BA (Hons) Design
2294
BA (Hons) Design
BA (Hons) Design
No
KW200
128000010184711
Design
- select a department -
- select a department -
Martin Conreen
design@gold.ac.uk
BBBBC (Higher), BBC (Advanced Higher)
75%
A1 A2 A2 B1
No

BA (Hons) Design

This design degree allows you to develop strong design thinking while exploring your own creative focus. We encourage you to act through design to effect change, propose new visions of the future, and engage with sustainability.

UCAS
W200
Course length
3 years full-time, with professional placement during Year 2
Entry requirements
A-level:
ABB

BTEC:
DDM

IB:
33 points including three HL subjects

Access:
Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including a number of distinctions/merits in subject specific modules

or equivalent; see find out more about our general entrance requirements.
Additional requirements

You need to demonstrate post-16 study in art and design (a Foundation course, BTEC or NVQ Level 3 in Design is usually required) or be an A-level student with a strong art and design portfolio. We also welcome applications from mature students without formal qualifications who have relevant work experience and/or art and design work, and also from students without A-levels in Art and Design, but have an interest in a future career in the creative industries (this may include students with strong A-levels in the humanities and sciences). 

After submitting your application you'll be contacted if you have been selected for interview. We'll be interviewing throughout the autumn and winter, so please apply as early as possible.

At interview, we ask you to bring a hard copy of your portfolio as well as a 200-word piece of writing. Your portfolio should include a selection (about 12 pieces) of your most creative work, and should represent a variety of art and/or design approaches and outcomes. We encourage you to choose work from a range of interests outside of your studies.

If you're an international or EU student who is unable to attend an interview in person, we may offer a telephone/online interview. Prior to this you'll be asked to submit an electronic portfolio, which should be 12-20 items that represent a variety of your design work and approaches. Again, please include work that reflects the broad spectrum of your creativity. Find out more about the electronic portfolio requirements.

If your first language is not English, please check our English Language requirements.

Fees and funding
Please see undergraduate tuition fees.
Contact the department
Contact the Admissions Tutor, Martin Conreen.
Visit us
Find out about how you can visit Goldsmiths at one of our open days or come on a campus tour.

Why study BA Design at Goldsmiths?

  • You'll undertake a professional placement in your second year, allowing you to gain invaluable work experience and professional contacts. Recent placement organisations have included Imagination, Oxfam, Alexander McQueen, Selfridges and Studio Myerscough
  • Our graduates are industry leaders – they work in top design consultancies (PentagramHeatherwick studio) and companies (Dyson, Selfridges, Oxfam), they've set up their own design studios (including JailmakePAN StudioUsCreates), and they've progressed to become senior designers, consultants, and creative directors
  • You'll be taught technical skills by staff who work in the industry and have their own practices
  • The degree offers excellent teaching, in an exciting and dynamic educational environment
  • You'll have dedicated studio space and use industry-standard workshops, with the latest in laser cutting and 3D modelling technology
  • We're in the UK's top 5 universities for design (Guardian University Guide 2015 league tables)
  • Design studies achieved a high score of 95% for the overall quality of our teaching in the 2014 National Student Survey (NSS)
  • Our students regularly work on live briefs and win national awards
  • Our degree shows attract massive interest from creative industry leaders who offer exciting placements to our students, and careers to our graduates

Using an interdisciplinary approach, you will engage with a diverse set of critical and practical ideas, and will be encouraged to push beyond the boundaries of traditional design specialisms. The BA Design equips you with the skills and confidence to build a career in a wide range of professions: opening a host of potential career pathways.

What you study

For us design is not just a way to make and do things; it is a way to understand and engage with the world. With this philosophy in mind we have developed a highly successful and innovative programme, where you learn to see design as a complex combination of systems and actions, and not just as a set of distinct practical skills.

The BA Design degree enables you to think imaginatively about the possibilities of design, and ultimately to define your own creative practice. Throughout your time at Goldsmiths you will discover how design affects the environment as a whole, as you investigate its role within society and culture. The BA Design is not only concerned with understanding what design is; our curriculum provides you with a way to explore what design might be.

The three-year degree is structured around five different modules:

  • Studio Practice
  • Contextual Studies
  • Technical Studies
  • Methods and Processes
  • Professional Practice

These modules support and complement one another within each year of study, and as you progress through the years they are designed to build a coherent set of experiences. Click on the Modules & Structure tab above for more detailed information.

About the BA in Design:

 
 
 

Video: Click to play

Assessment

There are no formal written examinations on this programme; work is assessed through continuous assignment-based submissions. Studio Practice is assessed by a combination of project presentations and portfolio displays.

The degree classification is mainly determined by the examinable elements, which include projects, essays, presentations, reports and final exhibition. All work from all years contributes to the final degree classification, but some consideration is given to your improvement and progress as you move through the programme.


