Level 5 Staff Team

TM      Tom Mower
MS      Matthew Stuart 

JB      Jonas Berthod
LEH    Dr Lina El Hakimi
CH      Dr Chris Horrocks
KE      Katie Evans
PJ      Paul Jenkins
ZM     Zelda Malan
GM     Gabriela Matuszyk
SM     Seb Mclauchlan
HM     Houman Momtazian
RN      Rose Nordin
GT      Greg Tilley

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MLA   Marcus Leis Allion
          (Course Leader)
AH     Andrew Haslam
          (Head of Department)

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DC     Damian Chapman
          (Head of School)
MU     Mandy Ure
          (Dean, School of Art)

Student reps:

Matleena Honkanen
George Kirkup Delph
Bethany Kellaghan Mcgurk
Jessica Payne
Ellis Tree




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~ LEVEL 5 INTRODUCTION ~



The academy is not paradise. But learning is a place where paradise can be created. The classroom with all its limitations remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labour for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress. This is education as the practice of freedom.
^ bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress, Routledge, London / New York, 1994



Welcome to second year. A lot has changed since the end of last term, the effects of COVID-19 exert new conditions on the way we (globally) work/live and how we (as a staff team) deliver the course. Firstly, we want to acknowledge that making the decision to continue your study and academic development during these precarious times is an extremely brave step, and one we admire you for and support. It is also important to stress from the outset that despite the pandemic’s shattering impact, effecting each and every one of us to varying degrees, the quality of material prepared by the staff team has not been diminished. Through the many ruptures and cracks, necessary conversations have opened up in relation to accessibility, equality, and pedagogical reform, all urgent questions pertaining to how and what we teach and study; and the tools and structures that enable or forbid. While for the time being studio access is limited to maintain essential health precautions, it is our hope that this year’s curriculum will provide a firm basis from which to critically reflect on these issues and concerns together in collaboration, each of us bringing our own points of view, ideas and interests to the fore so we can, as author and activist bell hooks states above, ‘collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress.’

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The programme this year builds seamlessly on the last; it follows similar principles, but is oriented towards self-directed forms of practice and independent learning, with ownership shifting — progressively throughout the year — to you. During your first year of study at Kingston School of Art, you were exposed to a broad range of topics, methods and media via briefs, workshops and talks delivered by a broad staff team. Some of the ideas, skills and materials fit together neatly, making comfortable, intuitive companions, others less so. This divergence — this variety — is mirrored in the current field of graphic design, and indeed our collective understanding of it. Roles, responsibilities, interests, conversations between each and every practitioner who identifies themselves as a graphic designer (or an equivalent label, of which there are many) are fundamentally different; our experiences and perception of the subject we are engaged in deviates, sometimes wildly. Here on BA (Hons) Graphic Design, we simultaneously embrace this difference and promote specificity of practice. At this academic juncture, students are encouraged to actively, and critically, define their own interests, mode of working and position, in order to become ardent specialists, rather than generalists.

To help find your voice (your calling), we have designed a rich second year syllabus made up of two key components that run concurrently throughout the academic year, these are: CORE CURRICULUM and STRAND. These flow alongside CHS, which expands on key critical debates, and are supplemented by PRACTICE DEVELOPMENT & REFLECTION, a group of projects reflecting your development as a practitioner.

CORE CURRICULUM, delivered on Mondays (online) and Wednesdays (onsite) as set projects that every student must complete, sets forth a range of approaches, skills, topics, media and materials, which — generally speaking — encompass the multifaceted field of graphic design. And this year, takes its structure (loosely) from the sender/receiver model of communication theory: message > medium > receiver

STRAND, however, presents space(s) for specialism. Taking place on Fridays, they (there are six) act as platforms for ways of thinking, discussing, researching, testing and making independently led work focussed on a particular field of study. Each is run by a practitioner and researcher with expertise in that specialist area, and students must engage with and sign-up to one (only one) of the six available — the one aligned to their interests, the one that excites. They are: experimental thinking, photography, publishing, social design, type/letterform design, and, user experience design. 

