The Future of Work/Play

We are delighted to invite you to The Future of Work/Play.

Date: Friday 20th April 2018
Time: 14:00 – 18:00

Location: Lecture Theatre A
London College of Communication,
University of the Arts London

Tickets Here

In the final stage of their degree, BA(Hons) Design Management & Culture students began to question the possible professional routes to undertake following graduation. After acknowledging the motives that brought an institution such as the London College of Communication to implement a course synthesising design practice with management, we decided to investigate the broader needs of the industry.

Throughout our exploration we identified four major trends, that we determined as the leading phenomenon on a globally scale, sustaining the prevailing development in the sphere of work. The trends under our enquiry are AI and Automation, Digital Nomadism, Diversity and Collaboration.  We decided to address and challenge these findings through The Future of Work/Play, a symposium running on 20th April 2018 at London College of Communication. Five experts will  explore the future from a sociological and humanistic point of view and provide the audience with viable insights on how to approach work nowadays for a positive impact in the long-run.

Here are the experts taking on the challenge:

Dr. John Fass – speaker and panelist. Designer, researcher, lecturer, and course leader for BA (Hons) Information and Interface Design at London College of Communication.

Tiu de Haan – speaker and panelist. Ritual designer, creative facilitator, inspirational speaker, voiceover artist and musician.

Victor Bloch – speaker and panelist. Futurist, speaker and moderator.

Alison Coward – speaker and panelist. Founder of Bracket, strategist, coach and workshop facilitator .

Moderated by Luke Robert Mason. Science communicator, journalist and the Director of Virtual Futures – an events series engaging the public to question the future through a ‘techno-philosophical lens’.

The day will include activities and a conclusive networking session with drinks and snacks.

Book your place here 

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Organised by BA(Hons) Design Management & Cultures students and staff. Design School | Branding & Design Innovation Programme | University of the Arts London

Funded by the Staff Student Engagement Fund.


#NUMA: The entrepreneurial side of Paris.

My classmates and I have participated in a study trip. And what better place and time to choose than Paris, during the fashion week! However, instead of checking out the latest trends in clothing, we opted for the entrepreneurial and innovative centre in the 18th arrondissement. Feeling super inspired and enthusiastic, here are some main point from our visit.

Numa, staircase. Taken by: Gabriela Ditt.

We were given a brief tour around all the floors of the Parisienne hub, learning about the brief history and the latest developments of NUMA. The main points I took from the talk with one of the employees was that they treasure teamwork over ideas and that the mindset matters more than the actual skills.

Lounge, Numa. Taken by: Gabriela Ditt.

When faced with the board of employees, it was difficult to decide which one is the CEO (which is actually a women, placed near the bottom of the wall). This moment left the most memories in all of us, since the display of the workers was powerful, yet not discriminating in any way. When reflecting back upon our experience, nearly everyone recalled this moment.

Numa, employers. Taken by: Gabriela Ditt.

NUMA provides mentorship and nourishes personal qualities over self-interests which is crucial when developing a sustainable business idea. The sponsorship for projects comes from big companies which guarantee adequacy and adjustability to the current context, yet NUMA supports intuition and nourishes culture, addressing the restrictions of age, qualifications, and diverse backgrounds. Their gathering space is situated at the bottom of the building, encouraging people to network whilst enjoying a cheap cuppa.

As the aspiring design managers and culture enthusiasts, we have been asking a lot of questions and Sara, our lovely guide, was happy to answer all of them. It was amazing to see how people’s ideas can actually come true. She also gave us the insight into the reality of an every day life, stating that the start-ups usually stay with NUMA for no longer than 6 months. The pressure is on, right? Alongside rotation they also encourage progress in a thought-provoking environment. And such was the affect on us, too, long after we left NUMA, leaving us wondering how could WE turn our visions into action.

Thank you NUMA for opening up a whole new world to us.

Design Management and Cultures,

University of the Arts, London.

Written by: Gabriela Ditt, DMC 2019.

