For many centuries the view of taste and the drivers of style and fashion has been hierarchical. Those educated in the appropriate subjects and institutions and those with unfettered wealth have laid down the markers and boundaries of what defines good taste. This Studio examines this history and how this was, and surprisingly in many areas of society still is, the prevailing thought and assumption. You will read key texts in this area and examine their social impact on consumption, marketing, displays and exhibitions today.
As well as these texts, you will raise your gaze to consider the wider impact of these readings. In a decolonialising world, how is this way of thinking as out of date as terms like 'the civilised world', empire and colonialisation?
Outline the first seven weeks of study
- Week 1: Introduction
- Week 2: Hierarchical views of Taste, group seminar on readings
- Week 3: Visit British Museum
- Week 4: Democratic views of Taste, group seminar on readings
- Week 5: Visit shopping centre
- Week 6: Group discussion: posing a question and structuring your argument
- Week 7: Individual tutorial: dissertation topic and title
Selected reading list
- Zukin, Sharon, How Shopping Changed American Culture, Point of Purchase, 2001
- Lloyd Jones, Peter, Taste Today, 1991
- Silverman, Deboro, 1900 Paris Exposition, 1989
- Theiding, Kara, Anxieties of Influence, 1993
- Sargentson, Carolyn, French Luxury Trades, 1996
- Greyson Perry on YouTube
- Fanon, Frantz, The Wretched of the Earth, 1961
- Bhagat, Dipti, Art Deco in South Africa, 2003
Studio 1: Another India
Studio 1: Another India will examine, reflect upon and critique the historic use of "exotic" motifs in design.
Studio 3: Music is the Weapon: Performance, Culture and the Music Industry
Studio 3: Music is the Weapon: Performance, Culture and the Music Industry is an exploration of race, gender, class and more in music.
Studio 4: What Not to Wear?
Studio 4: What Not to Wear? will investigate the roles that dress and fashion play in our workplaces.
Studio 5: Imperfect Theories
Studio 5: Imperfect Theories allows you to critically examine any work that can be seen as theory or presents an interesting relationship with theory.
Studio 6: Curating Contemporary Art: From the Wunderkammer to Installation art
Nico de Oliveira
Studio 6: Curating Contemporary Art examines the impact of curatorial practice on art.
Studio 7: Fashioning culture: clothing and the shaping of identity
Dr Lesley Stevenson
Studio 7: Fashioning culture will examine critically the links between fashion, clothing and identity.
Studio 8: Pleasure, Excess and Dirt
Studio 8 explores ideas of category, definition, identification and belonging through the examination of a series of objects and behaviours that appear to be in the wrong place instead of the right place.
Studio 9: The Continuing Lives of Objects
Studio 9: The Continuing Lives of Objects uses debates about change and preservation explore ideas within architecture.
Studio 10: Critical Theory and Critical Design. Artefacts, Images, Sites, Processes in Graphics and Illustration
Dipti Bhagat with Christopher Emmett
Studio 10 requires deep commitment and completion of critical theory and design for graphic design and illustration.
Studio 12: London Walking
Studio 12: London Walking looks at walking as a mode of creatively appropriating the city, with particular attention to our own city, London.
Studio 14: All in the best possible Taste
Dr John Cross
Studio 14: 'All in the best possible Taste' examines the historical influencers of taste, style and fashion.
Studio 15: Music, Technology and Ideas
Studio 15: Music, Technology and Ideas encourages you to explore how and why we make music, including its origin, relationship to technology and more.
Studio 16: Narrative and Storytelling
Studio 16: Narrative and Storytelling will see you produce storygraphs, storyboards and various forms of narrative analysis in the seminars.
Studio 17: Knowing Audiences
Studio 17: Knowing Audiences will encourage you to study an audience group using qualitative research methods in your investigations.
Studio 19: Material in Motion
Studio 19: Material in Motion will explore why an audience will put time, money and thought into acquiring an object.
Studio 20: Image ethics: Form, meaning and context
Dr Nick Haeffner
Studio 20: Image ethics: Form, meaning and context explores the aesthetics of the image and its role within fantasy, desire and social memory.
Studio 21: The Nonsensical Realm III
Studio 21: The Nonsensical Realm is a cross-disciplinary studio. This year it will engage with the idea of metaphor in art, architecture, design and music.
Studio 22: Meaningful work
Studio 22: Meaningful work explores the value of making and the idea of craft as meaningful work.
Studio 23: A Common Thread
Studio 23: A Common Thread examines the relationship between textiles and everyday life, including its design, trade, sustainability and more.