Kingston Graphic Design degree show

Typographic mini golf, a flash suit and a life-size swan made of discarded polystyrene cups – the ideas come thick and fast at Kingston’s Graphics show

Typographic mini golf, a flash suit and a life-size swan made of discarded polystyrene cups – the ideas come thick and fast at Kingston’s Graphics show

As we trawl around the degree shows it’s always interesting to see the different approaches colleges and their graduates take to the presentation of their work. Some shows – Norwich, for example – take a very ‘portfolio-led’ approach, with each student displaying three or four projects on boards. Kingston, in contrast, is usually a much more ‘conceptual’ show, with each student displaying one project. It’s a higher-risk strategy, relying on the strength of the project to prompt the visitor to be curious enough to want to discover more about its designer. But it does make for a visually enticing and varied show.

Tucked away under the arches near Hoxton station, Work Out2013 is very much in this conceptual tradition. One of the stand-out projects is Charles Anderson’s RSA Student Award-winning work on improving water environments. Anderson looked at the way in which discarded polystyrene affects wildlife, both when eaten directly and as a result of pollutants which are released as the material breaks down. “This project is about reducing waste polystyrene down to a managable size. The current size to weight ratio targets mean that local councils can’t recycle it. I have designed a process that meets these targets,” he says.

Anderson worked with the School of Pharmacy and Chemistry at Kingston to come up with a concept called Dump in Polystyrene. Using this process, polystyrene could be put into a recycling bin containing a solvent to break it down. The solution would then pass through a mesh filter and down a circular funnel to be collected in a drum before being able to be reused in new products such as flower pots.

On the Kingston website, Anderson explains more: “”The process was designed to tackle the main problem that councils face trying to deal with this waste – its size and the sheer amount thrown out. At the moment, it ends up going straight to landfill where it seeps slowly in to the soil. This process of degradation can take up to 1,000 years. My approach would mean it could be collected as a liquid, transported and recycled much more quickly and easily.”

To demonstrate the process, Anderson made a life-size model of a swan (shown above) using the material derived from recycling 1,400 polystyrene cups.


On the wall opposite Anderson’s work, Tom Biddulph‘s took on a challenge for any graduate – getting noticed. The material used to make his reflective suit (3M Scotchlite) ensures that anyone wearing it who is photographed with a flash will be hard to miss.


Regular readers might remember Kingston students’ tube-themed projects from earlier this year. Some of those were on show here, including Rachel Singer and Oliver St John’s armpit tube map


And Clare Newsam‘s roundel seat


Rachel Singer also showed a seating idea, Your Turn, a chair which relies on those seated to supply the legs


The largest piece on show was Ollie Willis‘s Typographic Golf: “A playable alphabet that can be created into a 26 hole mini golf course”.


Another sport-related project was Pong Ping by Andrew Barker and Matthew Hill , with a table that could be reconfigured to create some challenging new ways to play the game


Also from Barker was Treasure the Process, a drawing machine using different-sized wooden cogs to create different patterns


While Hill showed Signatures, a machine which was printing out the 100 most popular names of 2012 to demonstrate its ability  “to portray personality through ‘handwritten’ signatures”.


Elsewhere, I really liked Jackie Dermawan‘s bike cover made from Sainsbury’s carrier bags


And Matthew Osborne had a novel way of displaying the volume of water needed to produce different types of food, with an image of each foodstuff behind a jar containing the relevant amount of water, the image being distorted by the water in front of it


Elvind Reibo Jentoft was one of the few students to show a ‘traditional’ graphic design project with his entry for the DA&D student brief to brand a range of ‘sustainable’ cars from Nissan


While Chris Holt’s Sound & Object project used “4D modelling software to react to the sound that particular object makes. Each object’s sound wave is linked to a shape de-former which drives the manipulation of the object. As the object’s sound is played, different parameters such as the sounds length, sharpness and volume manipulate the objects form. Creating a visual representation of the audio of each object.”


I liked Irmak Osman‘s feather jewellery pieces, encouraging us to find beauty in that most unloved of birds, the pigeon


Liam Campbell‘s Multistool – “Exploring the links between furniture and its environment”  was fun


as was Get The Right Cut, Jack Mercer‘s translation of the different clipper grades at a barber’s into a series of numberd brushes with different length bristles


And You’ll Grow Into It, Fiona Casey‘s proposal for children’s clothing which could expand as the child grows


Finally, on a more serious note, I was intrigued by Grace Jenkins‘ project on Honeycomb Lung, a condition which marks “the end stage of many different degenerative lung diseases”


See all the students’ work at the Work Out 2013 website here


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