You can find more blogposts, by Gabriella by clicking here

Erasmus Exchange – YuChen Wu

BA DMC Year2 –Study Abroad Student

– Wu, Yun Chen


With the knowledge of International Business Administration and the passion of arts, I chose to study Design Management and Cultures (DMC), hoping that through the learning in DMC, I can develop my future career related to art industry.

Companhia Portugueza Do Cha

However, in my first term, I was struggling to adapt the style of composing assignment and my limited skill in InDesign. The design and the creative covered in workshops, lectures, and assignments are over my expectation and exceeded my capability. Luckily, with the assistant from tutors and the tech talk workshops in digital space, I learned and started to build up my skill of using InDesign to the end of my study abroad term.

Apart from making use of the editorial software, the practical experience of proposing a project directly to the Pullman hotel in the collaborative unit and the curation of the exhibition in projects and practices enable me to reflect my learning of project management, teamwork, human-centred design, culture and communications. Learning through the process and the encountered challenges are more concrete than learning from books.

Companhia Portugueza Do Cha

Overall, the learning in DMC is made up of inspiring and reflecting. It allows students to experiment and interrogate. To some degree, it is hugely different from my personality and behaviour. However, being in this environment, I started to think differently from how I used to.

Coming in DMC with the ambitious of learning the design and cultures sector for exploring and developing a future career, I was once lost in this journey. Although no one knows what the future would be, I know that this journey with DMC broadens my horizons to be able to understand the design process from not only the manager’s aspect but also the creator’s aspect. The learning is not the skills and the knowledge; it has become part of me and is leading me toward the future with greater possibility.


Photos were taken by Yun Chen are from the Lisbon- Companhia Portugueza Do Cha – an Old ‘ground floor’  shop space that has been rejuevenated via the Res Chao project.

Erasmus Exchange – Sonja Linkoneva

My experience on BA Design Management and Cultures at LCC in London

Sonja Linkoneva

It was like my dream come true when I heard I was accepted to be an exchange student in LCC in spring 2017. It had been my dream since I got to study cultural management in Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. London has always fascinated me as well as living abroad. My English skills were quite bad, so I saw that this would be my opportunity to improve my English skills.

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Processed with VSCO with a6 preset- London College of Communication.

I was very nervous when the spring term started. New city, new neighbourhood and new school with new people around. Luckily I was warmly welcomed and immediately I felt that this is going to be alright.

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Processed with VSCO with a6 preset- LCC Campus

Studying in LCC is quite similar as in Finland. Here I liked the teachers a lot. They seemed to be “in time” and were professional and inspirational. Here good thing is that I feel like everybody is willing to help. If I had any problems it was easy to go and ask for help. For example, when I printed and cut my portfolio, I didn’t need to struggle with it myself.

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Processed with VSCO with a6 preset- LCC Campus

The best thing in LCC are in my opinion all the workshops and opportunities to create and express myself. I did darkroom workshop and Adobe Muse workshop on my free time. I really liked that we had workshops in Projects and Practices. They gave me a lot because I think that producer must know something about everything. In the best situation everything about everything. I really liked the bookbinding workshop and all the Adobe software workshops. I would have done all the workshops that are just possible, but I run out of time.


I’m not that social person that I could make friends easily. I didn’t make any friends I’d hang out on free time, but I didn’t feel lonely because I had my partner with me in London. Anyway, the other students were so friendly and nice and I did have a good time with them at school. It’s always hard to come to new school when all the class mates have their own things going on. You can easily feel a little outsider. Luckily that didn’t bother me so much.

I could have made more of my time here, but in the end, I’m really happy about how things went. I came here to learn English and learn how to work in other country and with people from other cultures. These six months have given me more than I ever wished for and when I’m moving back to Finland, I’m moving as a different person from who moved here in December 2016. I hope I will come back here in the future to work and time here has given me so many tools for that.

Written by: Sonja Linkoneva


Erasmus Exchange – Beatrice Bekar

When last summer I applied to go on Erasmus, in Helsinki, Finland, I was really excited, but yet the idea was still far from reality, looked blurry and ephemeral. Time went by fairly quickly, and when the day of my departure got closer I felt lost and my excitement slowly faded.

