Archive for May, 2011

Undergraduate Degree Show 2011

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

The FADA undergraduate degree show opens on 4 June 2011. The show is an opportunity to see work from our final year students in subjects ranging from Graphic Design to Architecture.

The show will take place on the following dates:

Saturday 4 June – Show Launch, 1-7pm

Sunday 5 June – 1pm-5pm

Monday 6 June – Thursday 9 June, 1-7pm

Friday 10 June – 10am-5pm (exhibition closes)

Venue: Knights Park Campus, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 2QJ

Free Admission/Limited Parking

For more information please visit:

Call for Applicants: Stanley Picker Gallery 2011 Fellowships Design & Fine Art

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Following the appointments of Matthew Darbyshire and Daniel Eatock (2010), Ab Rogers and Martin Westwood (2009), David Austen and Julia Lohmann (2008), Sara Fanelli and Juneau Projects (2007), Deborah Smith and Public Works (2006), Shelley Fox and Elizabeth Price (2005), and El Ultimo Grito and Mark Beasley (2004), the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture at Kingston University is seeking two high-profile practitioners, one in the field of Fine Art the other in Design, for the Stanley Picker Fellowships 2011. Each Fellowship provides up to £11,000 towards developing, from within the Faculty, an innovative exhibition project of international standing that will form a core part of the future programme at the Stanley Picker Gallery.

Visit for further information on the Gallery’s programme.

For a job description contact

Closing deadline for applications: Friday 24 June 2011

Interviews: Week commencing 11 July 2011

Designplus: exploring enterprise within design

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Funded by HEEG (Higher Education Entrepreneurship Group) and in collaboration with Brunel and Kingston Universities;  Designplus has led a year-long project exploring enterprise within major design projects, of which there are 18,000 each year, with a view to equipping graduates with a greater understanding of enterprise.

Designplus is a design-based initiative within Westfocus, developing collaborative projects and partnerships with businesses.  Westfocus is a network of seven West London universities, of which Brunel and Kingston have significant design interests. Designplus capitalises on the exciting opportunity to use these design assets for collaborations in business-related areas of research expertise.

The year’s activity has included the involvement of over 400 people and 40 businesses including representatives from; M&S, P&G, Bosch, Nokia, Inter-Continental Hotels and leading design consultancies amongst others.  Our overall goal has been to: Enhance current and future final year undergraduate design students’ skills knowledge and understanding of enterprise factors within their major projects. An important outcome is our report which, as well as summarising the activities, provides information on the development of a number of new teaching and communication tools which can continue to enhance design education.

Stephen Green, Programme Director – Integrated Product Design at Brunel Universtiy is also Designplus Leader and principal investigator on this project.

The team from Kingston:

Cat Carey – Research Assistant

Peter Christian – Business Development Manager

Philip Davies – Course Director BSc (Hons) Product Design

Dr David Lawrence – Head of School of Three-Dimensional Design

Simon Maidment – Course Director BA (Hons) Product & Furniture Design


Kingston’s featured recent graduates:

Ben Atkinson-Willes –

Richard Brendon –

Michele Camerlengo –

Leila Chouikh –

Arran Evans –

Helena Karelson –

Jung Hee Kim –

Jamie Shaw –

If you would like to know more about this project and any others by Designplus, you can visit the website –

Communication Design collaboration with Grafik

Friday, May 20th, 2011

The up and coming issue of Grafik magazine features a live brief given to students from the School of Communication Design by the Head of School, Lawrence Zeegen. The students were asked to explore issues surrounding the transition from student to becoming a member of the working world. Five students were selected to appear in the magazine and had their work published.


Faculty top ten in Guardian league table

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Art and Design at Kingston has jumped five places in the Guardian league table this year securing our place in the top ten. This fantastic positioning places us amongst the best institutions in Art and Design in the country. The league table reflects rankings given by the Guardian for teaching excellence.

To view the table please visit:

Landscape students critical essay published

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Grant Clement and Matt Adams, from first year landscape architecture at Kingston, have just published a critical essay in the journal of the Landscape Institute, Landscape. Following a field trip to Berlin Grant and Matt were asked by the editor to critically appraise several key regeneration projects within Berlin’s infrastructure. Straddling the River Spree, and between the new train station and the large government campus, there are a series of contemporary landscape projects that were the focus of their essay. Their critique was included in the latest edition of Landscape which examines German landscape and is a collaboration between leading UK and German designers.

Research Degrees Open Event – Tuesday 31 May 2011

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Research Degrees Open Event 

Tuesday 31 May 2011

The Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Kingston London, would like to invite prospective research degree applicants to an open event to find out more about Research Degrees in the Faculty and meet staff and students involved with the research degrees programme.

The Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture has a growing and vibrant research culture. The  research degrees programme consists of research and training and allows  students to develop their practice based skills, broaden their academic knowledge, expand their methodological skills and integrate those elements as independent  researchers. Our programmes are designed to meet the needs of continuing academics and candidates with established practices in art, design and the built environment interested in developing these in an academic environment.

There are research centres in:

Contemporary Art


Real Estate

Modern Interiors

Visual and Material Culture

Details of AHRC and Kingston University funding will be presented at the Open Day. We are currently seeking applications within the following areas..

Art and Design:

  • Contemporary Art;
  • Digital Media and Communication Design;
  • Product, Interior and Spatial Design; Fashion; Textiles;
  • Environmental Design. 