Equivalent qualifications

Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher), BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: A1 A2 A2 B1

Courses and structure

Modules and structure

The three-year degree is structured around five different modules. These modules support and complement one another within each year of study, and as you progress through the years they are designed to build a coherent set of experiences.

Studio Practice: This module is where the majority of the practical, project-based work is delivered, discussed and assessed. Studio Practice is delivered through a series of unique structured briefs in Years 1 and 2, and progresses into Year 3 with the development of a student-led major project and exhibition.

Contextual Studies: Contextual Studies provides the theoretical core of the BA Design. You will attend lectures on a wide range of design-related issues, ranging from ethics and sustainability, to semiotics and psychology. In the final year this module supports the writing of the Context Report (dissertation).

Technical Studies: A series of technical workshops, delivered to first and second years, covering a broad base of skills. You encounter traditional 3D materials and technologies, and advanced computer-aided design and manufacturing. Technical workshops also cover image production, manipulation and film making, as well as fundamental aspects of typography and graphic layout.

Methods and Processes: In Year 1 this module equips you with a set of tools for designing, looking at research methods and ways to generate and record ideas. In Year 2 the module prepares you for workplace environments, introducing aspects of professional presentation and communication.

Professional Practice: All students undertake a Professional Placement between Years 2 and 3. This module encourages you to develop a more professional approach to your own work, and to generate valuable contacts for future employment.


Year 1

Studio Practice
Studio projects are formulated to allow you to develop your own ways of thinking. You will be challenged to push your ideas, and given space and support to develop an understanding of artefact, user, site and situation.

Contextual Studies

  • Histories and Theories – lectures, visits and practical exercises on the historical and theoretical context of design in the 20th century unravel the main theoretical influences on design and designing.
  • Design and Meaning – lectures and practical exercises looking at the roles that psychology and semiotics play in design. You'll examine the complex nature of design thinking and creative techniques, and the ways in which these relate to actual practice. You'll also be encouraged to explore your own personal responses to the design process.
  • Ecology and Design – you'll explore relationships between nature, culture, industry and other social systems, while highlighting possibilities for change in response to current environmental and cultural issues. The context for this module is the emerging field of Eco Design. It is broad-based to give an overview of key issues and ideas.

Methods and Processes
Concentrating on the techniques and processes in research, modeling and drawing.

Technical Studies
These workshops focus on specific areas within the discipline. They'll give both a critical and technical introduction into areas such as making, still image, graphic communication and textiles.


Year 2

Studio Practice
You'll explore ways that the contemporary designer can negotiate a changing social, cultural, ecological and political terrain. You'll be encouraged to adopt a personal, ethical and ideological stance in tackling projects concerning the social, cultural, environmental and political domain.

In the spring term you'll work on ‘industry-based projects’, the briefings for which come from the commercial sector. These projects allow you to present to design professionals, gaining valuable experience and insight. The projects are set by a broad range of design professional and commercial sectors, such as Imagination, Pentagram, Hive, Raw Nerve and Lewisham Council.

Contextual Studies

  • Ethics and Sustainability – This lecture programme asks why the ethical stances of designers, the moral features of the design process, and the value-laden nature of various objects and images, are important in design. You'll also explore ideas relating to ecological understanding of design and culture towards a widening of perspective and engagement in contemporary ecological concerns.
  • Society and Culture – Lectures and practical exercises investigate design in the context of society and culture. You'll examine a number of socio-cultural influences on designers, design processes and design outcomes, and will be encouraged to explore the ways in which your own designs are framed by these influences.
  • Material Culture – Lectures and practical exercises investigate design in the context of what has become known as material culture. You explore various attitudes to cultural production, examine notions of consumption and taste, and investigate the various practices that have been built around these attitudes and notions. You will be encouraged to explore the ways in which your own designs are framed by material culture.

Methods and Processes – Professional Practice
This module asks you to engage in design as a professional practice. It opens up the extensive nature of the design industry, in order to increase your understanding of the role of a practicing designer.

Technical Studies
These sessions cover a range of skills, which build upon the previous year. We offer workshops such as interactive design, moving image, electronics, object manufacture, rapid prototyping/CAD and graphic communication.

Professional Practice
During the summer term you are expected to secure and undertake a placement of at least six weeks in duration. You are required at the beginning of Year 3 to submit an assessable presentation based on your work placement.


Year 3

Studio Practice
In the final year you develop your own projects, supported by an individual ‘mentor’. Workshops enable you to formulate, develop and realise a project. Major projects must have a strong conceptual underpinning and be well founded and reasoned.

The final stage of Year 3 is the presentation and exhibition of design practice project work. This is an important part of the educational experience – calling for teamwork, organisation, management and design, developing a range of skills critical to future careers.

