THE BRITISH LIBRARY

In through the outfield blog

15 June 2012

The Central Saint Martins' degree show 2012

I’ve just visited the degree show at Central Saint Martins’, close to King’s Cross, and wished I had longer than an hour and a half.

There was a vast amount to see, as well as exploring the building, which only opened last Autumn in converted buildings linked or roofed by huge amounts of glass, next to the Regent’s Canal, as part of a huge regeneration project. It has several thousand students who all study art.

I paid particular attention to the product design exhibitions, of which there was lots, but the jewellery, ceramics, graphics – well, the whole place was full of exciting and stimulating work. I was delighted that a lot of the work seemed to come from working with industry to design products to meet specifications, which is a great way to learn. Many were based on saving space in our shrinking houses by using compact furniture.

Among the dozens of possibilities I’ll just pick out a few that caught my eye. Today, at least, the designer was often standing next to the exhibit to talk to.

Edouard Burgeat, the tetra project for creating miniature vertical gardens quickly out of discarded drinks containers.

Sangkeun Yu, with his hanging partition to cushion the noises that resonate around so many restaurants (something I also hate, modern restaurants seem to be designed to be noisy as they usually lack soft furnishings).

Alix Bizet, with a cupboard with a front that opens up and comes down to form a table, with the support neatly folding back to the front and looking decorative.

Thomas Radwanski’s Neptune dining table, a proposal for the John Lewis store, a transparent table that has wooden supports with a centre piece that rises when the end pieces are pulled apart, revealing for the first time metal. The transparency is deliberate to show off the bones, as it were, of the table.

Fanny Nilsson, the sound station for Urbanmiix which is a handheld wireless speaker that can be stuck onto a docking station to enhance sound and also recharge it.

Tahiya Mueen, with her multitasking bag to help mothers transport in an easy and convenient way the things they need for the baby.

Perhaps my favourite – Yifei Chai’s collapsible table that folds up out of sight like origami.

The last day of the show is the 21 June – look at their website for exact days and times.

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