Built Environment

  • Architecture;
  • Surveying and Planning;
  • Sustainable Built Environment

History of Art, Architecture and Design

  • Modern Interiors –  identity and the design of the modern interior; modernity, modernism and the interior; the tensions between interior decoration and interior design; representations of the modern interior; the reconstructed modern interior
  • Visual and Material Culture – Historical and Critical Studies; Place, Space, and Global Futures; Gender, Technology, and the Human Image; Cultural Activism

3 pm – 5 pm, Main Lecture Theatre, Knights Park Campus, Grange Road, Kingston



Professor Anne Massey’s book asks ‘are you sitting comfortably?’

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

From the royal families of ancient Egypt to television’s Royle Family of our own time, the chair has shaped and reflected society. Throughout our homes, cars, schools and offices, they are an everyday part of our lives. Now a professor at Kingston University has picked at the upholstery and written the untold story of this unsung hero.

“We take chairs for granted and rarely consider their history, design and craftsmanship or what they have come to symbolise,” said Anne Massey, Professor of Design History at Kingston University. “The book isn’t just about chairs, it’s about our relationship with them – not quite from the cradle to the grave, but from the push-chair to the rocking-chair.”

In the course of her recently published book, Chair, Professor Massey introduces us to, among others the Sussex chair, the Windsor chair and the Barcelona chair. She explains the origins of the Egg chair, the Sushi chair, the Rag chair and the Rib chair. And the picture-rich book also covers the Thinking Man’s chair, the Antelope chair, the Springbok chair and the Tulip chair – to mention just a few.

 “It’s a fascinating subject because a chair is a designer’s signature,” Professor Massey said. “It’s a very human thing to design, because it traces the shape of the human body. Our bodies have an intimate relationship with the chairs we sit on.

“It seemed surprising that no one had written a biography of the chair before. There have been accounts written from antique collectors’ viewpoints and books that look at the place of designer chairs in modern art, but nothing that looks at the whole range of chairs, from the humblest seat in an NHS waiting room to the thrones of kings and princes.”

In 2006, Mark Kuransky’s ‘Salt – A World History’ showed how his subject has moulded civilisation. Similar claims can be made for the chair. In ancient Egypt it was a means of elevating pharaohs and other powerful figures above their subjects who would squat on the ground. Six chairs have been found in the tomb of Tutankhamen, including a golden throne. Chairs continued to denote status for thousands of years – at the court of Louis XIV, only the king and his immediate family were permitted to sit. By contrast, in London coffee houses of the same era the seating was deliberately organised to allow people of different social status to sit together as equals.

Kingston University itself has contributed to the history of the chair. The book looks at alumnus Jasper Morrison’s Air chair, which incorporated computer-aided design and car-making technology, and the niche chair, designed by the University’s sustainable design expert Jakki Dehn.

Not that designing a chair is an easy thing to do. “A chair is a very difficult object,” Mies van der Rohe, designer of the Barcelona chair, told Time magazine. “A skyscraper is almost easier.”

In the 18th and 19th Centuries, the development of factories, schools, hospitals, trains, cars and ocean liners all necessitated the development of new types of chair. The Buckinghamshire town of High Wycombe became a centre for chair-making, turning out nearly 5,000 a day. In 1880 the town greeted the Prince of Wales with a giant archway of chairs. Ten years later, the United States introduced the electric chair – a chair designed to execute its occupant.

In the 20th Century, modernists sought to give design the same importance as fine art, Professor Massey said. “The chair started to assume the significance of sculpture – it was the perfect object to place on a plinth in a museum,” she explained, adding that nearly a quarter of the New York Museum of Modern Art’s online architecture and design collection is made up of chairs.

Chairs continue to reflect class snobberies today. In American sitcom Frasier, the status-obsessed psychiatrist buys a plush Eames lounge chair – likely to have cost him around $5,000 – but becomes frustrated by his working class father’s preference for a well-worn and ripped old lounger. In the British comedy The Royle Family, patriarch Jim Royle asserts his importance in the family through his permanent residence in the chair with the best view of the television. “The way chairs confer or take away power from the sitter really began to intrigue me as I was writing the book,” Professor Massey said. She also looks at the chair’s role in Harold Pinter’s play The Homecoming, Jonathan Frantzen’s novel The Corrections, the films Psycho and The Rocking Chair Rebellion and television programmes Mastermind and Big Brother.

Chair was recently reviewed in The Guardian:

Gucci Group Director of Corporate Sustainability speaks at Knights Park Campus

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

The Design Research Centre invites staff and students to a presentation from:

Burak Cakmak, Director of Corporate Sustainability, PPR Luxury Group

Friday 13 May 2011, 4.00pm, Main Lecture Theatre, Knights Park Campus

Sir David Chipperfield interviewed by Architecture’s Head of School

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Sir David Chipperfield, one of Britain’s leading architects and a Kingston University alumnus, has been interviewed for The Architectural Review by the Head of the University’s School of Architecture and Landscape, Daniel Rosbottom.

In February of this year, Sir David was presented with the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Gold Medal. The Institute’s president Ruth Reed described him as “one of the world’s greatest architects”. The practice has won more than 50 architectural competitions. In 2007, it was awarded RIBA’s Stirling Prize 2007 for the Museum of Modern Literature at Marbach in Germany. He was knighted in the 2010 New Year’s Honours’ list. This year, two new British galleries designed by David Chipperfield Architects will be completed – Turner Contemporary in Margate and the Hepworth Wakefield.

Daniel interviewed Sir David following the opening of the Turner Contemporary, his first major completed commission in the United Kingdom for more than a decade, and has also reviewed the gallery for the same magazine, describing it as a “celebration of the singular qualities that once drew the great painter to the town “.

David Chipperfield studied at Kingston School of Art, the predecessor to today’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, graduating in 1976. In 2008, the University awarded him an honorary doctorate.

To view the article please visit: