Central Saint Martins: Open Day

Today I attended the Central Saint Martins Open Day for MA Communication Design. The day didn’t go as well as planned because I actually thought I would miss the Open Day on account of not being able to find the campus! But my lost wandering did make me a bit more familiar with the area and I must say that it felt like the perfect location for a graphic design course. You have IDEO next door, Magma bookstore down the street, and otherwise all  manner of print and design agencies imaginable. This prime location aspect was lacking a bit at LCC, though I really liked the actual campus. The reason I was having such a hard time finding where I was meant to go, is because the Central Saint Martins Campus in Back Hill is hidden away down one of the side streets and doesn’t really stand out as being a university campus. So in terms of first impressions of the campus, I was a bit disappointed. The Open Day started late and was peppered with technical issues, but this was quickly made up for and all but forgotten because of the presentation made by the head of the course. Again, very inspiring and motivating, like at LCC. But, the course leader didn’t only present to us, he engaged with us by posing us questions in a very class-room like environment. It really made you feel like you were already on the course, or getting taste for it at the least. A back and forth dialogue ensued which shaped the presentation, something I hadn’t expected because it didn’t follow the recipe of other Open Days. We even experience a fire alarm and had to leave half way but the presentation continued on foot, and we essentially got a tour of nearby locations of interest while waiting outside. In a way this was a welcome break because it made the situation even less formal. Initially people seemed really taken aback by the course leader posing questions to us, but by this point everyone was practically tripping over themselves to squeeze questions in about the course, the application process, the portfolio and so forth. So, even though the day started out a bit rough, I left once again with a very positive impression of the course. Now I’m really not sure which MA course is at the top of my list, the LCC and Central Saint Martins courses seem to be tied, each with different pluses and minuses. One thing is sure, that I will definitely be applying for both and I would be more then happy to get into either one.

Communication is one of the profound achievements of human evolution. It’s ever developing complexity, unpredictability, and application is the essence of Central Saint Martin’s Masters level communication design studies. Often described as the ‘operating system of the 21st century’ its implications and impact profoundly affect culture, finance, globalisation and localisation, policy-making, socio-economic developments, sustainability. How do candidates begin to engage with Communication Design at masters level? The starting point is framing a question identifying an important theme, issue or problem. Then developing an investigative structure or methodology by way of project work, tutorials, seminars, lectures incorporating independent study and professional connections within an academic and professional community equally energized with their questions. Inevitably working in this way produces outcomes and solutions which seek difference, are unpredictable and are not bound by the current disciplines and media paradigms reflecting the ever-developing contemporary modes of practice. Outcomes are appropriate to the communication design question, audience and personal standpoint, often manifesting themselves in data dynamics, imaging making, information and interaction design, photography, programming, typography, writing, or new and as yet un-defined products. Contemporary communication design questions are not inward looking or introverted. They seek to involve extra disciplinary resources such as aesthetics, anthropology, behaviorism, cognition, linguistics, teleology, typology, for mechanisms to probe and deliver new enlightenment and applications. Masters level students are assumed to have acquired high-level practical and intellectual skills to begin this process. Throughout the course the communication design question will drive the acquisition of deeper subject and practical knowledge and determine their career directions and aspiration.
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