Throughout my entire journey, mixed feelings dwelled my mind. Being already an international student in London I knew what it meant to move to a new country, start over again, understanding a new culture, making new friends, building an entirely new life in the very short time of only six months.


I arrived in Helsinki on the 2nd of January: it was negative 25, it was snowing and dark.

What might be seen as a horrible place to move into for the semester turned out to be one of the best experience of my life. There are three words that I like to recall to my exchange in Finland:

light, slow and detail.


The rigid Finnish weather has been one of the most fascinating aspects of the entire exchange. The very few hours of sunlight during the day, the cold and the snow not only created beautiful scenarios and landscapes pleasing for the eyes but also helped to create a strong and warm sense of community along with us exchange students.

21.01.2017- Market Square, HELSINKI

The weather, again, is also at the core of the Finnish approach to life: slow and relaxed (completely the opposite of the British one). The dark winter days and the bright spring ones let people embrace everyday life with calmness and positivity. This is how creativity emerges, I’ve been told during my stay by my internship supervisor, an experienced goldsmith, ‘art needs time, and the snow gives people the opportunity to see themselves and respect the nature’.


Helsinki is the capital of design for a reason: it is one of the most detail oriented city in the world. Never in my life have I seen so much beauty and mastery in such diverse fields. From tall buildings to small design objects like jewellery, everything is beautifully produced. The entire city looks curated, mixing old styles with more urban and contemporary characters. Taste is at the heart of every Finnish activity.

22.02.2017 -BUGØYNES, NORWAY-Artic Ocean

All my fears at the start were quickly substituted by excitement, the same that pushed me to apply for the Erasmus. This is my advice to anyone who’s considering to approach a similar experience: change is never easy, it’s incredibly scary and staying in your comfort zone is a much preferable idea, although, the long term effect that such experiences can bring to one’s life is indescribably rewarding and exceeds the initial fear of the unknown.


As a sage man, named Marcel Proust, one said ‘the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes’.

Written By: Beatrice Bekar, DMC 2018. 



Design Management and Cultures

What is Design Management & Cultures, you might ask. From my perspective, it represents the beginning of a three-year ‘journey’ at LCC and a broad enough course to let me explore the art spectrum. Although the term DMC might not have a precise definition  (as referenced in Design Management, Best K page 12), you already get somewhat of a glimpse from the title. It is, whatsoever, a course based on lectures, critical thinking, practice, external visits and of course a lot of research. Therefore, this is the first post of many, ranging what we have seen in class, artists, exhibitions and thoughts.

Written by: Nathalie Combs, DMC 2019. 


Culture is the embodiment of knowledge, customs, identity, and community. Defined differently through time and by different philosophers, culture remains a pillar of society as every nation has to maintain its culture. According to Schweitzer (1923), culture means a dynamic change of material and social circumstances. Therefore, culture is a social actor in generating new ways of thinking and helping people.

Consequently, culture has often been perceived as an indicator of social class, as there is a difference between what is called pop culture (or low brow) and high culture (or high brow). Popular culture can be described as temporary coming from the people for the people (often from the same social class), for instance, reality TV or gaming. High culture transcends time as it cannot be reproduced by anyone else but the artist that created it. Thus, it is associated with high classes as they value it from Shakespeare’s plays to Beethoven or Mozart music.

However, two pairs of philosophers, Arnold and Leavis, Hoggart and Willams, have opposite views on culture. Arnold and Leavis believe in ‘Great Tradition’, that working and lower classes do not have a culture of their own and have to be ‘sold’ a culture rather than creating it themselves. And by educating them they will become less prone to uprisings and wanting to defeat hierarchy. On another hand, Hoggart and Williams consider culture as being for everyone and every class possesses one. Williams especially, in ‘Culture is Ordinary’ (1958), put forward the idea of ‘Culturism’, that culture is shared by everyone and interpreted differently depending on where you come from.

