Faculty of Art, Media & Design   » Faculty of Architecture & Spatial Design    
Faculty Courses Research Archive

How to Apply
News & Events Archive

Short Courses
International Students

Staff Research
RAE 2008

Sir John Cass Department of Art, Media and Design

01   Autumn 2011





Aldgate Project Launch

ARU's proposed 'domestic' stairs linking floors in Central House

View of Central House as proposed by ARU

Sue Andrews presents the East End Archive

Student societies: The ASD choir

Vanja Bazdulj showing work at Tent London show

Knotrope, a jewellery design by Eleanor Bolton



Head to Head

This is the first of my regular newsletters. My aim is to share with you my thinking, keep you informed of developments in the Faculty and invite you to share your thoughts and hopes with me.

There is no disguising the fact that we are entering a tough period for Higher Education and for the Arts in general, and the next few years will see huge changes as higher tuition fees come in. But I am optimistic, as I am certain that the Cass is uniquely placed to flourish in this new order. Here are some of the ways we are positioning ourselves to do this:


Merging of Cass and ASD
As you might know the Cass and the Faculty of Architecture and Spatial Design (ASD) will merge in August 2012 and the architects will move to Aldgate a year later. Some students from ASD will move to Central House earlier and plans are being developed for the first phase of work to Central House. So by September two floors will be reworked to provide new studio space for Fine Art and Architecture students. Plans include new “domestic” staircases that connect floors, a “winter garden” and ways students from all areas of the Faculty can get involved in the design of elements of the project including furniture, textiles, graphics. It’s very exciting.

You might also have noticed that the Habib Bank have finally moved out of the ground floor of Central House. We are now developing ideas to turn the bank into a two-storey gallery and we hope a café. In effect this will act as a new “shop window” for the Faculty. Whilst we work on these proposals the space will for be available for “pop up” events and exhibitions associated with the Aldgate project. So any ideas would be most welcome. Models and drawings of proposals for the long-term redesign of Central House and Commercial Road will also be on show there, and you will be welcome to drop in when you like, to view and make comments on them.

The Aldgate Project has started

I described my hopes for the project in the end of year catalogue:
“The Aldgate Project will become the natural meeting place for diverse disciplines that span in scale from the artifact to urban design and a laboratory for future disciplinary alliances and inventions”.
We have made a good start. The launch on the 12th October was a great event with external speakers and 20 short PechaKucha style presentations by participants. You can read more about it here:

The guided walks took place last week and I now look forward to attending your crits and presentations as you get to grips with the challenge. The next events associated with the project are four lectures - two in ASD in November and two at the Cass in December. Details are here:

Student Societies have been launched

I feel it is important that each School has a thriving student society. To support this I have made seed funding available and put out a call for ideas. The proposals are fantastic. Now we must work together to structure the societies and spend the money!

Our new undergraduate courses

Work is well underway on the redesign of our Undergraduate courses for 2012-13. This restructuring will bring our courses inline with the University-wide Review of Undergraduate Education.
More importantly, it is giving us the opportunity to make our courses less fractured and more coherent. There will be less emphasis on the needs of the University systems and more emphasis on supporting your creative practice. In effect a return to a more holistic and reflective form of education. Teaching will be extended from 24 to 30 weeks, there will be more formative feedback during the year and final assessment will be simplified and made more sympathetic to the creative disciplines. In each school detailed consultation will begin in January. This will include delivery, transition arrangements and programme planning for 2012-13. So please be assured that there will be plenty of time to talk.

A Postgraduate Review has started

The University has also launched a Review of Postgraduate Provision and Research across the University, which will report in November. In the meantime we have been asked to look at our MA Courses. Heads of the three Cass Schools have been working with colleagues to collect preliminary thoughts.

Our identity needs to be defined

In the next few weeks we will begin to discuss the name of the new Faculty. In the meantime I call it the Cass and would encourage you to do the same. We are also working on plans for a new website and finding ways of communicating better. So many of you have said that your course and teachers are fantastic but nobody knows about them. We will try to put that right.

Part of this is to celebrate the extraordinary range of events, lectures and exhibitions that happen in both Faculties. Before the new website is launched I would encourage you to revisit the Event sections of the Cass and ASD websites regularly, and subscribe to mailing lists: www.londonmet.ac.uk/jcamd/department/news-and-events/events.cfm

You are welcome at all events. Do come!

And finally, congratulations!

Our recent successes have included student appearances in ICON magazine’s pick of the top design talent ‘Graduate Round Up’ and several Cass alumni were selected for the Crafts Council’s ‘Hothouse’ programme. Two of our Restoration students have curated the current exhibition about Disraeli and Queen Victoria at Hughenden Manor.
Cass students, staff and alumni were also out in force at the recent London Design Festival 2011 appearing at major showcases such as Designers Block, Tent London and the V & A. Read more here:

Cass students and alumni also featured prominently in the University’s student magazine , ‘metropolis’ , with a common celebrity theme - a Jeweller to the Stars, a student film maker praised by Lady Gaga and a music technology alumnus hailed in the US as the new Bob Dylan!


Congratulations again to all involved and do let me know of any news as it happens.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you have any comments, concerns or ideas please do let me know.

Professor Robert Mull, Dean.


Please download Head-to-Head_01.pdf

London Metropolitan University