Contextual Report
This major piece of writing presents the contextual and theoretical framework for your major project. This 6,000-word report develops alongside your project and is a personal piece of work.

Programme specification

Programme specification

To find out more about this degree, including details about the ways you'll be assessed and information about our marking criteria, you can download the programme specification

Learning & teaching
Design learning & teaching

Learning and teaching

On this degree you'll attend lectures and seminars where you'll hear about ideas and concepts related to specific topics, and where you'll be encouraged to discuss and debate the issues raised. This will enhance your academic knowledge of the subject, and will improve your communication skills. You'll also go to workshops and tutorials that will develop practical and technical skills in design.

But this is just a small proportion of what we expect you to do on the degree. For each hour of taught learning, we expect you to complete another 5-6 hours of independent study. This typically involves carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, or producing project work.

This emphasis on independent learning is very important at Goldsmiths. We don't just want you to accept what we tell you without question. We want you to be inspired to read more, to develop your own ideas, and to find the evidence that will back them up. Independent study requires excellent motivation and time management skills. These skills will stay with you for life, and are the kind of transferable skills that are highly sought after by employers. 

Learning and teaching on this degree will take place through:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Studio practice
  • Tutorials
  • Independent learning
  • Presentations
  • Assessments

Find out more about these learning and teaching approaches.

Skills & careers
Skills and careers

Skills and careers

Skills

The programme encourages you to:

  • Develop as an independent and reflective learner
  • Gain the skills that will enable you to play an important role in the discipline: now, and in the future
  • Think systematically through issues, situations and topics
  • Reflect on the social and cultural implications of design
  • Understand and address key concepts and issues of sustainability
  • Critique and develop your design methods and processes to arrive at sensitive and meaningful conclusions
  • Represent, communicate and manifest your ideas convincingly
  • Develop, refine and apply methods and strategies that create meaningful relationships between design and people
  • Develop innovation and creativity skills, and personal and interpersonal skills

These skills are sought after in many areas of employment.

Careers

Most of our BA Design graduates find employment in the creative and cultural industries. The most recent National Student Survey marked Goldsmiths undergraduate Design students as the most employable in the country, with 98% securing a design-related job in their first year after graduation.

Our graduates have:

  • worked for top London design consultancies (Pentagram, Heatherwick studio, Imagination, Moving Brands)
  • worked for major UK companies (Dyson, Selfridges, Eden Project, Oxfam)
  • set up their own design studios (including JailmakePAN StudioUsCreates)
  • worked as freelance designers
  • progressed to become senior designers, consultants, design managers and creative directors
  • found employment in the public sector and NGOs
  • had work commissioned for public spaces, private companies and charities

Awards

Our students and graduates have also been successful in national and international competitions. BA Design students have won:


Further information

About the department

About the Department of Design

 
Video: Click to play
About the Department of Design at Goldsmiths

Design the future first

At Goldsmiths design is in our DNA. But we’re not interested in just producing it. We’re interested in defining it. We see design as a discipline with a dual impact: forecasting the future and reflecting the world now. It’s an influence we take seriously. From capturing scents of everyday life to new concepts for future food production, design is at work tracing every moment of life – but it also has the power to transform it.

As a department we’re interested in drawing on the creative and cultural diversity that’s unique to Goldsmiths, so we’re always looking over the fence at a whole range of other disciplines from anthropology to philosophy - using the history of everything that influences design as a way to understand the context in which it’s produced.

We want you to go on to have your own self-sustaining practice that can change over time, so you’ll learn about design not just as a commercial enterprise, but also as a means to question and critique the status quo. And you don’t have to know what kind of a designer you’ll be; we give you the time and the freedom to experiment, use tools, explore materials and discover different modes of making.

Facilities

Facilities within the department include:

  • dedicated studio space for all students
  • extensive workshops with wood, metal, plastics, casting and CADCAM/RP specialties, maintained by knowledgeable technical staff
  • a textile studio
  • a dark room for black and white photography
  • computing facilities, including software for communication graphics, video, web-authoring and multimedia applications, and computer-aided design

Staff

Teaching within the department is based on excellence in staff research and practice. All members of academic staff engage in research. This helps us remain at the cutting edge of theory and practice in design and in design education, meaning that your degree is dynamic and relevant to industry.

Find our more about staff in the Department of Design.

Annual degree shows

Our undergraduate student shows take place every summer. They attract significant positive attention in the media and in the design community.

Find dates for forthcoming shows, and explore the Design degree shows archive.

Open Days

BA Design Open Days are usually held in October/November.

Please also see College-wide open days.


Find out more

Find out more about Goldsmiths

Graduate and student profiles header text

Graduate and student profiles

Anisha film

Anisha

"Goldsmiths has a good reputation, especially for the degree I'm doing. You get a lot of industry people coming to the degree shows."