Alongside studio based assignments, you are also required to keep a designed Research Journal, containing visual and textual inspiration gathered over the year, material from which to critical reflect. This document tracks your growing interest as individual as well as a practitioner, and is produced in collaboration with CHS. In addition to the Research Journal you must also produce an External Portfolio and evolving Studio Contract, a project-by-project set of working principles. Tuesdays are set-aside for self directed study, a time to work on PRACTICE DEVELOPMENT & REFLECTION projects as well as further other bodies of work. Time management is crucial, carefully plan your week and allocate days for specific projects and tasks — keep a diary.

Projects fit within one of three modules (GD5001, GD5002, GD5003), each has a different educational and developmental objectives. The curriculum is designed in line with module aims and learning outcomes. To help you understand their criteria, in the far right column (or bottom of the page viewed on a tablet/phone) can be found synopsis and descriptors for each module and the projects that fall under them — please visit module pages on canvas for the full syllabus description.

Over the year you will receive verbal and written feedback in the form of group and individual tutorials, interim reviews, final reviews and presentations, as well as informal chats in the corridor. Onus is on you to keep a record of these meetings, ensuring notes are made and stock is taken of what was said. Work will be marked at two stages, during Formative Assessment (Monday 30 November 2020) and, finally, at Summative Assessment (Wednesday 5 May 2021).



^ Lydia Pape, “Divisor”, 1968


To close, a general note on expectations and etiquette. The second year programme places enormous emphasis on research-led and explorative/investigative forms of practice, endorsing alongside this a high level of idea execution and attention to detail. Experimentation — that is; testing, trying, examining and analysing new ground, to you — is encouraged and expected; in fact, it is demanded. This is a full time course, you are required to be working from Monday to Friday. Punctuality, politeness, respectfulness and dedication are musts. Participate, be an active, engaged student; someone who is open and receptive to new methods and approaches, to feedback and critique, to new ideas and ways of thinking. Do not take this time for granted, make the most of what (and who) is here. Consider Lydia Pape’s artwork “Divisor” as an analogy for the year; a single sheeted cloth garment that holds and units individuals, highlighting the identities of participants while also embracing and supporting the collective. Good luck, venture forth, welcome each and every opportunity, as well as one another. Finally, be brave in your choices, decisions and work.




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~ CORE CURRICULUM ~
 
4 x Projects
Monday (online) + Wednesday (onsite)
GD5001
& GD5003, Term 1 & 2 
JB / KE / GM / HM / TM / MS


MESSAGE
MEDIUM
RECIEVER
SUM




Our ruling concept of communication is a mechanical model […] human communication cannot be reduced to information. The message not only involves, it is, a “relationship” between speaker and hearer. The medium in which the message is embedded is immensely complex, infinitely more than a code: it is a language, a function of a society, a culture, in which the language, the speaker, and the hearer are all embedded.
^ Ursula le Guin, ‘Telling Is Listening’, 2004


The core curriculum is structured around the sender/message/receiver model of communication theory,  positing the designer as someone who operates at each point. Aligning with writer Ursula le Guin’s subtle understanding of the subject as our framework (and spirit guide), the year offersa clear trajectory for students to move through, project by project, following this simple diagram:

MESSAGE > MEDIUM > RECEIVER

During this year we will simultaneously zoom in and out, focussing on a single point in the chain for a project at a time, while also considering that point’s relationship to the whole and how it functions as part of a larger communication system.





^ Fig1 diagram from Ursula le Guin’s ‘Telling Is Listening’, 2004; Fig 3 below.


The linear diagram is an oversimplification; the interactions between sections are fluid, they can’t readily be compartmentalised. Each point informs, impacts and holds sway over the reciprocation of the others; each action has consequences. Points contain their own separate histories,  as well as a collective one. As Stuart Hall writes in his critique of models such as Claude Shannon’s famous Mathematical Theory of Communication model (which runs: source > transmission > terminal), it is useful to think of ‘this process in terms of a structure produced and sustained through the articulation of linked but distinctive moments — production, circulation, distribution/consumption, reproduction [...] “a complex structure in dominance”.’

