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.

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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.


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.


Design as a Process

Due to the fact there are many applications of design in the current world, people tend to take different standing points when defining the term design. According to Kathryn Best, design comprises both the process of making something, and the final product of this process; which is the design itself (Best 2006). For many practitioners, Design is the intuitive and creative process, by which one can formulate and realises practical solutions that meet the needs of the markets and create reasonable value for whichever business.

In this sense, Design is a series of events and activities that only fits best the description of a process. The flexibility of Design reflects its trait as a process since this is meant to meet the needs of both the organisation and other parties involved like customers. User-centered design, for instance, is by nature one of the iterative processes involved in the creation of Designs. What one discovers through usability testing and user research is often used as the benchmark to how the project should proceed. It is important to note that design it is an ever evolving process and not a fixed statute that must be followed. This is unlike theories put forward that present design as a methodology rather than a process. This would bring a direct implication that design is neither flexible nor adaptable, rather what one would call a ‘fixed recipe’ that one must follow if they would like their business process to be a success. This is all the more reason for it to be referred to as a process even though there is the need once in a while for improvisation in the design projects. Nonetheless, the achievement of optimal design solutions requires the incorporation of effective design processes that provide high-quality frameworks within which the designers can consistently produce high quality (Bordens and Abbott, 2005).

Written by: Caterina Pomari, DMC 2018.



Best, K. (2006). Design management. Lausanne, Switzerland: AVA Academia.

Bordens, K.S., Abbott, B.B., 2005. Research and Design Methods: A Process Approach. McGraw-Hill.


The Value of Design Management

‘Design Management is a leadership role, one that requires explaining, inspiring, persuading and demonstrating how design can positively contribute to an organisation in many different ways.’ Kathryn Best, 2006

Design, as a communication channel, is a constitutive characteristic of any kind of organisation, it is ‘intrinsically linked to business in a way that both can add and create value’ (Best, 2006). Therefore, in order to properly use this powerful tool, an organisation needs a person with leadership skills the design process: the design manager.

In order for design to be effective, it is essential for design managers to have a good understanding of the marketing strategy, the financial position, the philosophy and the goals of the company and of how design can strategically play for their business in order, to achieve successful outcomes.

When it comes to business, the most important keywords to remind are: purpose, people and profit. Designers’ aim is to translate aesthetic into functionality by giving to their creativity a specific purpose or use. Companies or clients work in order to obtain a profit from the products realised by the designers. The design managers mediate between these figures by engaging and acting collaboratively with all the aspects and people of the design process, generating an action plan and continuously measuring the work and the performance (Reifi and Emmitt, 2012).

Design management is focused on the people producing but also enjoying the products (the consumers) that a company offers into the market. Although, this discipline is not only about the outcomes of a business but has the responsibility of assisting especially the early stages of the production process.

The presence of a design manager within a company can contribute to extend a vision or an idea to its maximum potential by making it innovative and marketable at the same time. The design manager must represent the identity of the company he/she is working for and elaborate strategies to enrich it. This role is in charge of taking part of the realisation of the product’s prototype, which needs to be an exact representation of the identity, the budget and the aims of the company, as well as taking part of the advertising, marketing and finally retail processes, as he must have a perfect notion of the values of the company and the needs of the consumers.

In a world that becomes more competitive every day and in which the creative industries are rapidly growing ‘as one of the best ways to increase competitive advantage between commercial companies and even entire countries’ (Best, 2010), there is the need for designers to work alongside more specialised figures with a wider understanding of the sector.

Design managers are problem solvers. Managing design can create and add a positive value not only to a company but to the entire world by operating toward the solutions of some of the biggest challenges of our society such as environmental, social and humanitarian issues. Design, with the help of design managers, can use ‘technology as a transformation tool’ (Best, 2006) to improve the world we live in.

Written by: Beatrice Bekar, DMC 2018.



Best, K. (2006). Design management. Managing design strategy, process and implementation. Lausanne, Switzerland: AVA Academia, pp.: 6-7, 12, 16-18.

Best, K. (2010). The fundamentals of design management. Lausanne: AVA Academia, pp.: 8-9.

El. Reifi, M. and Emmitt, S. (2013). Perceptions of lean design management. Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 9(3), pp.195-208.