Reflective Voices


Sarah Willmott, MA Graphic Design Communication student is next in the series to talk with us about her life at Chelsea, her practice and MA Summer Show project Reflective Voices focusing on Sarah’s passion for feminism and the power of the voice.

“During my time on MA Graphic Design Communication my practice has developed and become more complex in relation to the subject matter I focused on. For my MA Summer Show I created a Sew & Tell pop up event, including a documentary and physical outputs.

“My practice influences stem from the women’s rights movement and the aim for equality. Inspiration comes from artists such as Jo SpenceCindy Sherman and Linda Brothwell.

“For the show, I chose to focus on my current Reflective Voices project as I am passionate about feminism and the power of the voice. The project started around the legalities of upskirting, which at the time I started my research was still legal in certain circumstances. During the project, upskirting became illegal through Gina Martin taking it to parliament.

“The labels started around this topic and mentioned statements about lengths of skirts, acting as the agency for voice between the woman and her garment. Like an instruction to self before entering a situation.

“At this point artists such as Jo Spence and Cindy Sherman inspired my work. I was inspired by Jo Spence’s use of camera angles and photography style she used to visualise the stories of the women as well as the complex topics the project aimed to challenge.

“Inspiration from Cindy Sherman’s work helped give my project a sense of character, with seamstresses acting out how woman would have sewn in tailors in the past, including re-enacting a tailor’s set up in a vintage shop to also created an atmosphere for women to experience when they entered the shop.

“As the project developed further the labels adapted to different topics women face daily generally, such as the gender pay gap, sexism in the work place and harassment. The words also adapted more to a situation rather than the garment, with statements on them such as ‘Don’t Protect me. Respect Me’, ‘Power is a Secret Weapon’ and ‘Fancy a Dance?’.

“These statements were more diverse. The concept to re-create the pop up live sewing event I held during the Interim Show but in a set location. I chose Margate, a town near me which is currently in a transition where more woman are opening businesses and also a place with a strong sense of womanhood. The event was held in a small vintage shop sitting subtly in the corner for women to come in and receive a label with their vintage find or the clothing they were wearing.

“The project was then documented video and shared on Vimeo and Instagram for the continuous work and interactions of the woman who participated. The idea was that the women would tag a post and write about how living with their label had provoked a memory or story to share with the social community. This gave the project some unexpected and interesting stories to allow the user and viewers to gain insights into the lives of others.

“Chelsea’s workshops provided my practice with the tools and the studio environment created a buzzing learning hub for me to work alongside others on my course – a place where ideas can bounce off one another.

“During my time at Chelsea I have also worked freelance for companies in Kent, whilst at the same time expanding my network at events and with fellow students.

“I commuted from Kent every day, though I enjoyed the inspiration around me in London as well as while working in the studio spaces and workshops.

“After completing MA Graphic Design Communication I aim to work for a creative agency which shares my ethics, morals and values as these are important when I am designing things.

“For anyone thinking of studying MA Graphic Design Communication I would say, keep focused and have a goal from the start. The stronger the focus the stronger the energy into projects, remembering that your work can always be adapted, and it usually works out better.

“Personally, I’m proud to be a Chelsea student because of all the Chelsea students who have come before me and left achieving so much.

“Right now, I am wrapping up a successful Kickstarter fundraiser for my patch campaign, which will support me in making the patches . I am also working on various freelance jobs for companies.

“My Chelsea experience in 3 words? Inspiring, Engaging and Fun”

See more work on Sarah’s website and Project Reflective Voices Instagram

Find out more about MA Graphic Design Communication

Come see Sarah’s work and the rest of our graduating students at our MA Summer Show

Can’t make it to the show? Check out our students work on

Imaginaria Festival Spain – Art Residency

Imagineria is an annually organized photography festival taking place in Castellon (Spain). For their 15th edition, they are inaugurating a residency program in partnership with University of Arts of London, supported by the UAL Postgraduate Community.