Video: Click to play

Programme and year of study:

BA Design

Anisha

"Goldsmiths has a good reputation, especially for the degree I'm doing. You get a lot of industry people coming to the degree shows."

Video: Click to play

Henry Flitton film

Henry

"I've already got plans to set up my own studio with a few other members of the course."

Video: Click to play

Programme and year of study:

BA Design

Henry

"I've already got plans to set up my own studio with a few other members of the course."

Video: Click to play

Lizzie Mary Cullen film

Lizzie

Award-winning designer Lizzie Mary Cullen's work is in demand: she's collaborated with MTV, Zizzi, Somerset House and Harvey Nichols. She's also been named one of the 'Hot 50 People Making a Difference in Design' by Design Week

 

Video: Click to play

Programme and year of study:

BA Design, graduated 2008

Lizzie

BA Design, graduated 2008

Award-winning designer Lizzie Mary Cullen's work is in demand: she's collaborated with MTV, Zizzi, Somerset House and Harvey Nichols. She's also been named one of the 'Hot 50 People Making a Difference in Design' by Design Week

 

Video: Click to play

Hefin

Hefin

Design graduate Hefin has created a space suit made by Welsh craftsmen from materials sourced in Wales, with the aim of showing how the country has the capacity to explore space.

A plumber has built a pressure system for the spacesuit, a traditional clog maker has made space clogs, and the last remaining wool mills in Wales have provided material for the space suit.

Hefin explains: “The Welsh Space Campaign (WSC) launches ordinary Welsh people into outer space, by finding a cosmic context for Welsh culture, skills and traditions. I aim to reveal that Wales has the capacity to explore space, and to show that off-world culturalisation can be achieved through a collective communitarian effort; as a way to allow the people involved to reconsider their role and skill in relation to these cosmic contexts.”

The project has won this year’s Christine Risley Award, a cash prize awarded by the Goldsmiths Textile Collection & Constance Howard Gallery to a graduating Goldsmiths student for outstanding work relating to textiles, in memory of Christine Risley. NASA have yet to be in contact.

Programme and year of study:

BA Design

Hefin

Design graduate Hefin has created a space suit made by Welsh craftsmen from materials sourced in Wales, with the aim of showing how the country has the capacity to explore space.

A plumber has built a pressure system for the spacesuit, a traditional clog maker has made space clogs, and the last remaining wool mills in Wales have provided material for the space suit.

Hefin explains: “The Welsh Space Campaign (WSC) launches ordinary Welsh people into outer space, by finding a cosmic context for Welsh culture, skills and traditions. I aim to reveal that Wales has the capacity to explore space, and to show that off-world culturalisation can be achieved through a collective communitarian effort; as a way to allow the people involved to reconsider their role and skill in relation to these cosmic contexts.”

The project has won this year’s Christine Risley Award, a cash prize awarded by the Goldsmiths Textile Collection & Constance Howard Gallery to a graduating Goldsmiths student for outstanding work relating to textiles, in memory of Christine Risley. NASA have yet to be in contact.

Neil Hubbard, 2012

Neil

"Just to be in my final year in a peer group alongside a jewellery maker, alongside a product designer, alongside a graphic designer, all working together with the same kind of design process behind you – it was just so vibrant."

The course was kind of perfect for me in the sense that it was wonderfully vague, and I mean that in the most positive manner, because the company I currently work for is wonderfully vague in the types of projects that we adopt. We were taught about the process behind design and the thinking behind design. It helped you to unconsciously steer you towards what it was that you are interested in… I really wanted to do bigger spatial stuff and more architectural projects. 

Just to be in my final year in a peer group alongside a jewellery maker, alongside a product designer, alongside a graphic designer, all working together with the same kind of design process behind you, and thinking about design – it was just so vibrant and that was what attracted me to the studio I now work for. It’s the same thought process and the degree set me up perfectly for that.

I work as a project designer for Heatherwick studio, a position I landed immediately after completing my degree. I have been the project designer on many of the studio’s high profile projects, such as the recently launched New Bus for London, overseeing the design from inception through to detail and manufacture. The team is quite a flexible one, which sees designers like myself work alongside makers, engineers and architects. My role entails work on all elements of the design process; from concept development, prototyping, 3D modelling and visualisation; to leading small design teams on certain projects; as well as engaging with the wider client and consultant teams. 

Watch a video explaining more about Neil's work here:

 
 
 

Video: Click to play

Programme and year of study:

BA Design (graduated 2008), now working at Heatherwick Studio

Credits/interviewed by:

Interviewed by the Department of Design

Neil

BA Design (graduated 2008), now working at Heatherwick Studio

"Just to be in my final year in a peer group alongside a jewellery maker, alongside a product designer, alongside a graphic designer, all working together with the same kind of design process behind you – it was just so vibrant."

