phd research week 40

Evernote Camera Roll 20131007 145712 copy

“COMMUNICATION DESIGN IS THE GRAVITY” (MA Communication Design student, Central Saint Martins)

Week 40 of my phd was full on.  After writing 8 drafts I finally submitted to the University of the Arts college committee my first phd registration document, a compulsory part of first year research programme.   Only at this point I feel ideas consolidating, of what it means to be a research student full-time and what my contribution to communication design knowledge might be.

This week I also attended the first group tutorial of the MA Communication Design at Central Saint Martins, an MA ran by one of my supervisors Rebecca Wright.  First and second year students presented a 2 minute pitch on “what is communication design?”.

A question very much central to my own research, it was extremely inspiring to hear their fresh views and perspectives.  Students from different backgrounds, including architecture and anthropology, are taking part in the MA Communication Design, evidencing the expanded practice we have been witnessing taking place in the communication design discipline.

For ethical resasons I won't here publicly share the students work.  “Communication Design is the Gravity” was the presentation by one particular student, inspiring me deeply in reflection upon the subject possibly more than she intended to.  However, one of the most inspiring visualizations I have come across!  A great range of themes were discussed – the design process rather than the design product, the political aspect of design, the importance of the audience, the medium & the message, the responsibility of the designer…
... is everybody a designer? ... can it be a medium for self expression? ... is about privileging functionality over aesthetics ? ... how does one learn about social responsibility? is it essential for designers? ... what a designer thinks about an object might not be what audience thinks? ... objects can clearly communicate what it does, labelling is unnecessary? ... design happens at macro and micro level? ... what is communication trying to do for design? ... sometimes we don't want something new.