With that said, an example, of culture being for everyone could be the Punk Culture. The Punk culture, at its peak in the 70s, was characterized by its music, clothing, activist and its ideology based on being against any form of establishment and individual freedom. Anyone had the possibility to express themselves.

Therefore, culture can be universal but very personal at the same time.

Written by: Nathalie Combs, DMC 2019. 







Ways of Seeing (Where is the truth?)

In his essay ‘The Rhetoric of the Image’, Roland Barthes (1964) analyses the messages contained in images. Roland unlocks the mysteries of advertising, and how images manipulate the way we read them, emphasising that: ‘All images are polysemous; they imply, underlying their signifiers, a “floating chain” of signifieds, the reader able to choose some and ignore others’ (p. 39). The question is, what drives us towards a particular way of seeing things? ‘Images can be used like words, we can talk with them’ (Ways of seeing, 1972). The difference is that the linguistic message directs us towards particular meaning, whereas a pure image can have a range of meanings. John Berger (1975) says, that ‘the way we see things is affected by what we know or what we believe’ (p.8). It is a chain of connected incentives, that accumulate in the way of seeing. Under the reasoning, if every image we see is perceived through our individual experience, where is the truth? Does the truth really exist?

Spoken language is a system of signs, which is common for all of us, or at least, for a particular group of people, who speak the same language. It is a tool, that enables us to communicate with each other. Thus it has to be clear, consistent. What about images? Can we communicate with them and still be well understood? Well, it is a tricky issue. Let’s think about emoticons. We use them everyday to express our feelings, which sometimes can’t be done with words. The truth is, that they are very personal, we interpret them in a diversified way, which sometimes entails to misunderstandings. In that case, the truth can be nothing else, but the common perception for majority of people. Even the knowledge, that we acquire at school is based on books written by other people. But who said they speak the truth? We just took them as the reliable source for masses, that’s why we call it a ‘common knowledge’.’We are so much a part of a system, that it is impossible to see beyond it’ (Curtis, 2016). Thereby, what if we call our existence into question?

Written by: Magdalena Obmalko, DMC 2019. 


Barthes, R. “The Rhetoric Of The Image”, Image Music Text, 1964 pp.32-51Accessible at:

The Rhetoric Of The Image – Roland Barthes (1964)

Berger, J. (2008) Ways of Seeing. 2nd edn. London: Penguin Books & British Broadcasting Corporation.

Curtis, A. (2016) HyperNormalisation. Available at: (Accessed: 29 October 2016).

‘Ways of seeing. Episode 1’ (1972) Ways of seeing, Series 1,Episode 1, BBC, 1972. Available at: 27 October 2016).


Design and Aesthetic

Appreciating good aesthetic is in human nature. In industrial design, the same can be said. Even if two object fulfills the same purpose, we are bound to prefer the better-looking object. The industrial design discipline is a practical discipline and functionality reigns supreme, but good aesthetics is vital too. Durability, ease of use, cost and safety may be a good selling point for a well-designed object, but the aesthetic quality of the object contributes to the user experience heavily, which is the main objective for design. The aesthetics of an object are instantaneous sensations one experiences while looking at an object, hence forming the first impression. The first impression does matter since overcoming the introductory aesthetic revulsion becomes a hefty challenge. It differs from cognitive responses since our response to it is rapid and involuntary (Ulrich, 2006).

The Powerstrike Hammer – 4″ longer, 4 1/2-oz. lighter.

The emergence of design movements or design schools can sometimes bring rapid change in industrial design aesthetic standards. Before the Bauhaus was formed in Germany in 1919, the functional minimalistic design language was not as influential as we see today. The Memphis movement, formed in 1981 by Ettore Sottsass introduced the playful, colourful style products which became the norm for product design aesthetic of the period. The movement even inspired the Fall/Winter 2011–2012 Christian Dior haute couture collection fashion show (Blanks, 2017). A theory on aesthetics which can clarify the charm of both these movements would likely associate culture with aesthetics.