The course was kind of perfect for me in the sense that it was wonderfully vague, and I mean that in the most positive manner, because the company I currently work for is wonderfully vague in the types of projects that we adopt. We were taught about the process behind design and the thinking behind design. It helped you to unconsciously steer you towards what it was that you are interested in… I really wanted to do bigger spatial stuff and more architectural projects. 

Just to be in my final year in a peer group alongside a jewellery maker, alongside a product designer, alongside a graphic designer, all working together with the same kind of design process behind you, and thinking about design – it was just so vibrant and that was what attracted me to the studio I now work for. It’s the same thought process and the degree set me up perfectly for that.

I work as a project designer for Heatherwick studio, a position I landed immediately after completing my degree. I have been the project designer on many of the studio’s high profile projects, such as the recently launched New Bus for London, overseeing the design from inception through to detail and manufacture. The team is quite a flexible one, which sees designers like myself work alongside makers, engineers and architects. My role entails work on all elements of the design process; from concept development, prototyping, 3D modelling and visualisation; to leading small design teams on certain projects; as well as engaging with the wider client and consultant teams. 

Watch a video explaining more about Neil's work here:

 
 
 

Video: Click to play

Interviewed by the Department of Design

Elena

Elena

"The best thing about studying at Goldsmiths is the team spirit"

"What was great about studying at Goldsmiths was the way that everyone helped eachother out. As a first year I quite often got help from final year students, and during the degree shows we would all pull together. Even though we were technically competing, there was a real team spirit. My advice to anyone coming to study at Goldsmiths is to get involved with as many activities as you can outside of your degree. In my final year I've been a student ambassador which has been really rewarding. Whether it's a sports team or a drama club, just get involved!"

Programme and year of study:

BA Design

Elena

"The best thing about studying at Goldsmiths is the team spirit"

"What was great about studying at Goldsmiths was the way that everyone helped eachother out. As a first year I quite often got help from final year students, and during the degree shows we would all pull together. Even though we were technically competing, there was a real team spirit. My advice to anyone coming to study at Goldsmiths is to get involved with as many activities as you can outside of your degree. In my final year I've been a student ambassador which has been really rewarding. Whether it's a sports team or a drama club, just get involved!"

Sophie

Sophie

"I feel a lot more confident in my design work now; I'm not afraid of what's going to happen next!"

"All of my lectures were fantastic, especially the society and design and history and design ones, but the highlight of my degree was my final project. It was called Fictional Histories and dealt with the slave trade. Through that, I was given a place at the New Designers exhibition, and I've since been told that I've been given a solo exhibition which will take place in Central London over the next couple of months. As a result of coming to Goldsmiths I now feel a lot more confident in my design work. I'm not afraid of what's going to happen next!"

Programme and year of study:

BA Design

Sophie

"I feel a lot more confident in my design work now; I'm not afraid of what's going to happen next!"

"All of my lectures were fantastic, especially the society and design and history and design ones, but the highlight of my degree was my final project. It was called Fictional Histories and dealt with the slave trade. Through that, I was given a place at the New Designers exhibition, and I've since been told that I've been given a solo exhibition which will take place in Central London over the next couple of months. As a result of coming to Goldsmiths I now feel a lot more confident in my design work. I'm not afraid of what's going to happen next!"

Lilian

Lilian

"Thanks to Goldsmiths, the world is mine for the taking"

I came to study at Goldsmiths from my home country of Tanzania and it's been really easy to adapt. I've always felt welcome and supported, even when I moved courses between my first and second years (I was originally studying art but decided that design was a better fit for me) I've met some absolutely great people and the networking opportunities that the university has opened up have been fantastic.

I have no doubt that whatever happens in my future, it will come from the connections I've made here. Thanks to Goldsmiths, the world is mine for the taking.

If I had to describe my experience in one word it would be 'awesome' I know that's not very academic, but it's true. I'm going back to Tanzania for a while, but I hope to return to London to do an MA in the near future.

Programme and year of study:

BA Design

Lilian

"Thanks to Goldsmiths, the world is mine for the taking"

I came to study at Goldsmiths from my home country of Tanzania and it's been really easy to adapt. I've always felt welcome and supported, even when I moved courses between my first and second years (I was originally studying art but decided that design was a better fit for me) I've met some absolutely great people and the networking opportunities that the university has opened up have been fantastic.

I have no doubt that whatever happens in my future, it will come from the connections I've made here. Thanks to Goldsmiths, the world is mine for the taking.

If I had to describe my experience in one word it would be 'awesome' I know that's not very academic, but it's true. I'm going back to Tanzania for a while, but I hope to return to London to do an MA in the near future.