So while this provides structure, it is also there to be scrutinised. In terms of projects, there will be four in total. Three projects hone in — one-by-one — on the three points in the communication chain, whereas the fourth, “SUM”, is a live brief asking students to holistically apply what they’ve learnt to date. Each project is assigned a reading, plus further reading material and additional references / resources (tools to use, things to watch/listen to, etc. etc.). To support the Core tutor team (TM, MS, GM, JB), specialist practitioners aligned to the area of focus will be invited in for the duration of the project to offer subject specific guidance and provide invaluable expertise.






CORE PROJECTS

MESSAGE

GD5001
Core Curiculum, Term 1
Individual + Group

To begin, our focus is on the message, the source, the thing itself; the idea
or content that we as designers give form to. During this project we will explore; semiotics and language, in their visual, textual and material form; the coding and decoding of symbols and signs;how to interpret and reinterpret, to critically analyse and read; and the process of translation, of holding one thing and encoding it into another, transposing it between spaces.

Project
> Translate an essay-film (the message) into a publication, then transpose your film-to-book adaptation to an online group exhibition, a space that presents each participants publication accurately and appropriately.

Specialist practitioner
> Houman Momtazian

Requirements
> Outcome (publication + exhibition)
> Process Book

Project Introduction

> Monday 21 Sept 2020 (online)

Final Review
> Wednesday 21 Oct 2020 (onsite KSA)
Format: publication exhibition

Summative Assessment
> Wednesday 5 May 2021

Preject overview:
PDF file


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MEDIUM

GD5003
Core Curiculum, Term 1
Individual or Group

Continuing along the chain, we arrive at the medium; the means by which the message is sent, how it is transmitted. Here we will investigate how the tools, networks, channels, platforms, technologies, documents, devices, instruments and apparatus used to carry messages support, distort and impede our communication. We will question the politics embedded within a medium’s structural fabric, seeing how external “noise” and interference affects the signal, inflecting and skewing what is ultimately said.

Project
> Produce / invent / hack / modify a tool (the medium) for carrying / supporting content, ideas and information related to one of the following themes: eduction / personal data / campaigning / public space.

Specialist practitioner
> Katie Evans

Requirements
> Outcome 
> Process Book

Project Introduction

> Monday 2 Nov 2020 (online)

Final Review
> Wednesday 25 Nov 2020 (onsite)

Summative Assessment
> Wednesday 5 May 2021

Project overview:
PDF file


>


RECEIVER

GD5001
Core Curiculum, Term 2
Pairs or Group

We have now reached the terminal, the last point in the chain, our attention is on the destination itself, the receiver; the listener/viewer of the message. Here we will step outside of ourselves and connect with the person (and/or people) picking up the signal, asking, reflectively, how another reads and interprets meaning and information. Less concerned with target markets / audiences, but instead open to “feedback” — a returning signal – we will learn to listen, speak, and engage with recipients, to their experiences and views; ‘a “relationship” between speaker and hearer’. (Ursula Le Guin).

Specialist practitioner
> TBC

Project
> Collaborate with another individual, design something with them that is potentially of “use” to them.

Requirements
> Outcome
> Process Book

Project Introduction

> Monday 4 Jan 2021 (online)

Final Review
> Wednesday 3 Feb 2021 (onsite)

Summative Assessment
> Wednesday 5 May 2021

Project Overview:
PDF File


=


SUM

GD5003
Core Curiculum, Term 2
Group

The sum total. In the final project of the year we will combine the knowledge and experience accrued so far by working across the communication chain on a live, real-world project, applying our new understanding of languages and codes, tools and networks, interfaces and receivers to support community focussed, not-for-profit organisations and groups.

Specialist practitioner
> TBC

Project
> Live project working with and alongside a not-for-profit organisation, group or charity. 

