Hope, Tension and Struggles. An exhibition by Year 2

After hours of brainstorming, comparing, discussing the topics that interested each one of us on the global scale, we decided to the highest of our capacities, answer those questions: How do we experience the design culture(s) of a city? What is the social impact of design in the shaping of these design cultures?



Cities are complex and each one grows and develops its own distinct identity according to various social, economic and political factors. Design is, in many ways, a force in shaping a city’s culture and identity. However, what is meant by design is always based on context, and this context makes design adaptable to multiple meanings set by the inhabitants of the city to suit their needs.



Hope, Struggles, and Tensions is a group exhibition curated by the second-year students of the BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures course at the London College of Communication. It was the first exhibition curated by the class DMC18. A very challenging experience, time-wise, we also had to learn how to work around the space, use the right mediums for our message, but also the challenge of making a whole out of several different projects. The works exhibited utilise a range of mediums including sound, objects, posters, photographs, and construction materials, and attempt to illustrate the struggles, the tensions and the hope (or hopes) through design and designing. This selection of works allows the viewer to explore specific perceptions of the multitude of design cultures from the cities of Jakarta, Mexico City, Lagos, Zagreb, Bangalore and Cairo.



Catalogue Design – Nathalie Combes

Nathalie Combes is a first-year student of BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures. As part of her final assignment, she created a project called ‘Metaphorical journey’. Her catalogue is an ultimate time machine to the disruptive late 60s.

“The catalogue represents a metaphorical journey through someone’s memory of the late 60s, having kept notes and ephemera from different events, especially from protests.

The ephemera, composed of the five blog posts and the design rationale, is meant to represent flyers or tracts recuperated during protests as the layout and typefaces were inspired by a flyer from May ’68. Two sans-serif typefaces were used, Arial and Britannic Bold, as they nicely emulate the spirit of the original flyer and what was commonly used during the 60s. I chose a type of paper that looked like it had aged in a cream color. The ephemera is kept in an envelope to symbolise the emotional attachment to the era and to the events for the person. (…) The notebook and envelope containing the ephemera are stored in a box, created to be able keep the memories as long as possible.” (Combes, Metaphorical journey, 2017)

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SShake is the brainchild of BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures graduate Valentine del Giudice. SSSHAKE is the first mobile app dedicated to creative collaborations. It is a cross-disciplinary platform aimed at helping creatives from different industries to connect easily and locally in order to come up with new innovative projects.

What is SSSHAKE?

SSSHAKE is a mobile app that connects creatives from different backgrounds and industries easily and locally. In addition to the app, SSSHAKE is also becoming a welcoming community of talented people who believe that sharing and exchanging is essential to growing as a creative. Every two months, SSShake hosts the ‘SSSHAKE creative gatherings’ which are relaxed networking events held in different locations.







Follow SSShake in Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ssshakeapp/

Catalogue Design – Magdalena Obmalko

Magdalena Obmalko is a first-year student of BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures. Her project ‘Utopian Urbanism’ is a portfolio of work focused around the subject of utopia within a city and constitutes the ultimate guide book for utopian urbanists.

“The concept of my catalogue focuses on the problem of visualising utopian ideals in the context of urbanism.The general pursuit of perfection is deeply embedded in the human nature and involves both the human itself and his habitat. However, the sense of utopia is generally connoted with an unrealistic product of human imagination.The majority of projects considering the utopian vision of an urban space resembled rather a dystopian image and in the end, met with failure. In my catalogue, I would like to present another aspect of utopian urbanism, which focuses on people and their needs, and that way contributes to making utopias real. It is related to the accurate analysis of the multidimensional relationship between a city and its inhabitants. City, as a form of collectivity, comprises a variety of communities and confers on the society a sense of identity. The relation is bilateral and concerns many aspects. The society creates itself urban imaginaries and thereby, constitutes the existence of a city.

