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Kate Andrews

London, United Kingdom

Designer (Graphic Design)

Member since June 13, 2007


  • A Life-Long [Learning] Endeavor

    Education, Fashion Design

    Design Professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Kerry Polite (2004) published his thoughts on what are today’s [2004] ‘most important questions in design education’. He offers a personal observation to the nature of contemporary design education, in comparison to its historical origins:

    In the past, students and educators dealt mainly with four or five principles: composition, typography, form, colour and drawing… Today, students are expected to be skilled technicians, be knowledgeable in a range of software programs and work with sound, motion, and interactivity.

    Polite explains how design students need to slow down and think, to be working for content-driven, not style-driven design solutions. The problem, he pitches is how today, Students want to rush in and make finished projects… and …because they have been bombarded with very slick visual stimuli their entire lives, the work tends to look derivative.

    This observational discussion offers an interesting [if, concerning] perspective on how important it remains to embed and praise design thinking, research, experimentation and relevance. Thinking About Design Education was published by the AIGA in 2004.

  • A Foot in Both Worlds

    Arts & Culture, Communication Design

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    "Mathematical perfection,.. ignores the fact that the visual world relies on imagination and illusion.

    The graphic designer needs a foot in both worlds and must reconcile these polar opposites... In a world where information about virtually everything is available instantly, it is rewarding to discover things that exist but remain hidden, invisible, unless perceived through observation.

    As we move forward, it is important to preserve the valuable human component to the process of making and visual thinking. While technology expands its influence on traditional means of thought and design, the role of the graphic designer will continue to evolve in new and unpredictable directions.

  • Cultural Generalism

    Education, Communication Design

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    From an essay by Lorraine Wild, That Was Then, and This Is Now: But What Is Next? from: Looking Closer Four: Critical Writings on Graphic Design, comes an interesting discussing from Assistant Professor in Graphic Design, Todd Roeth.

    Designers need a lot of common sense. In short, effective graphic designers need to be able to be sensible and conscious of different viewpoints, and different styles of language (verbal and non-verbal) within their culture and the types of mindsets that speak them. Furthermore, graphic designers then need to draw from their body of knowledge and experience, and employ it to cleverly, shrewdly, and creatively solve the problems graphic designers are challenged to confront. And that common sense is free to all who have the passion – or at least, the wherewithal – to seek it, but priceless when obtained.

    Image spotted by SwissMiss FFFound, via Michael Surtees at Design Notes.

  • Not Here, but Now

    Poverty, Communication Design

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    When the demands of Neoliberalism play havoc with our lives, it is time to fight back, and designers wield the sharpest tools.

    "Not Here, but Now" is an example of how sharp our designer tools can be. Not only for the fact this campaign is visually intelligent, but it was also a pro bono campaign, designed for Amnesty International (Switzerland), by Walker Werbeagentur.

    References:

  • OSOCIO

    Communication, Communication Design

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    Ever amazed at the number of aesthetic-centered design blogs appearing on the blogosphere, I am [always] pleasantly surprised to find a design-focused resource... with a social conscience.

    Osocio is a designers blog, dedicated to social advertising and non-profit campaigns. As the blog founders promise 'It’s the place where marketing and activism collide. Formerly known as the Houtlust Blog, Osocio is the central online hub for advertisers, ad agencies, grassroots, activists, social entrepreneurs, and good Samaritans from around the globe.'

    The Osocio bloggers include; Armando Alves, Dan Matutina, Gillo Cutrupi, Liz Losh, Marc van Gurp, Noah Scalin and Serge Fenenko. This is a blog worth checking out if you are fed up of techy-focused media cramming your inboxes.

  • Conceptual Design: Building a Social Conscience.

    Arts & Culture, Communication Design

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    Is there a relationship between the conceptual thinking behind Marcel Duchamp's 1917 urinal and contemporary design practice?

    Design writer and Design Observer contributer Nick Currie believe's there is. In an AIGA feature of 1995, Currie presents some interesting thoughts on the evolution of Conceptual Art and its impact on designing for social impact.

    Currie's feature, Conceptual Design: Building a Social Conscience begins by exploring if there has 'ever been “Conceptual Design?”' and moves on to discuss how the conceptual arts of the early 1900s has led young designers to think more about social issues than consumer goods.

