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Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design

Rebel, Rebel Exhibition at the Southend Campus Gallery, Luker Road

Jewellery workshop in Saharawi Refugee camp delived by Florie Salnot

The composer Javier Garavaglia

Doble T Dining Table, a design by Francesca Mancini


News and Events Archive: February 2010

Rebels with a fashion cause

London Metropolitan University has joined forces with a group of second year BTEC National Diploma (BND) Fashion & Clothing – Fashion Promotion students from South Essex College of Further & Higher Education to highlight the negative aspects of urban street culture in a way that would appeal to a young audience in a new exhibition, Rebel, Rebel.

The 20 students were asked to look at street fashion through the decades and the association between fashion, gang culture and negative trends occurring in society. The issues looked at were challenging and controversial and included knife, gun, alcohol and drug abuse among young people. This challenging brief was co-written with the Marianne Forrest, Senior Lecturer for BA (Hons) Design at London Metropolitan University and marked the first time the College and the University had collaborated on a live project together. The partners were introduced through The Creative Way, the Life Long Learning Network for the Thames Gateway.

Course Leader, Jo Stringer, said: “While the brief was challenging, students learnt new skills to benefit them on the course, about issues which reflect the society we live in and promote safety and well-being, whilst also having a taster of work at degree level.”

Michael Upton, Academic Leader at The Cass commented,” This has been a superb project- and the work of a high quality. We also have agreements in place through the Creative Way with South Essex College for students aiming to do Interior Design and Furniture Design at The Cass, so watch this space for more exciting collaborations”.

The exhibition is open to the public until Friday 22nd January at the Southend Campus Gallery, Luker Road.

Download to read more about the work

January 20, 2010

Cass Alumna’s design project in Algerian Sahara

Florie Salnot, an alumna of the BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design course at The Cass (The Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design) has travelled to the Algerian Sahara with the charity Sandblast Arts to deliver workshops at a Saharawi Refugee camp.

In 2007, Florie was one of a group of Furniture and Product Design students visited by Danielle Smith of Sandblast arts charity to launch a live project brief as part of the Cass ‘export London’ mission. The student group came up with a variety of innovative ideas and fuelled by the student’s passion the project took on a life beyond the course, leading to a stand alone exhibition in February 2008 called ‘Just Deserts’ at Commercial Road. Florie came up with the idea of creating new jewellery objects from plastic bottles as a way to empower the Saharawis to utilise the resources available in the camps and she has continued to develop the initiative as a Postgraduate student at the Royal College of Art.

Her work has two aims; to enable the Saharawis to express themselves, their culture and identity which have been threatened by years of conflict with Morroco and to enable them to generate an income. To achieve this she has developed a technique to recycle plastic bottles, some tools and samples of possible outcomes. A workshop was organised in the Saharawi refugee camp of Dakhla (Algerian desert), in April 2009. You can read about the project at Florie’s blog and also see a video on Youtube.

Sandblast is as a non-profit organisation, set up formally in March 2005. It embraces a broad network of artists, friends of the Saharawis, academics, activists and students who believe in the fundamental justice of the Saharawi cause. It is managed by a six-member board and relies on key associations and partnerships in the educational, non-governmental, cultural and media sectors to develop and promote its mission. Sandblast believes freedom of cultural expression is a fundamental human right. Culture and identity lie at the heart of the Saharawi struggle. Both are threatened by the realities of generations of Saharawis forced to grow up in exile and the repressive policies of the Moroccan occupation in Western Sahara. Sandblast’s focus on the arts echos the peaceful and creative way in which the Saharawis express their resistance.

January 12, 2010

Course Leader’s Composition makes debut - again

An electro-acoustic composition by Javier Garavaglia, Course leader for BA (Hons) Music Technology (Sound for Media) was performed at a concert in Cologne, in December as part of the Schluesselwerke-Festival and the Schluesselwerke der Neuen.

Although the acousmatic piece, Overture (in memoriam T.A.T.) [1997], has been performed previously, this was the first performance in Ambisonics (12 Channels), as opposed to the normal quadraphonic version. The concert also included work celebrated electroacoustic music such as Turenas (1972) by John Chowning and Vox 5 (1986) by Trevor Wishard.

Javire Garavaglia's RAE page here

January 9, 2009

Cass student’s work to be shown at NEC

A dining table designed by a BA(Hons) Furniture and Product Design student from The Cass (The Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design) will be shown at Interiors 2010, one of the UK’s largest commercial interiors exhibitions. The ‘Double T’ table by Francesca Mancini, was given a ‘Highly Commended’ in the New Design Britain competition, and will appear in a showcase of the hottest young design talent in furnishing, lighting, soft furnishing and accessories.

The Double T Dining Table is a two-side table (flat-pack), with each side being a different colour. The legs and the table-top can be turned and re-screwed in the same position with more than 6 vibrant colour combinations. This isn’t the first success Francesca has enjoyed with the design. In 2009 she was commissioned to supply the table to a West End retailer, the Do Shop after her work was spotted by the store’s owner at New Designers exhibition in July. In December the table was also selected for have been selected to show their work at ‘Design After School’ in Rome, a major European showcase of graduate design work.

Talking about the design, Francesca said, “I’m really pleased. The design was inspired by electronics boards, with the joints of the legs shaped like an electronic path. My starting point and inspiration for my ideas always comes from everyday life, my immediate environment, challenges encountered daily at home with my family and at work.” Michael Upton, Academic Leader at The Cass said, “We are delighted by Francesca’s successes with this innovative design. Appearing at Interiors 2010 is a fantastic opportunity to show her work to thousands of retailers, interior designers, architects and contractors, which is tremendous news for Francesca and the department.”

Interiors 2010 will run at the NEC, Birmingham from the 24th to 27th January 2010.

January 7, 2010

London Metropolitan University