07 October 2016

LDF16: International Working and the Design Industry

Every year, the London Design Festival brings design professionals and enthusiasts from around the world to London for events, workshops, talks, pop-ups, installations and much more. The Victoria and Albert Museum acts as a hub for the festival, hosting new artworks and a wide programme of events celebrating the ever-changing design industry. CreateVoice members were kindly invited to attend some of these events and share their own perspectives.

Next up: A Masterclass from Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien on the hybrid nature of their design practice Doshi Levien, and a Masterclass from Spanish Architect and Design Patricia Urquiola.


 Doshi Levien design for Hay in 2014 via Dezeen

During the 2016 London Design Festival there were several fantastic talks held at the V&A. They covered many areas of art, design and innovation and also provided a very interesting social commentary on modern design practices. Designers there included the famous Doshi Levien and Patricia Urquiola who showed us their present and past projects but also the process of getting a product to where it needed to be, the steps of design from start to finish. The whole experience was very inspiring and we got to hear their stories from the inside and learn lots of invaluable information that could help encourage any future designers.


Glas Italia Table designed by Patricia Urquiola via Dezeen 

It was also quite the interactive experience because at the end, the designers always tried to make time to answer any questions that the audience may have. This is quite a different experience to other panel events I have attended as sometimes an ‘elitist’ attitude can be taken and there is not that much interaction, this is what made the experience at the V&A different.

I would love to go again or attend something very similar as it was a great experience and the advice I got will help me for many years to come.

Words: Gift Ajimokun
Images: © Nipa Doshi and Patricia Urquiola 

05 October 2016

LDF16: Graphics and Music: Past, Present and Future

Every year, the London Design Festival brings design professionals and enthusiasts from around the world to London for events, workshops, talks, pop-ups, installations and much more. The Victoria and Albert Museum acts as a hub for the festival, hosting new artworks and a wide programme of events celebrating the ever-changing design industry. CreateVoice members were kindly invited to attend some of these events and share their own perspectives.


Reviewed: A Masterclass from Jonathan Barnbrook on his graphic design work including his collaboration with David Bowie, and the 'Music: Past, Present and Future' Panel Discussion which took place on Saturday 17 September.


Album Artwork for Heathen, 2002 via Dezeen

Humans love touching things. While music as an immaterial entity that cannot be touched, graphic design has the power to make it tangible through visual interpretation. On this note, three people from three generations were invited to the V&A to discuss this theme and to present their work: Designer and artist Nigel Waymouth, creator of iconic artwork for bands and musicians such as Pink Floyd or The Who in the 1960s, graphic designer Jonathan Barnbrook, best known for his album covers for David Bowie, and singer songwriter Beatie Wolfe who experiments with creating tangible electronic album formats. Following the panel discussion, Jonathan Barnbrook gave a more in-depth insight into his practice. While a large part of his ninety minutes centred on the different stages of his collaboration with David Bowie, he also spoke about his political work with Banksy.

Thanks to the LDF team for arranging such enjoyable events!

Words: Evelin Arweck
Images: © Barnbrook

03 October 2016

CreateInsights with Winstan Whitter


Winstan Whitter

During September’s meeting of CreateVoice we met Winstan Whitter, who explained how his career had evolved from a 90s skater, to film maker.

Winstan started skating in 1984, on the now infamous Southbank Skate Park. There, he met many other young skaters. When given a camera by Steve Douglas, they started to film each other instinctively with the intention of capturing the skating culture along with any tricks mastered, to then be edited into a VHS film and distributed through local skate shops. In 1991, Whitter inadvertently location scouted for a new skate film ‘Video Days’ directed by Spike Jonze and featuring Jason Lee (now more commonly known for playing the lead in My Name is Earl.)

Following on from this, Whitter continued to film and skate, stating he “trained my eye to be in the action”. The skill he developed by skating and filming created a foundation for his progression into the film industry, as he was effectively using his skateboard as a dolly. In 1996, aged 21, Whitter embarked on studying film in the evenings at Islington College, where he made his first film with friends titled: Ramble On. These films were shot on 8mm film, and then transferred to hi8. The editing was completed in an analogue approach using the first Adobe Premiere editing software.

The experience that Whitter had gathered, and his formal training at evening classes, led to him pursuing a job as a grip in a music video. Whitter employed a learn-on-the-job approach to this initial step into the film industry, gaining help from the crew in between shots, as the mechanics were significantly larger and more complicated from those he had previously encountered. Through his sociable nature and curiosity whilst working as a grip, Whitter learnt the basics about lighting from conversing with the lighting team on sets. Initially this started with lighting music videos, for artists such as Dizzee Rascal, which then spurred Whitter’s interest in cinematography. 

From there, throughout the millennial, Whitter has continued to produce campaign videos for causes which he feels passionately about. Perhaps, the most cyclical in regards to his career and well known being for the ‘Long Live Southbank’ campaign.


Whitter explained to us that “you can use film as a tool… to get answers from an establishment”. I am excited to see what other films Whitter creates in the future, and am particularly intrigued by his ongoing project about the 4 Aces Club in Dalston, as it explores the rich musical history of the area and inadvertently can be used to contrast some of the changes and gentrification that the is occurring at present in East London.