Requirements
> Outcome
> Process Book

Project Introduction
> Monday 15 Feb 2021 (online)

Final Review
> Wednesday 17 Mar 2021 (onsite)

Summative Assessment
> Wednesday 5 May 2021




→ Ursula le Guin, ‘Telling Is Listening’, The Wave in the Mind, Shambhala Publications, Boston, 2004

→ Stuart Hall, ‘Encoding/Decoding’, 1973



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~ STRAND ~


2 x Projects
Friday (online / onsite + offsite)
GD5002, Term 1 & 2
PJ / ZM / SM / TM / MS / GT


1000 UPM
EMERGE
IMAGE + TRUTH
LAZY MACHINE 
M.O.E.T. 

PEOPLE, PLACE, THINGS



Learning to form makes us understand all forming. We learn to listen to voices, to the yes or no of our material, our tools, our time.
^ Anni Albers, c.1940s

The way that you make is intertwined with who you are. Growing your practice is growing your understanding of design, so your understanding of the content is growing — they keep edging each other on.
^ Kelly Walters, ‘On Breaking Down Power Structures, Navigating Tokenism + Building Community in Design Education’, 2020


Strands started as conversation spaces. Today they provide an environment to develop innovative, research-led projects related to particular disciplinary discussions, interests, issues, methods, materials, and media. Projects within Strands are driven by the students and their interests, and are developed in dialogue with their Strand tutor and fellow participants. Each Strand is different, and this is their individual and collective strength.

Project (x 2)
> Strand specific, one per term (Project A & B)

Requirements
> Outcome x 2
> Process Book

Project Introduction
> A: Friday 2 Oct 2020 (onsite KSA)
> B: Friday 8 Jan 2021 (onsite KSA)

Final Review
> A: Friday 27 Nov 2020 
> B: Friday 19 Mar 2021


Summative Assessment
> Wednesday 5 May 2021

Preject overview:
PDF file


ABOUT


1000 UPM
(Type Design)
SM

Introduction to type design; examining history and contemporary processes to develop new skills, expanding the designer’s abilities within broader design; letterform drawing, spacing, typographic detailing, testing, discussion, research historical precedents; develop critical perspectives on craft and conceptual thinking.



EMERGE
(Emerging Technologies)
GT

Create interactive experiences in physical spaces, algorithmically-derived objects, data visualisations, films; A post-digital approach to design is inherently exploratory and speculative: questioning, interrogating how we work and creating new processes. We are futurists, we are hackers, we are collaborators.



IMAGE + TRUTH
(Photography)
PJ

History of the photograph as document of ‘truth’. Phones as cameras, social media and the mediated self. Personal politics, identity and beauty through exhibitions, galleries, installation as well as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Staged and candid; the self-portrait and portraiture; the viewer and the viewed.



LAZY MACHINE
(Publishing)

MS

Reconsidering the potential of publishing as an important extension of the design process, where ideas and materials are shared, finding a readership and creating a public through; editing, language, typography and/or performance, across print and digital media, as spoken and written word. Writing and reading as critical articulation and reflection. Source, edit, curate, create; design, shape, articulate, typeset, composite; disseminate, distribute, circulate, transmit, broadcast.
 



M.O.E.T.
(Experimental thinking)

ZM

MOET is about changing things. The way people think, behave, imagine, buy. Your work needs to influence attitude towards the things of particular interest to you, the communicator. The three experimental areas are: Imagine (Innovation / Speculative design / Interaction / Event), Persuade (Alternative Branding / New Media), Comment (the communication of a point of view). Key words: Strategic Thinking / alternative  / any relevant media.



PEOPLE, PLACE, THINGS
(Social Design)

TM

A consideration of the local and global in relation to people, places and things. A platform for research and investigation — a journalistic survey of all aspects of life, identity, environment, climate change, language, heritage, equality and more — with the intention to highlight and challenge preconceived ideas, demanding attention and action for current societal issues and concerns.




