating between the process of intervention and its presentation.

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  • Project

    Sociolegal Model Making

    This project is rooted in my identity as professor of law specialising in ‘sociolegal’ research — that is, research that interprets law as a social phenomenon. It explores the risks and rewards of using design-based strategies, especially model-making, to enhance sociolegal research. The practical resolution is a set of five artefacts held in an online repository that are designed to be easily printed on A4 by sociolegal researchers, and are intended to provoke and facilitate their first steps into model-making. The project draws on experimentation involving around 100 other researchers; and literature and practice from social, policy, industrial and graphic design.

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MA Graphic Media Design Full Time 2017

MA Graphic Media Design Full Time 2016

Studio

Announcements, Events, Projects

Something or Other — Nina Paim

We are very pleased to welcome Nina Paim to the Something or Other series on ‘Uncertainty’ on Wednesday 17 May, 5pm, Lecture Theatre B. Learning from Niggli: thoughts on…

We are very pleased to welcome Nina Paim to the Something or Other series on ‘Uncertainty’ on Wednesday 17 May, 5pm, Lecture Theatre B.

Learning from Niggli: thoughts on design publishing
Nowadays the field of design publishing seems to be increasingly binary. On one side are the big giants seizing the market on a global scale — and on the other the independent publishers, largely dependent on cultural funding. But what exactly is there in the middle? And how has the field of design publishing evolved in the past decades? By investigating the case of a single publishing house, this presentation will be an exercise in metonymy. We will look at Verlag Arthur Niggli, a publisher which is nowadays mostly remembered for a series of — very successful — typography and design manuals, but with an overall backlist that remains largely unknown. From a prehistory dating back to a printer-publisher during Switzerland’s ‘Golden Age’ of publishing, via the energy and struggles of the post-war, the internationalisation of the 1980s and finally today’s imperative of amalgamation, Niggli’s trajectory encapsulates many developments that affected the field of publishing in general.

Niggli_overview_02 Niggli_overview_01

Nina Paim is a Brazilian designer, researcher, curator, and educator living and working in Switzerland. Her work usually involves many others and revolves around notions of directing, supporting, and collaborating. As a researcher, Paim is interested in brushing the history of design “against the grain”, looking into blind spots and unexplored narratives. After a detour into economics and philosophy, Nina studied graphic design at Esdi (BR) and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (NL). Her bachelor project was the “Escola Aberta”, a temporary and free-of-charge design school, which took place in Rio de Janeiro in August 2012. In 2014, Paim curated the exhibition “Taking a Line for a Walk” at the 26th International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno, which dealt with the subject of assignments in design education, and for which she was awarded a Swiss Design Awards in 2015. In 2017, Paim concluded her MA in design research at the Hochschule der Künste Bern (CH), investigating the history and publishing strategies of Verlag Arthur Niggli.

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