    "There’s a generation of young designers who, almost a century after Duchamp, seem to share something of his spirit... Rather than products, these people are designing situations, intervening in existing arrangements, framing everyday activities in ways that make us think of them, unexpectedly, as “design.” And although they’re often satirical in tone, these designers share a concern with ethics and responsibility; one of the reasons the design they make is so often immaterial is their sense that the last thing the world needs is more objects, more consumer goods. The widening ripples of Duchamp’s gesture blend, in their work, with the repercussions of a gathering concern around issues like sustainability, community and responsibility: to be conceptual is, after all, to be thoughtful."

    Although, I do see the connection betwee...

  • The Designers Accord

    Environment, Communication Design

    Seemingly a really positive initative, from a list of iconic design leaders and organisations, The Designers Accord is a coalition of design and innovation firms focused on working together to create positive environmental and social impact (2008).

    Partnered with the AIGA and IDSA, The Designers Accord was founded by Valerie Casey and hosts an advisory panel including: Paul Hawken - Natural Capital Institute, Tim Brown - IDEO, Allan Chochinov - Core77, Jen van der Meer - o2NYC and Marc Alt - Marc Alt + Partners.

    The movement they explain 'started as a call to arms for designers to engage in the environmental movement with optimism and creativity ...It is our obligation to use our knowledge, experience, and reach to positively influence what we design and consume.'

  • WWF Deeper Luxury Report

    Environment, Communication Design

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    The WWF has published a report on deeper luxury. A must read for anyone involved in the beauty or fashion industries.

    Core77 reported the publication news recently and explain: "WWF-UK ranked the world's largest luxury groups (featuring brands such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, IWC, Garnier, Louis Vuitton, etc.) on their social and environmental performance, as well as analyzing relevant attitudes in the luxury industry. Luxury is about being and having the very best! It's not about following a brand because everyone else does! With the report WWF-UK urges luxury companies to put sustainability issues at the heart of their business strategy and to benchmark their progress."

    Written by Jem Bendell and Anthony Kleanthous, the full report is available free of charge here: WWF Deeper Luxury Report.

    Via Core77

  • House372_177_

    Last week, I embarked on a regular 5hour journey from the beaches of Bournemouth on the UK's Southern coastline, back to the UK home county of Buckinghamshire. On my travels I was amazed to see how vastly the view out of the coach window has transformed. Just outside Ringwood rivers had turned into fastflowing lakes and cars were upturned in flood ridden ditches. It was a frightening reality to see, and made me seriously begin to question the future of UK living.

    The Guardian published an interesting article this week entitled We'd like 250,000 of these, please, where 'Steve Rose meets some Dutch architects who may have the answers.'

    If Noah were here today, he would no doubt be ordering his timber. In an increasingly familiar scenario, the sandbags, mops, wellies and canoes have been out over the past week, as parts of Britain dealt with another spate of torrential rain, burst riverbanks and flash flooding. The outlook is for more of the same. Last month, a government panel ranked flooding alongside terrorism in terms of national threat, and advocated extreme measures. And it's not just a British problem. Last year saw catastrophic floods across the world: in Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, Mexico - even Australia. Read the full article here.

    Flooding is a daunting prospect, that is never out of the UK headlines. I wonder how and where our creative intelligence can be put to use in solving this otherwise devasting future. Are we really looking at a future of floating homes?

    ...
  • Three Trees Don't Make a Forest

    Environment, Communication Design

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    Great news from Creative Review this month. A 3sprong creative collaboration have founded Three Trees Don't Make a Forest, a not for profit enterprise set up to help everyone involved in design and advertising to rethink their working cultures and start to produce sustainable creative solutions that really work.

    Vastly experienced, Three Trees’ founders, Sophie Thomas of thomas.matthews, Caroline Clark of Lovely as a Tree and Nat Hunter of Airside will continue to run their respective award-winning design practices while working within the industry to share their collective 25 years’ experience in creating effective sustainable design.

    When it comes to sustainable design, there are no excuses. Sooner or later our industry will have to rise to the challenge. As creativity is our business, we should be comfortable with the notion of making our design work that bit harder; creatively and for the environment.

    ...

“The best way to predict the future is to design it.” - Buckminster Fuller

Contact Kate Andrews
Kate Andrews

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design