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~ PRACTICE DEVELOPMENT & REFLECTION ~


3 x Projects
Throughout (online + onsite + offsite)
GD5001
& GD5003, Term 1 & 2

RESEARCH JOURNAL
GROUP PRINCIPLES
EXTERNAL PORTFOLIO




The projects that fall within this category represent a key part of your personal and practice development within and outside of the institution — each should be worked on in- and outside of studio time and regularly kept up-to-date.



RESEARCH
JOURNAL

GD5001 & HA5105
(CHS collaboration)
Throughout, Term 1 & 2
Individual

Project
> Gather, collect and docu-ment things that intrigue and inspire; reflect on them critically. This journal acts a record of your research pro-gress and a record of your emerging focus(es) in practice.

Requirement
> Outcome (publication)

Project Introduction
> Thursday 1 Oct 2020 (online)

Summative Assessment
> Wednesday 5 May 2021


Preject overview:
PDF File




STUDIO CONTRACT

GD5003
Throughout, Term 1 & 2
Individual

Project
> Collectively define a contract outlining academic expectations, principles and rules of engagement. Revise at the outset of each Core project.

Requirement
> Outcome (poster/document)

Project Introduction
> Wednesday 23 Sept 2020 (onsite KSA)

Summative Assessment
> Wednesday 5 May 2021


Preject overview:
PDF File




EXTERNAL PORTFOLIO

GD5002
Throughout, Term 1 & 2
Individual

Project
> Edited documentation of work that best and fully represents your projects, practice and position as an emerging designer.

Requirement
> Outcome (website / pdf / other)

Project Introduction
> Monday 7 Dec 2020 (online)

Summative Assessment
> Wednesday 5 May 2021




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~ MODULE OVERVIEW ~


GD5001 (P&P) 
GD5002 (DI&I)
GD5003 (DD)
 



GD5001
Process & Purpose

The emphasis in this module is on exploring and understanding the design process, with particular focus on the relationship between research, development and the successful realisation of ideas.

Projects:
> MESSAGE (Term 1)
> RECEIVER (Term 2)
> Research Journal (Term 1 & 2)



GD5002
Design Interactions & Innovations


The aim of the module is to explore different modes of communication and dissemination. The focus is on the interactive nature of graphic design and visual communications, with emphasis on the way in which designers engage audiences and participators in their practice.

Projects:
> Strand Project A (Term 1)
> Strand Project B (Term 2)
> External Portfolio (Term 1 & 2)



GD5003
Design Directions


The aim of this module is to develop understanding of the role of the designer and enable students to contextualise their personal design vision and ambition. This includes developing understanding of how to present work in a dynamic and appropriate manner and equipping students with the ability to develop and express opinions and adopt different perspectives in relation to a range of issues and contexts (social, commercial, cultural, environmental and political).

Projects
> MEDIUM (Term 1)
> SUM (Term 2)
> Studio Contract (Term 1 & 2)



CHS HA5105



This module emphasises the theorisation of contemporary graphic design practice, informing and supporting students’ own emerging research interests and the development of independent visual and academic research skills that cross history/theory and design practice.

CHS Leader
> Lina El Hakimi




ASSESSMENT

During the year there are two assessment points; FORMATIVE, before the festive break; and, SUMMATIVE, at the end of the academic year. Both are formal hand-ins, requiring a portfolio submission of completed work. Formative Assessment offers an indicative grade and, most importantly, feedback from which to progress and refine projects. Whereas Summative Assessment is a conclusive grade, which forms a percentage of your overall degree.

Assessments are marked against the Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria, which can be found online. You will get a grade for each module not each project, but you must present all projects and an adequate quality and quantity of work to pass each, in relation to the requirements listed on the project sheets. We use the same criteria at every assessment and for each module, these are:

– Criteria Research + Analysis
– Experimentation
– Communication + Presentation
– Personal + Professional development



FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT

Deadline
> Monday 30 Nov 2020 
(online)

Assessed
> Tutor 
> Peer 
> Self 

Feedback
> Grade
> Written
> Verbal



SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
 
Deadline
Wednesday 5 May 2021(online)
> Wednesday 19 May 2021 (online)

Assessed
> Tutor 

Feedback
> Grade
> Written
> Verbal



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