Aesthetics go beyond visuals. It is quite evident in fashion. It works as things of symbolical value in social systems. Our aspiration to be of a certain social stature can drive our aesthetic value. Our self-image becomes a big part of our fashion choices. For a person who loves adventures and outdoor activities, most probably his value would lie towards outerwear adventure brands like North Face or Carhartt. For someone who feels like they belong to certain music movements, which basically can be a representation of their social self may like to wear clothes which belong to the music movement.

Written by: Jessy Hereikrujam, DMC 2019. 



Blanks, T. (2017). Christian Dior Fall 2011 Couture Fashion Show. [online] Vogue. Available at: [Accessed 15 May 2017].

Ulrich, K. (2006). Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society. 1st ed.

Home fixated (2014). The Powerstrike Hammer – 4″ longer, 4 1/2-oz. lighter. [image] Available at: [Accessed 16 May 2017].

Vogue (2011). FALL 2011 COUTURE Christian Dior. [image] Available at: [Accessed 16 May 2017].

Do we need a new Bauhaus movement?

It was 4th of October. While on a lonely trip back home after college, I was met with a copy of the London Evening Standard on the train. Being alone and tired after a long day, I resorted to reading the newspaper to gain some deviation away from my day. While browsing through the pages, I came across an article about UK government’s funding of arts. The article quoted the culture minister Matt Hancock talking about not cutting funds on arts in London in the times of crisis following the Brexit. That got me thinking of scenarios of it happening.

“London Will Be Protected From Arts Funding Cuts”. Evening Standard 2016


What if funding on design and arts gets reduce? What if the Brexit reduces the purchasing power of people who have been always the patrons for the creative industries? Has the creative industry gone through such scenarios before? Being a former student of NID, Ahmedabad which was started with the Bauhaus ideology in mind and where the students were told a lot of stories about the Bauhaus, I found certain similarity with the world where we live now and the pre-Bauhaus Germany.

The misery ,the First World War brought to Germany along with Walter Gropius’s idea of design, helped accelerate the creation of the Bauhaus. Not just the institution of the Bauhaus, but also as an idea. The idea which was driving the Bauhaus was trying to change the ornamentation style of design and moved to a more functional language of design. The rise of the Bauhaus couldn’t have come at a better time. After the world war, Germany was depleted with resources and money, and the purchasing power of the buyers was reduced drastically. I am not saying we are at that stage of the economic disaster, but the fall in the value of the British pound is alarming. Maybe the funding may not be cut today or tomorrow, but if the fall of the pound continues, I am sure it will come. It made me scared thinking about the future of design, but I begin to feel better thinking about how financial and political constraints gave rise to the idea of Bauhaus.

In the Bauhaus, due to lack of funding, students were forced to sell their designs they made in the workshop to provide funds to buy materials for the workshops. Sometimes, the students were paid in clothes and food. The designs which came out of the workshop, where raw material was a constraint, gave rise to innovative designs. Designs were developed which would be easy to manufacture. For example, Hin Briedendieck’s tea- glass holder which was designed to be made by stamping out of sheet metal in one piece and bend into shape.

I am not trying to be a dilettante. I believe, instead of looking at political events such as the Brexit and the fall of the value of the British pound as a forthcoming of the end of a fertile design environment, we should look at the Bauhaus as an example and work on forming a new idea of design which can help us get out of such situation like the Bauhaus did. Even if the Bauhaus died, the idea is still be seen being applied to almost all the surrounding things. Maybe we will provide with a chance to create an idea like the Bauhaus, which will help us solve the problems we have in our world right now. Let’s not let that chance go to waste. I believe if constraints will create necessities, we should use it as an opportunity.

Written by: Jessy Heirekrujam, DMC 2019. 


Cecil, Nicholas and Robert Dex. “London Will Be Protected From Arts Funding Cuts”. Evening Standard 2016: 8,16. Print.

Rowland, Anna. Bauhaus Source Book. London: Grange Books, 1997. Print.