Alexander Brown, Dec 2012

Alexander (graduated 2007)

Alexander was nominated for Best New Director at the UK MVAs, has produced artwork campaigns for two Mercury nominated albums (La Roux and James Blake), and has produced over 30 music videos including the recent number one from Gabrielle Aplin

"Goldsmiths was a great training ground."

Design problems are often like puzzles that have no obvious or direct solution (until you make one). Goldsmiths challenged me to think progressively, to be curious and always ask questions, so instead of searching for the logical answer, Goldsmiths encourages you to establish your own logic. Which can be very helpful when you’re pitching in a crowded industry. 

Being at Goldsmiths meant I could integrate into the local community and join in with a network of creative people, which in turn meant that I could start out as a graduate knowing loads of interesting people to work with.

I now direct music videos and short films, and also work as an art director/designer on music projects. Goldsmiths was a great training ground, and like a lot of things it's about what you put in, and many of the practical skills I picked up were self motivated, the actual course is more a place to develop your ideas and train your creative processes. I’ve found that it all comes down to the quality of your ideas, so it's really great that the College keeps that as the focus.

www.brownboy.co.uk

Alexander (graduated 2007)

Alexander was nominated for Best New Director at the UK MVAs, has produced artwork campaigns for two Mercury nominated albums (La Roux and James Blake), and has produced over 30 music videos including the recent number one from Gabrielle Aplin

"Goldsmiths was a great training ground."

Design problems are often like puzzles that have no obvious or direct solution (until you make one). Goldsmiths challenged me to think progressively, to be curious and always ask questions, so instead of searching for the logical answer, Goldsmiths encourages you to establish your own logic. Which can be very helpful when you’re pitching in a crowded industry. 

Being at Goldsmiths meant I could integrate into the local community and join in with a network of creative people, which in turn meant that I could start out as a graduate knowing loads of interesting people to work with.

I now direct music videos and short films, and also work as an art director/designer on music projects. Goldsmiths was a great training ground, and like a lot of things it's about what you put in, and many of the practical skills I picked up were self motivated, the actual course is more a place to develop your ideas and train your creative processes. I’ve found that it all comes down to the quality of your ideas, so it's really great that the College keeps that as the focus.

www.brownboy.co.uk

Sam and Ben, PAN Studio, Nov 2012

Sam (graduated 2008) and Ben (graduated 2010)

Together they founded PAN, a design and research studio focused on the crossover between technology and experience

"The course gave us the confidence to make the transition to being professional smoothly, both through its work placement programme and by teaching us that how we think is more important than the technical skills we have."

We founded PAN in 2011 – we were interested in using our learned design skills to create new and compelling experiences; salient moments in time that would have a lasting effect on people. Our work includes elements of interaction design, building immersive theatrical environments, and creating objects that affect the way people experience their environment.

We have built installations for clients such as Marks and Spencer, Tom Dixon and The British Council in the past year. All of our work is rooted in a philosophy that people value experience over anything else.

Studying at Goldsmiths was very enjoyable, but the design faculty also taught us a lot about critical thinking, and provided us with robust design processes that allowed us to work across many disciplines.

We formed soon after we left Goldsmiths and the course gave us the confidence to make the transition to being professional smoothly, both through its work placement programme and by teaching us that how we think is more important than the technical skills we have.

It was more than a design education, it encouraged us to be inquisitive about the world and to see ourselves as active participants in it. We were taught that design is not just about problem solving, it's about engaging with our environment and getting excited.

Credits/interviewed by:

Image: The 'building's brain' installation PAN built for La Gaite Lyrique

Sam (graduated 2008) and Ben (graduated 2010)

Together they founded PAN, a design and research studio focused on the crossover between technology and experience

"The course gave us the confidence to make the transition to being professional smoothly, both through its work placement programme and by teaching us that how we think is more important than the technical skills we have."

We founded PAN in 2011 – we were interested in using our learned design skills to create new and compelling experiences; salient moments in time that would have a lasting effect on people. Our work includes elements of interaction design, building immersive theatrical environments, and creating objects that affect the way people experience their environment.

We have built installations for clients such as Marks and Spencer, Tom Dixon and The British Council in the past year. All of our work is rooted in a philosophy that people value experience over anything else.

Studying at Goldsmiths was very enjoyable, but the design faculty also taught us a lot about critical thinking, and provided us with robust design processes that allowed us to work across many disciplines.

We formed soon after we left Goldsmiths and the course gave us the confidence to make the transition to being professional smoothly, both through its work placement programme and by teaching us that how we think is more important than the technical skills we have.

It was more than a design education, it encouraged us to be inquisitive about the world and to see ourselves as active participants in it. We were taught that design is not just about problem solving, it's about engaging with our environment and getting excited.