The catalogue has a form of a kit for radical urbanists, designers and ordinary people as well, who are interested in the concept of utopia within the city. It consists of a booklet with a written part and enclosed map introducing the brutalist architecture of London, which at some point in the past was considered the architecture of utopian visions. My ultimate purpose was to present the problem of envisioning utopias from different perspectives.

The earthy colours of the design symbolise the urban image of a city and refer to the brutalist and modern architecture in general, which is marked by the concrete materials and a raw look. Accordingly, the minimalist character of my design fits into the modernist buildings’ aesthetics. The transparent envelope, however, embodies the idea of a set and forms kind of a packaging, which creates the intentional experience for a reader.” (Obmalko, Utopian Urbanism, 2017)

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Collaborative Project

The Collaborative Unit of the BA Design Management & Cultures program is all about teamwork: how to build a team, how to function as a member of a team, how to identify what needs to be done and delegate tasks accordingly, to be able to ultimately put forth a creative and well-researched Process Map as the result of an entirely collaborative effort. We were presented with the challenge of exploring the hotel user experience in both London and Paris at the time of Airbnb, through the lens of Human-Centered Design. The project centred on the Accor Hotels group, our location of focus being the Pullman Hotel in London, located near Kings Cross St. Pancras. We started out as Group A and grew into the A-Team throughout the process of collaboration. Initially a bit uneasy about the idea of working in a group of seventeen people, we soon embraced our challenge and began to break it down into conquerable tasks. By dividing ourselves into four flexible groups—primary research, secondary research, concept/ideas and analysis, and design—the work became more manageable and the tasks clearer, each team member free to contribute to the tasks best suited to their skill-set. The sections included in this document represent the tasks completed by the four groups, thus providing a thorough understanding of the planning, research and ideation that led to the creation of the final Process Map (slideshow presented above).

As a result of effective collaboration, insightful innovation and a lot of hard work, we have arrived at three solutions: re-designing the hotel interior, incorporating social events into hotel business activities and using social media as a marketing tool. We reached these conclusions by carrying out extensive primary research including focus groups, work placements and observations as well as secondary research using Human-Centred Design and Trend Management frameworks such as SWOT analyses, PESTLE analyses and Stakeholder Mapping. We also had a strong concept and ideas team who adopted a Design Thinking methodology and went on a journey of diverging and converging to arrive at desirable, feasible and viable solutions. We also utilised the talent in our design team to create a visually appealing process map and presentation of these ideas. We treated this project as a live professional learning and development experience and believe that with some development, these solutions can be applied to The Pullman’s business strategy to enable them to compete with Airbnb. We also believe that by utilising Human-Centred Design principles, emerging ourselves into the real job market and working collaboratively, we are capable of being design consultants for the hotel industry in the UK and Paris on how to cope with the rising threat of the sharing economy. – T.B. Sorensen & Mollie Horne

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The slideshow on the project by Group A.

(Designed by Nicole Alves)


Catalogue Design – Cecilia Righini

Cecilia Righini is a first-year student of BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures. The presented catalogues are part of her final assignments. The Design Research Portfolio refers to the concept of design and its value. Based on the chosen quote from the book ‘Rules for Radicals’ by Saul D. Alinsky, which concerns socio-political issues, she shows the omnipresence of design in our everyday life.

A project by Cecilia Reghini

Amazon social

The ‘Amazon Social’ project, created by first-year students – Jessy Heikrujam, Nathalie Combes, Magdalena Obmalko and Nathalie Combes – is the effect of the experience design workshop with the Two Igloos company’s founders. The brief was to redesign the experience of purchasing shoes on the Amazon website:

“The target group we were designing for consisted of women at the age of 18-35, who regularly use the social media and gather there some fashion inspiration. We have created an individual application called ‘Amazon Social’, which is a combination of a shopping website and social media platform. Each user has his own profile with a feed and can easily purchase the items wore by the people they follow. The application has also a ‘3D foot scanner’, which helps to choose the right shoe size.” (Obmalko, Tabula Rasa)

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