For good or ill, we live in a global world. Whilst this may appear to be obvious, globalism is only a relatively recent term as is the phenomenon itself. What do we mean by this? How did we arrive in this place? Is the whole world global (who are the participants and the excluded in globalism?) And what are the benefits and problems associated with a global cultural, political and design economy? Often regarded as simply being a situation in which many of us live in the West and without question, globalism is so commonplace that we hardly recognise.
Yet at the same time, in the UK we witness moments and incidents of the global phenomenon that are demonised and sensationalised. Where do we stand in terms of global awareness and critique, is the shrinking of the world a good thing, what are its ethical dimensions and what do we think about the opposite position of Nationalism and its manifestations in terms of politics and art and design? Where and what are the barriers to global connectivity and the reception of influences from around the world?
Examining a vastly complex issue, this studio will offer the western history of how the global age arose (and in so doing expose ideas around multiple histories and query the privileging in those emanating from the west) explore and discuss its manifestations in art and design, architecture and food. It will examine different aspects of the UK’s global story: the negative (slavery); areas for debate (the influence of large corporations, McDonalds/Coca-Cola for example) and examine the positive aspects of a world in which greater understanding, inclusivity and sharing between different communities and groups of people is possible.
Suggested readings, resources and preparatory activities
- National Maritime Museum
- Brick Lane, London
- Gerrard Street, London
- Yinka Shonibare
- The history of ‘Curry’ and the Chinese takeaway in the UK
- BP British Art Lecture – Yinka Shonibare
- BBC, British History’s Biggest Fibs, Episode 3, The Jewel in the Crown, available on Box of Broadcasts (Bob)
- Adamson, G. et al eds., Global Design History (London: Routledge, 2011)
- McMillan, M., The Front Room, Migrant Aesthetics in the Home (London: Black Dog Publishing, 2005)
Image: Fundiswa Mahola at her shop selling furry emojis, Cape Town airport. Photograph: Harriet McKay
Studio 01: Imperfect Theories
Things can lead to theories. They can point to a way of seeing artefacts or objects that is more significant than the thing itself.
Studio 02: Narrative, Storytelling and Time
This studio focus on modes of storytelling and narrative conventions. We particularly focus on time in narrative, and the studio undertakes a brief aesthetics of time and thinks about how art and culture has imagined time.
Studio 03: Memento
The Memento research studio employs a critical, layered and multi-disciplinary approach to the problems around memory and society.
Studio 04: Knowing Audiences
In this studio we will be thinking about audiences, how they can be understood, theorised and researched.
Studio 05: Small Encounters
Emma Davenport and Gina Pierce
Textiles present exciting material and theoretical opportunities for us to think through our practice, to make sense of the world around us in the past, present and future.
Studio 06: Performative Acts: Art, Architecture and Writing
Nico de Oliveira
In the last decade or so we have moved from objects to subjects or audiences. In parallel, the word performative has been adapted from a theoretical term to a key rubric within the discourse of contemporary art, architecture and beyond.
Studio 07: Meaningful Work
"The aim of art is to destroy the curse of labour by making work the pleasurable satisfaction of our impulse towards energy, and giving to that energy the hope of producing something worth the exercise." William Morris
Studio 08: The Liminal
This Dissertation Studio examines instances of the liminal as they occur in critical theory and culture, and is open to any topic and students from all disciplines.
Studio 09: The Form of the Text
Studio 9 encourages you to approach the dissertation as a crafted textual project. Through workshops and seminars we will consider some of the elements and activities of which the dissertation is comprised, and look at innovative and exciting ways to work with the form of the text, and the act of building it.
Studio 10: Science Fiction Futurity
The utopia of technology never quite arrived. In the 1960s, you often hear, we were promised flying cars, space settlements, robot butlers and the end of work. But then, curiously, the horizon of futurity diminished.
Studio 11: Commonism
Commonism – with an o in the middle – explores how political activism, participatory design processes, interventionism, collective action and shared authorship are transforming the world of art, architecture and design.
Studio 12: Globalism
For good or ill, we live in a global world. Whilst this may appear to be obvious, globalism is only a relatively recent term as is the phenomenon itself. What do we mean by this? How did we arrive in this place?
Studio 13: Data Stories
Dissertations produced in this studio will be informed by critical research into how data is collected and then used as raw material with which to make or mediate architecture, design and art work.
Studio 14: Music is the Weapon: Performance, Culture, and Liberation through Music and Performance
This interdisciplinary studio reflects the widening of music and film studies in the last thirty years to include popular music, and popular culture linking art, music, film, advertising, social issues and minority struggles for liberation.
Studio 15: London Walking
Walking as a mode of art practice has its roots in the Dada and Situationist movements of the early twentieth century, with significant developments during the conceptual ‘turn’ of the 1960s.
Studio 16: Souvenir
This studio is concerned with those objects that are lent a particular enchantment because of their relationship with the past. It considers the role of memory and how it is embodied in cultural artefacts.