Image: The 'building's brain' installation PAN built for La Gaite Lyrique

Kirsty Minns, Nov 2012

Kirsty (graduated 2006)

Since graduating Kirsty has worked as a product designer for Fabrica, head of product development for Established & Sons, and is currently co-curating the Vera Chapter project

"I've gained so many skills from the course, it pushes you to question everything, and it gave me strong communication skills and the ability to be able to present my ideas and my work."

Goldsmiths really provided the foundations for getting me where I am now. Its approach is completely unique and I think employers really appreciate that we are taught in a much more holistic way, it makes us stand out from the other thousands of graduates.

In my first year at Goldsmiths I was completely lost, not really knowing the directions to take. The design tutors and the incredibly diverse course programme really helped me to develop, expanding my knowledge and creative thinking. I've gained so many skills from the course, it pushes you to question everything, and it gave me strong communication skills and the ability to be able to present my ideas and my work. It gave me great experience in working in teams, as well as self-motivation. The diverse mix of people and cultures also plays a huge role in your own personal growth.

I've recently finished a year-long residency at Fabrica – Benetton's Research Laboratory based in Italy – within the Product Design department. My role as a multidisciplinary designer was extremely varied; I worked on several projects for galleries, creating limited edition pieces manufactured in glass, wood and ceramic. We were also responding to commissions from companies who wanted products for their collections; furniture, lighting, rugs, textile, and graphics. Part of the role was also designing for the Benetton Group; accessories, clothing, retail spaces and pop up installations.

The four years prior to this I was the Head of Product Development for British furniture company Established & Sons. I was responsible for managing a small team, where we developed all the designers' ideas from the first concept stage to the point of manufacture. It was an exciting role that really gave me a huge insight into the world of business, manufacturing and processes, as well as working alongside some of the world's leading design studios, such as Jasper Morrison, Barber Osgerby, Industrial Facility, Maarten Baas, and the Bouroullec brothers.

An ongoing project I co-curate with French designer Erika Muller is Vera Chapter. It's an inspirational and thought provoking multi-disciplinary show evolving around a fictional character. Stepping away from the mass-market design approach, which mainly produces for the average and standard end-consumer, the initial thinking process behind each of the chapters is creating a response to one individual. And that individual is Vera. Vera is a fictional character based on a series of photographs from a girl's family found a few years ago in a second hand shop in Brighton. Each chapter a group of artists and designers have been commissioned to respond to one image from the series in order to create Vera's fictive and collaborative biography. It's an ongoing investigation of design, art, literature, creativity, memory, narrative and how we experience our life world.

Credits/interviewed by:

Image: Vera Chapter two – by KM and ÉM – Kirsty Minns and Érika Muller
Photography by Jorge Luis Diéguez

Kirsty (graduated 2006)

Since graduating Kirsty has worked as a product designer for Fabrica, head of product development for Established & Sons, and is currently co-curating the Vera Chapter project

"I've gained so many skills from the course, it pushes you to question everything, and it gave me strong communication skills and the ability to be able to present my ideas and my work."

Goldsmiths really provided the foundations for getting me where I am now. Its approach is completely unique and I think employers really appreciate that we are taught in a much more holistic way, it makes us stand out from the other thousands of graduates.

In my first year at Goldsmiths I was completely lost, not really knowing the directions to take. The design tutors and the incredibly diverse course programme really helped me to develop, expanding my knowledge and creative thinking. I've gained so many skills from the course, it pushes you to question everything, and it gave me strong communication skills and the ability to be able to present my ideas and my work. It gave me great experience in working in teams, as well as self-motivation. The diverse mix of people and cultures also plays a huge role in your own personal growth.

I've recently finished a year-long residency at Fabrica – Benetton's Research Laboratory based in Italy – within the Product Design department. My role as a multidisciplinary designer was extremely varied; I worked on several projects for galleries, creating limited edition pieces manufactured in glass, wood and ceramic. We were also responding to commissions from companies who wanted products for their collections; furniture, lighting, rugs, textile, and graphics. Part of the role was also designing for the Benetton Group; accessories, clothing, retail spaces and pop up installations.

The four years prior to this I was the Head of Product Development for British furniture company Established & Sons. I was responsible for managing a small team, where we developed all the designers' ideas from the first concept stage to the point of manufacture. It was an exciting role that really gave me a huge insight into the world of business, manufacturing and processes, as well as working alongside some of the world's leading design studios, such as Jasper Morrison, Barber Osgerby, Industrial Facility, Maarten Baas, and the Bouroullec brothers.

