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Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design

Hannah Stanton with the winning design of her chair incorporating the innovative new nails

David Gates, named one of the Jerwood Contemporary Makers 2010

Mis-selling Sex, a research undertaken by The Cass students

Wu Jui Yao's 'A Matter Of Life' project short-listed for the (RSA) Design Directions award


News and Events Archive: April 2010

Cass Upholstery students exhibit with top manufacturer at NEC

Three Upholstery students from The Cass (The Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design) won the opportunity to showcase their work on a stand at the Interiors exhibition at the NEC.

To promote the launch of their exciting new Powder Coated range of decorative nails, leading supplier Heico Fasteners UK teamed up with the London Metropolitan University and the Association of Master Upholsterers & Soft Furnishers (AMUSF), to launch a competition for upholstery students to design and make a chair incorporating these innovative new nails. The winning design was by Hannah Stanton with Helen Wilding and Carol Mandeville collecting the Runner-up awards.

The winners were selected by the Joan Milton, former president of the AMUSF, and the prizes were awarded on the Heico stand, on the opening Sunday of the exhibition, by the current President, Bob Bishton.

With the three designs taking pride of place on the Heico Fasteners UK stand for the entire duration of the exhibition, the students were provided with a great opportunity to showcase their work to a broader audience at this important exhibition.

Dave Read, General Manager of Heico Fasteners UK, said of the competition, “It has been a great experience working with the AMUSF and the staff and students of the London Metropolitan University and the quality of the designs submitted by the students was of a very high standard”, “The chairs drew a lot of attention during the exhibition and the innovative qualities of both their designs and the nails themselves drew much positive comment from visitors to our stand.”

Malcolm Hopkins, Upholstery Course Co-ordinator at the London Metropolitan University added “It was a really good experience for the students to work with a company like Heico Fasteners UK and to get the opportunity to showcase their work at such a prestigious event, the students have put in a tremendous effort and time and in doing so have done themselves, there fellow students and the university proud”.

March 12, 2010

Cass lecturer named a Jerwood Contemporary Maker 2010

David Gates a Senior Lecturer in Furniture at The Cass (The Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design) has been named one of the Jerwood Contemporary Makers 2010.

Selectors Hans Stofer, Richard Slee and Freddie Robins – three of the most inventive names in the visual arts have chosen 29 makers from across the UK to take part in a major exhibition in June this year, and each artist will get a share of the £30,000 prize fund.

Established in 2008, Jerwood Contemporary Makers is a three year initiative developed to support the applied arts and encourage new and stimulating ways of showing work across a range of disciplines. It replaces the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize, which was run in partnership with the Crafts Council for 11 years.

The Jerwood Contemporary Makers Exhibition, ‘Exploring new perspectives in making’ will take place from 17 June–25 July at the Jerwood Space.

David is currently showing work at Innovative Crafts at the Dovecot in Edinburgh in a national touring show, Taking Time; Craft and The Slow Revolution. He is also taking part in a self-curated collaborative project called ’Intelligent Trouble’ at Contemporary Applied Arts in London until the 20th March.

See David Gates' Website | Blog

March 11, 2010

Cass Students’ provide research for safe sex campaign

Sex scenes on TV could have a big impact on young people’s attitudes towards sex but just seven per cent reference safer sex, according to a new report, which includes research carried out by MA Communications Management students at The Cass (The Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design).

The report, called 'Mis-selling sex' published on the 21st February, was commissioned as part of the Government’s Sex. Worth Talking About campaign, and identifies a mismatch between sex on screen and real life advice to young people.