The residency revolves around the photographic medium but can be widely interpreted to create multi-media projects. We are asking participants to look at how the identity of the sea-side town has been influenced by environmental changes.

Student, Miles Johnson  has been selected to participate where he will undertake the following;


My work is an examination of activism. Empowering people is everything. My work invites interrogation in the sense that those who view it are prompted to interact with and reflect upon a story or concept within a broad context. For Imagineria i will explore the absurdity of review culture and tourism. To do this I will build an augmented reality application of iOS devices that displays places, events, and their rating (0-5 stars) around the user. I will interview locals and identify quotidian and oft-overlooked places in Oropesa del Mar that have meaning for them.


Xhibit at Bermondsey Project Space

MAGDC student Miles Johnson has been selected by a panel of judges to show his project work, “Eric’s Story” as part of Xhibit annual exhibition, to take place at Bermondsey project space 19th April- 12th May

Eric’s Story – description

Eric’s Story is an augmented reality iPad application that tells the story of Eric Garner, an African American man who was strangled by a New York City police officer in 2014. The application features eight news clips, organized chronologically, that portray the event from various points of view. It also presents the names of 29 unarmed African Americans killed by police in the United States since 1999. The goal of this application is to prompt people to reflect upon the story of Eric Garner in a platform that juxtaposes the events of 2014 against one’s everyday life…


Souvenirs for the Future at Tate Exchange, Tate Modern


A group of the MA Graphic Design Communication Students organised and ran a workshop for the public at the Tate Modern, as part of the programme of events within Tate Exchange .

The workshop entitled, ‘Images of the Past: Souvenirs for the Future’ asked participants to reflect on their relationships to objects of everyday living and culture. By sending the objects into the future, participants were able to rethink the values of human interactions, community and the role of material forms as part of this.

See the images below to understand the process of the workshop


The Project workshop delivery was financially supported by the Student Union, University of the arts London,  and the post production was supported by UAL Alumni: Zhivko Dimitrov, Hiawatha Bradley, Nicklas Jonsson, Kwang-su Kim, Cho Hyunsang, Ji-Ah Park.

As a counterpoint to the workshop production, Common Works studio demonstrated  their design research project made in co-operation with ceramicist, Natalie Strachan. The project demonstrated a process by which a sound recording made by an individual can be captured online and used to alter the surface shape and texture of a ceramic vessel before it is cast. This creative idea re-opens the traditional consumer production process and gives space for the individual to have a more personalised connection to objects in their daily life.


See a video of this project here 






Summer Show 2016 Highlights

Project work from MA Graduates included: Video, Print, Material Interactions, Participatory Workshops, Craft, Sound Visualisations…there are no boundaries in the pursuit of communicating ideas with the intended audiences on the MAGDC course at Chelsea

See some of the highlights here and read further details about the projects on the official MA show website




Common Works Studio presentation

We had the pleasure of hosting a presentation from Common Works studio. To quote their ethos “The studio has developed its practice with a focus on art direction, interactive work, moving image and emerging technologies – exploring how these disciplines intersect to create unconventional and unexpected results.”

Students were treated to: a live demo of the sound based app which customises the shape and surface of a ceramic object according to sound input over the web; analogue to digital processed animation; and the journey of their design thinking and future ambitions.

We look forward to having Chris and Jonny back next term to share their expertise for a studio workshop


Re-Animating Materiality through Sound at the Tate Exchange

As part of the UAL Digital Maker Collective  a special session devoted to looking at creative combinations of SOUND, MATERIAL, DIGITAL and ANALOGUE will be held on the 22nd March at the Tate Exchange, Tate Modern London.

We invite visitors of all ages and levels of experience to this session to see and hear the techniques used by  a group of artist and designers. There will also be an opportunity to try your hand at becoming a Foley artist under the guidance of Louise Brown, as well as enjoying an interactive experience of the Sound Arts from Nicola Rae.

After this session visitors are encouraged to visit all the other interactive events in the same space.