An ongoing project I co-curate with French designer Erika Muller is Vera Chapter. It's an inspirational and thought provoking multi-disciplinary show evolving around a fictional character. Stepping away from the mass-market design approach, which mainly produces for the average and standard end-consumer, the initial thinking process behind each of the chapters is creating a response to one individual. And that individual is Vera. Vera is a fictional character based on a series of photographs from a girl's family found a few years ago in a second hand shop in Brighton. Each chapter a group of artists and designers have been commissioned to respond to one image from the series in order to create Vera's fictive and collaborative biography. It's an ongoing investigation of design, art, literature, creativity, memory, narrative and how we experience our life world.

Image: Vera Chapter two – by KM and ÉM – Kirsty Minns and Érika Muller
Photography by Jorge Luis Diéguez

Natalia Buckley, Dec 2012

Natalia

"The best way I can describe my job is doing things connected to the internet. Narrowing it down any further feels a bit restrictive."

BA Design, while providing a good starting point in terms of technical skills, allowed me to try lots of different things so I could figure out what it was that I really liked. At Goldsmiths I was expected to be able to find my own routes to learning, which suits me very well and was a good preparation for the future

I now work as a Creative Technologist. The best way I can describe my job is doing things connected to the internet. Narrowing it down any further feels a bit restrictive. I reside somewhere in a space between interaction design and development. Sometimes I make websites, other times I write programs that communicate with other programs or systems over the internet, other times I build simple electronic objects that gather data. I get a bit bored when I have to do similar things, so I try doing projects that challenge me and teach me something new.

I work freelance and on contracts, so every project brings something different. I miss out a little on bonding with a team and on working on long-term projects, but on the other hand I keep meeting and working with really interesting people.

I do a mixture of working remotely from home, from my desk I squat at Lighthouse's office in Brighton, and from client's offices. So far I haven't been able to figure out which is my favourite, maybe I just like the variety. Can you spot a theme yet?

Programme and year of study:

BA Design, graduated 2011

Natalia

BA Design, graduated 2011

"The best way I can describe my job is doing things connected to the internet. Narrowing it down any further feels a bit restrictive."

BA Design, while providing a good starting point in terms of technical skills, allowed me to try lots of different things so I could figure out what it was that I really liked. At Goldsmiths I was expected to be able to find my own routes to learning, which suits me very well and was a good preparation for the future

I now work as a Creative Technologist. The best way I can describe my job is doing things connected to the internet. Narrowing it down any further feels a bit restrictive. I reside somewhere in a space between interaction design and development. Sometimes I make websites, other times I write programs that communicate with other programs or systems over the internet, other times I build simple electronic objects that gather data. I get a bit bored when I have to do similar things, so I try doing projects that challenge me and teach me something new.

I work freelance and on contracts, so every project brings something different. I miss out a little on bonding with a team and on working on long-term projects, but on the other hand I keep meeting and working with really interesting people.

I do a mixture of working remotely from home, from my desk I squat at Lighthouse's office in Brighton, and from client's offices. So far I haven't been able to figure out which is my favourite, maybe I just like the variety. Can you spot a theme yet?

Jo Harrington, Nov 2012

Jo (graduated 2007)

Now leading a service design practice for a not-for-profit public sector consultancy, of which he's also a partner

"The design course at Goldsmiths is truly unique in how it brings together serious critical thinking and a culture of open creativity."

Since leaving Goldsmiths I have followed a route that has taken my design practice to some unique places, where I have been able to apply my design education in some strange and wonderful ways. I am now a partner of the Innovation Unit, a not-for-profit public sector consultancy that used to be a central government think tank. I am leading a service design practice, which focuses on using a design led process to delivering radical new policy and strategy for local and central government, both here in the UK and around the world.

The design course at Goldsmiths is truly unique in how it brings together serious critical thinking and a culture of open creativity. My design education at Goldsmiths has been a fundamental foundation that has afforded me the belief and capability to apply a design led methodology to try and solve some of the most complex challenges we face; from working to design out poverty in London boroughs to creating radical new models of teaching for New York's most disadvantaged school pupils.

Jo (graduated 2007)

Now leading a service design practice for a not-for-profit public sector consultancy, of which he's also a partner

"The design course at Goldsmiths is truly unique in how it brings together serious critical thinking and a culture of open creativity."

Since leaving Goldsmiths I have followed a route that has taken my design practice to some unique places, where I have been able to apply my design education in some strange and wonderful ways. I am now a partner of the Innovation Unit, a not-for-profit public sector consultancy that used to be a central government think tank. I am leading a service design practice, which focuses on using a design led process to delivering radical new policy and strategy for local and central government, both here in the UK and around the world.

The design course at Goldsmiths is truly unique in how it brings together serious critical thinking and a culture of open creativity. My design education at Goldsmiths has been a fundamental foundation that has afforded me the belief and capability to apply a design led methodology to try and solve some of the most complex challenges we face; from working to design out poverty in London boroughs to creating radical new models of teaching for New York's most disadvantaged school pupils.


Content last modified: 06 Mar 2015

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