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




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 Elephant Artwork’s

The Heygate Estate, is a brutalist building from the 1970s in the district of Elephant & Castle, was home to more than three thousand people until it was included, in 2014, in the ambitious regeneration project of the area which leads to the building’s demolition.
The Elephant & Castle Project, designed by the organisation Lend Lease in collaboration with the Southwark Council aims to re-brand the district into a more human-sized, sustainable and desirable area to satisfy the ‘zone 1’ requisites.

‘Elephant & Castle is a place where people just travel through; the program wants to make the area a place in which people want to stay. […] The 1960s architecture, the roundabouts and the unappealing subways are starting to be wiped away to create a new destination in which to live, work and play’ (35% Campaign, 2012 cited in Southwark Notes, 2013).
From the demolition of the Heygate Estate, an exciting hub of pop-up stores and start-ups called the Artworks had been launched in 2014.
Similarly to Shoreditch’s Boxpark, the c village, comprising of 39 brightly coloured shipping containers deriving from the former estate and arranged over three floors, includes a variety of amenities. By offering a low-cost business and retail space, the hub brings a good concentration of creative businesses and independent artists. ‘The aim is to provide not just an office but an entire ecosystem providing a destination and an experience that is flexible, collaborative and fun’ (The Artworks, 2015).

The shipping containers at the Heygate Estate, witing to be plugged in. The Artworks, 2013

Fiona Colley, member for regeneration at Southwark Council, claimed: ‘The idea of the interim uses and creative projects in and around Elephant & Castle is to make sure that Walworth continues to thrive during substantial change, especially while the demolition and construction work takes place. Walworth is already a popular area for artists and students in the creative industries and is a hub for small businesses and independent retail. Artworks will provide temporary space for more of these types of business and support our drive to boost the local economy’ (Southwark Notes, 2013).


Although exciting many are the contradictions concerning not only the Artworks project but also the whole regeneration program. The ‘regeneration’ of the Heygate Estate has brought, in fact, to the demolition of 1,200 council houses and the re-building of only 71 new ones. ‘With private rental being unaffordable for so many, it’s pretty head-smackingly obvious that regeneration, in this instance, means social cleansing’ (Hancox, 2014).

Written by: Beatrice Bekar, DMC 2018.