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Re-Animating Materiality through Sound session timings : 12.00 – 2.00 p.m . All other Digital Maker Collective Sessions: 12.00 – 6.00 p.m

Full list of Presenters

Nadia- Anne Ricketts : Textiles Designer

Melanie King:  Artist 

David Barnett: Scenography Designer

Louise Brown: Foley Artist

Nicola Rae: Artist

Ellen Davies: Graphic Designer  

This event is organised by Sadhna Jain

Book via: Eventbrite:








MA Graphic Communication Design – Themed Groups

Here you will find visual examples and case studies which help to describe different approaches to the study themes 

Each theme can be interpreted in many different ways; it depends on your point of view, or the cultural background of the designer etc. We welcome new interpretations of the themes with each new group of students.

 Theme 1: Proximities and Encounters 

Enforced closeness between people and environments occurs as a direct result of migration, localised change, changing infrastructures. What is the role of Graphic Communication Design in the event of spaces collapsing or overlapping?

How will designers respond to the new ideas of intimacy of the body, home and materiality in their future work?

How could we creatively exploit the different combinations of media platforms within Graphic Communication Design in the pursuit of re-connecting to the past, and which experiences would be valuable?

Case Study. Credit:Miranda July – ‘Somebody App’   Source: MiuMiu Channel, Youtube

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Credit:Sean Murphy  – ‘StoryBoard 1.0’ Graduate from MAGDC Chelsea College of Arts. An interactive story making machine allowing participants to build a story via mood, expression and genre.

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Credit: Graduate from MA GDC Course Chelsea College of Arts – Project: Counter Cartography. Example visualizes the growth of industrial factories in an area of China, and its impact on nature and living spaces

Theme 2 : Mobilising the Studio

What types of creative opportunities emerge when the designer operates from within the space of the audience?

In what ways can creative curiosity grow as a result of operating through a series of transitional spaces and improvised resources?

Will ideas of creative co-creation (like the new wave of independent publishing ) continue and extend to other forms and outcomes and what impact will it have on culture?

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 Case Study: Credit: Anthony Burrill ‘Timeless’ screenprint posters for Experimenta Festival in Lisbon.

Source : Eye Magazine

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Credit: Sakurako Okabe, ‘Fragmend’ Graduate from MAGDC Chelsea College Of Arts. A mobile workshop for the public exploring the pleasure and power of revitalization

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Credit : Juhi Vishnani, ‘Macroscope’ MAGDC Chelsea college of Arts. A Zine magazine set to infiltrate the mainstream journalism within India


Theme 3: Materiality and the Post Real 

What are the new definitions of materiality which, arise through hybrid forms, digital and analogue and how can Graphic Communication designers respond to this ?

How can Graphic Communication Design cultivate new ideas of interaction through a greater use of materiality ?

How can expressions of ‘reality’ change as a result of mixing and altering different virtual and physical material forms?

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Credit: Mariana Salzar Riveros ‘Hands Untangling Traceable Perspectives’ Graduate from MAGDC Chelsea College of Arts. New ways of visualization to explore the relationship of hands with tools for the future. Source

Credit: Ellis van der Does ‘The Assembly Line 3.0’ Graduate from MAGDC Chelsea College of Arts


Case Study. Credit: Revital Cohen and Tuur van Balen- ’75 watts’  Video Trailer “In 75 Watt, a product is designed to be made in China. The object’s only function is to choreograph a dance performed by the labourers manufacturing it.” Source:


Robert Kesseler, Chair of Art and Science at UAL devised the workshop to Oxford Brookes University . MAGDC student Gonzalo Caravia was selected as a member of this group

“In this workshop (called “Microworlds”) we were introduced to the possibilities and equipment acquired by the microbiology department in order to research any kind of material… . Starting from a optical microscope to a molecular and cell-detail.

My project during this workshop was to research about how a very common and daily object such as money and bills can be seen differently though a microscope. I used some bills form my home-country Uruguay

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