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Ceramics Short Course alumni Maria Gasparian wins MullenLowe Nova Award

September 29, 2016 in courses, Student Stories

It’s been an interesting journey for Architect Maria Gasparian, who following an inspirational Short Course in Ceramics at Central Saint Martins, subsequently enrolled on an MA in Ceramic Design and graduated with distinction this summer.   Following this she won a MullenLowe Nova Award and Unilever Sustainability Award for her Colour Ceramic City, which aims to offer an engaging and sensory experience within pubic urban spaces.

Photo by Vic Phillips

Maria Gasparian, Colour Ceramic City Photo by Vic Phillips

Currently on display at Brain Waves, a Central Saint Martins Lethaby Gallery exhibition, the self-supporting sculptural ceramic pieces and dynamic volumes, formed by extruded clay coils have an abstract plane with two faces that celebrates the plasticity of clay and brilliance of the glazes. The pieces are scalable and can adapt to local contexts offering endless opportunities for site-specific interventions creating vibrant spaces within a city.

Maria Gasparian, Ceramic City, materials: clay, earthenware glaze Photo by Vic Phillips

Maria Gasparian, Colour Ceramic City, Materials: clay, earthenware glaze Photo by Vic Phillips

We asked Maria about her journey from ceramics short course student to award winning MA Ceramics graduate and how her Ceramics Short Course changed the path of her career.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?   

Eye-opener, Informative, Intensive

What did you enjoy most about your course?  

The teaching, hands on experience and experimentation.

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

The short course on Architectural Ceramics was a start of a new path in my career. I had been practicing as an architect at the time and also attending part-time pottery classes. Joining the short course gave me an idea about how to combine the two practices. Subsequently I enrolled on MA in Ceramic Design at CSM and graduated with distinction this summer.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

With work, study or family commitments it is often difficult to subscribe to a full time course particularly if it is in a new discipline for someone. Short courses are a very good way to try new ideas or test something that one had on their mind for a long time.

The next Ceramics for Beginners short course starts on 22 October 2016.  For further information please visit our website.  Taught by Simeon Featherstone, the course will teach you how to construct forms using hand-building techniques, create colourful and decorative surface patterns and also experiment with slip-casting.

Also in December we have exciting new course, Ceramic Screen-Printing and Ceramic Transfers, which will teach you how to design and produce your own screen-printed transfers.  Our full course offer of Ceramic Short Courses can be found on the Central Saint Martins Short Courses website.

ReSound: Sustainable Design for Acoustic Treatment

February 16, 2015 in Re-Sound

ReSound is a collaborative project created by Marco Eastwood in response to a problem that both students and staff in The Digital Space are facing; namely: the lack of acoustic treatment within the space. This has caused issues with noise levels, intelligibility and productivity.

Staff in the space have had to resort to monitoring sound levels, encouraging the use of headphones and creating visible signage to deter students from making lots of noise.

Where The Digital Space differs from the Library and Learning Zone at LCC is in the fact that it’s a creative learning environment where students work both individually and collaboratively. We have regular groups of students working together on projects and offer regular technical support to all students using the space.

The collaborative element within the space is something we would like to keep going, while restricting unreasonable noise levels for those who want to work without disruption.

The solution: install acoustic treatment.

This was brought up in a technical team meeting and an acoustics company was brought in to provide an assessment and a quote.

The quote exceeded budgets and was not top priority.

We approached the Spatial Design course leaders with the idea of a collaborative project where we could take this issue into our own hands and involve students and staff in a design project.

The idea was to design and create acoustic panels, tiles and fixtures to install within the space and treat the space for poor acoustics.

The inspiration was to focus on the use of sustainable materials and wood in particular after seeing the large amount of wood being sent for recycling after our Summer Shows.

We applied for funding through the Student Engagement Fund and the project was approved.

We have since then set up a working relationship with staff and students at London South Bank University who are advising us on acoustic testing, material properties and acoustic measurements of the space.

The project has been integrated into a unit for the 1st year BA Spatial Design students and they have now been given the brief for the project.

The aim will be to select a successful group of students’ designs and invite them to take on the implementation stage during the summer with the help of staff.

We’re very excited about the results of this project!

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