Words: Lottie Moss
Images: © Winstan Whitter

Lottie attended the monthly CreateInsights meeting for CreateVoice members in September, to check out upcoming Insights for the youth collective head to http://www.vam.ac.uk/page/c/create/  

01 October 2016

LDF16: Packaging Design & Marina Willer

Every year, the London Design Festival brings design professionals and enthusiasts from around the world to London for events, workshops, talks, pop-ups, installations and much more. The Victoria and Albert Museum acts as a hub for the festival, hosting new artworks and a wide programme of events celebrating the ever-changing design industry. CreateVoice members were kindly invited to attend some of these events and share their own perspectives.

First up: A masterclass from Marina Willer on life as a female designer, and 'The Power of Packaging' Panel Discussion.


Marina Willer is the designer behind the identities of major players like Tate and the Southbank Centre - she's also the first female partner at the London branch of design powerhouse, Pentagram. Willer joined the LDF16 itinerary to discuss the what it's like being a woman in design, when it's still a 'very blokey world'. Whilst Willer emphasises Kate Moross' statement that she is a designer, not a 'woman designer', she also acknowledges that it's not a coincidence that there are fewer women in lead positions in design, and asserts that we shouldn't simply ignore it. Willer's talk was a fascinating insight into the impact of upbringing and parenthood on her design work, bouncing back from the disappointments, and the benefits of embracing chaos - buoyed with beautiful examples of her work (including the latest Pentagram paper, exploring the overlooked beauty in manhole cover designs across London).

'The Power of Packaging' explored the ever-changing role of packaging design in a modern consumer industry. Chaired by Sarah Dawood (Deputy Editor of Design Week), Emma Follet, Mike Beauchamp, Ed Silk and Daniel Mason discussed some of their work across the spectrum of packaging design, and mused about how design will have to change in the future as our world becomes increasingly digital. It was extremely interesting - and a little unnerving! - to learn about the psychology of the packaging we stumble across all throughout our lives. Packaging tells us so much about the product; but it can also us perhaps an unexpected amount about the brand producing it and the consumer it's marketed to, even the society in which it is available. My favourite example was the Chinese tampon brand, Femme (with sleek, discreet branding by Pearlfisher), which exists in a market where tampons make up only 1% of feminine hygiene sales worth over £60billion. Alongside emerging cultural shifts - for example, Chinese Olympic swimmer Fu Yuanhui's frank acknowledgement of the effect her period on her performance - branding decisions can have an impact on the social implications of products.

Words: Laura Blair

22 April 2016

Making It 2016



#MakingIt16 was a huge success! Our talks were attended by a total of nearly three thousand young people, and our feedback was great. Highlights of the day included the ever-popular Portfolios and Online Presence, as well as our talk about being a freelancer and Kieran Long's lecture about Creative Futures. If you attended, you can share your thoughts or photos via the #MakingIt16 hashtag on Twitter or Instagram - we'd love to know what you thought, so we can make the next Making It even better.

We've got plenty coming up at the museum for young people: CreateInsights with architect/designer Alex Smith; costume design; fashion blogging; and the Samsung Digital Classroom sessions. Click here to find out more!

Laura Blair

04 March 2016

Featured artists at #MakingIt16

Background: still from 'Butterfly House' by Jamie Jenkinson
Left: Photography by Danny Baldwin
Middle top: illustration by Alexa Galea
Middle bottom: hand carved spoons by Sophie Sellu (Grain and Knot)
Right: piece from Jane Bowler's AW13 collection

Making It is drawing ever closer - tomorrow, Saturday 5th March, we'll be exploring the huge variety of careers in the creative sector, and giving advice about how to make it in one of the most exciting industries around. We're very lucky to have several talented young artists joining us to share their work and experiences. Come along and have a look at the displays and hear from creative professionals about how you can make it, too.

Find the full programme here.
Making It 2016 runs from 11am-5pm; all events are free.

12 February 2016

Making It: Careers in Art and Design 2016

It's been a little quiet on the CreateVoice blog of late, but behind the scenes, CreateVoice members have been busy working with V&A staff to create our next event for the public.

Our group is made up of a wide variety of people of different ages, backgrounds and with an array of interests: but we're all united by the fact that we are creative. Whilst we're all at different stages of our careers, most of us have experienced the difficulties which can come with trying to break into the creative industries, and carve our own niche in the field.

Making It is an Victoria and Albert Museum event put on especially for young people aged 16-24 looking to enter a creative career - helping them to shape their future by providing insider knowledge. We're covering a huge range of topics: from fashion, product design and even silversmithing, to setting up a business, to creating your CV, portfolio and online presence. There will be talks and demonstrations from a host of industry professionals - including Scarlett Conlon (News Editor for Vogue), Beth McKillop (Deputy Director of the V&A) and Lisa Pickering (one of the organisers from Glastonbury) - as well as other young people who've already made it.

Pop down to the V&A on Saturday 5th March from 11am until 5pm for advice and inspiration. All events are free and drop in - take a look at the schedule below to see what might interest you!

Illustration: Priya Sundram
Words: Laura Blair