Between March and April 2009, the Cass students conducted an audit to understand how sex is represented in UK television programmes aimed at young adults. Using a specially designed questionnaire, the students coded the content according to the type of sex that was shown, how sex was talked about, what safer sex messaging featured, and how frequently it featured. The research undertook careful analysis of 350 episodes of programmes ranging from soaps including Eastenders, Emmerdale and Coronation Street, to comedies such as The IT Crowd, and dramas such as Casualty and Skins, and revealed:

  •  only 7% of sexual content featured discussion of safe sex or safe sex in practice of the 102 encounters of actual sex, only three couples used condoms
  •  just 13% of sexual encounters where contraception was not featured dealt with any kind of consequence (such as pregnancy or contracting STIs)
  • of the 99 instances of unsafe sex (i.e. without condoms), just nine characters regretted their behaviour, which contrasts with polling that suggests 41% of people have had unprotected sex and worried about the consequences 
  • in 74% of instances of unsafe sex, women were the ones who dealt with any issue

The research in the report shows that almost half (41%) of young adults say they would feel more confident about using condoms if they were discussed more openly in the media and more than a third (37%) of young people turn to television for guidance on sex and relationships. Some programmes already go some way towards addressing these issues, but overall, a lack of contraception in sex scenes, depiction of unsafe sex, and underplaying the need for sexual safety on screen, could be having a bad effect on young people’s attitudes towards safer sex, contraception and condoms. The report concludes with a a five point plan developed with Hlath Advisory Charity Brook setting out recommendations for broadcasters to consider helping ensure plotlines do not promote risky behaviour and including the suggestion that actors who play popular characters promote issues around unsafe sex by working with charities in real life.

The student involvement was initiated In February 2009 course leader Dr. Jeremy Collins was contacted by Blue Rubicon (an award-winning PR consultancy) where one of the associate directors, is an MA Communications Management Alumnus. The students were then trained by Blue Rubicon to conduct the research, with guidance form Dr. Collins. Talking about the research, Dr. Collins said, “With large numbers of young adults seemingly unable to have completely open and informed conversations about sex and relationships, television can play a key role reinforcing positive social norms. The Mis-selling Sex report identifies an important opportunity gap, and suggests programme makers can do more to educate their audiences about safer sexual practices as well as entertain.”

Read full Mis-selling Sex report

Links to story in press: Mirror | People | Telegraph


March 10, 2010

Cass student shortlisted for national RSA design award

Wu Jui Yao, a final year BA Graphic Design Student at the Cass (the Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design) has been short-listed for the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA) Design Directions award. Wu Jui will be interviewed by a panel RSA on the 11th March before the final winner is decided.

The RSA's student annual awards scheme, Design Directions, offers a range of challenging projects that comment on the changing role of the designer in relation to society, technology and culture. Wu Jui Yao has been short-listed for his response to the A Matter Of Life project brief, developed in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline. The winner will be given an internship at the company.

The brief asked the students to propose a design-led solution that would improve patient compliance with their prescribed treatment. Wu has responded with an innovative booklet that puts the theory of ‘Self-Determination and Motivational Interviewing’ into practice. This will be used as an interactive communication aid between the doctor or practice nurse and patient during the first treatment session then given as a practical gift to the patient, including ‘reminder stickers’ and a notes section for patient reflection. The overall process is intended to bring the patient nearer to their caregiver and establish a stronger relationship. The patient feels more understood, supported and engaged with, which should hopefully lead to better health behaviour and medication compliance. The caregiver benefits from a deeper insight of the patient’s difficulties.

Talking about his work for the competition, Wu Jui Yao said " At first it was a little bit confusing how this project had any relation to graphic design; how to use or work as a graphic designer in such a socially based and especially unfamiliar issue. The process of investigating the subject and applying graphic design (in my case the medium of print) was what made this challenge interesting-it has given me new perspectives of how design can tackle and improve other social based environments."

Senior Lecturer Frances Bloomfield said, “We are really pleased for Wu Jui Yao. This is the 3rd year that BA Graphic Design has had students enter work for the RSA Design Directions Competition- and we have had successes each year. This year’s brief was particularly demanding as it required in depth research into a range of areas which would be very unfamiliar for graphic design students- which makes his success all the more impressive.”

March 3, 2010

London Metropolitan University