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


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. 







The London Community Architect: Carl Turner

It may surprise you that, although the London-based architect Carl Turner is decorated by many achievements and successes, he had to sell his property to pursue his dream and, even nowadays, earns only as much to cover his comfortable lifestyle. A man who gives back to people and supports their development, an artist involved in numerous projects all with the same purpose: the environmental protection and the giving back to the community. During his talk at our university, Carl Turner explained what is his Sculptural Way of Looking and how got to where he is today.

Carl received an MA in Architecture and Urban Design at the Royal College of Art (RCA) where he adopted his hands-on approach and a passion for designing. Inspired by the works of Damien Hirst, Carl’s interest in crafts developed into skills which he applied to building his own house and various renovation projects. He describes the period he spent at university as the only moment when he had time to realize what he enjoys doing and to identify his passions, before focusing on how to establish his career and how to keep his practice going on an everyday basis.

During his talk, Carl focused on the importance of collaborations, which he experienced with RCA tutors, graffiti artists, illustrators and others. His team has tripled in size over the last year and would have grown much more if only they had the space. How absurd, you may think, for people who design houses for living, not to have enough space to work in. Well, this is London for you, my dear! However, Carl Turner Architects do not seem to be struggling with innovative ideas, so surely even this challenge will soon be overcome.

Carl’s approach is very patient and focused on long-term goals, such as building a reputation or awakening talents across Europe. Carl’s practice won a competition for a low-budget installation in Lisbon (MUDE) which was dealing with (teeny-tiny) housing spaces and literally slicing up buildings and furniture into easily-transportable blocks and pieces. His aim is to provoke a conversation and to receive feedback he can build onto.

Through his great passion, the social architecture, he has been able not only to address crucial issues (housing, environment, sustainability), but also helped promote growth in remote areas. Carl’s mindfulness is reflected by the limited number of hours he spends working and the emphasis he puts on the long-term impact of his projects (public gardens, sites for farmers’ markets, dance studios, workshops etc.).

Understanding context and participating locally are the top two priorities when it comes to planning and facilitating a project. Over the years, CT-Architects has not only designed some of the most beloved meeting spots in London, but also taken part in many competitions with the aim of discussing some unique ideas from different perspectives.

The trademark of the CT-Architects could be the containers. Similar to the ones used at this year’s Lisbon Triennale Pavilion (more on:, see bibliography). First installed by volunteers at the Hackney City Farm and then installed as the main building material of the PopBrixton, they fit perfectly into the image of the sustainable production. At Hackney Farm Carl experienced for the first time the real hands-off approach which so many people often (wrongly) associate with their profession. The practice, however, usually does the exact opposite and gets involved as much as money and time allow.

Following his instincts and fighting for a good cause has been Carl’s bread and butter. Thus, he bought and converted an abandoned barn and converted it into a guesthouse, using his signature ecological processes and creating various zones there. He believes that “if you wish to innovate, you have to be different” and must carry on when others tell you to stop. Such was the scenario with Brixton where Carl could spot the area’s potential and develop it long before the first hipsters started arriving.

It all, however, began with the Slip House which reminds of three different blocks piled up on top of each other like bricks. The sections allow a clear separation between individual parts of the house as well as the purposes they are used for. Yet it creates a beautifully compact space which satisfies the needs of both, family as well as work.

Today, more than ever, the need to innovate and address wider issues which they do. Many minds have been blown away by the transferability of Pop Brixton and there is so much more to come as people become more aware of their actions and pursue more conscious lifestyles. Carl Turner got us thinking about how can we, ourselves, contribute to the community we live in, and his talk only resonated the well-known fact that if you try hard enough, anything is possible.

Written by: Gabriella Ditt, DMC 2019. 



Mairs, J., 2016. Architects question authorship with Lisbon Triennale pavilion [Online]. Poole: Dezeen. Available from:[Accessed: 10/11/2016]

You can find Gabriella’s blog hereHere