Why We Love Manchester School of Art

Words: Abi Goodman

There was a real buzz around the School of Art this week.

By Thursday, Second year students from the Whitworth Threads project were developing their team-working skills by accepting the challenge of building a support structure to carry an egg through the air, to see who could ‘fly’ their egg the furthest and whose egg would survive the trip intact!

Meanwhile First year students from BA Hons Fashion, Fashion Art Direction, Interactive Arts and Interior Design were working in cross-disciplinary teams to produce a wearable museum. This day long workshop was led by former Interactive Arts graduate Aliyah Hussain who is a visual artist and performance artist. In her practice she works with costume, performance and audience reaction.

She challenged the students to think of the body as architecture and to make costumes relating to different themes. Students were encouraged to experiment with a DIY approach to see how simple materials such as paper could be manipulated and transformed. The day was finished off with an impromptu portable gallery opening.

We, at the blog, were fortunate to get talking to one group of students at the big reveal in the Benzie foyer. They said that they had not known what they were in for and the day had proven to be really creative. Most importantly the day had helped them gel as a group and gain different points of view as they were all from different disciplines.

Also this week, intriguing large-scale cardboard objects and characters started to appear with First year students from BA Hons Graphic Design and Illustration with Animation who had been undertaking a workshop with Lord Whitney (who gave an Inspirer Lecture earlier in the week). More detail to follow on the Inspirer speakers next week!



Film, Photo & Animation Workshop Gallery

Below are some images from workshops held this week between Animation, Photography and Filmmaking, including 16mm ‘Cameraless Filmmaking’, Projection Mapping and ‘Moving a Still Image’ Cinemagraphs.  

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Seconds Please!

So what are those second year students up to? This year they’ve been able to choose one of the following Unit X projects:

  • Option 1: Educator – in which students get the opportunity to conduct a workshop in a local Primary/Secondary school or Community Arts group. This week students were introduced to the project, learned some of the practicalities including child protection and safeguarding, and started to put a workshop plan together for delivery next week.
  • Option 1a: Catalyst – where students from Manchester School of Art are collaborating with MMU’s Faculty of Science & Engineering and engaging with Manchester Art Gallery. An Unconference launched the project this week – we hope to catch up with them soon!
  • Option 2: Placements – this is an opportunity for students to negotiate to undertake a full-time work placement during the ten week period of the Unit.
  • Option 3: Fashion Industry – a brief which involves developing a range of 12 looks for external client James Long, fashion designer. The project was launched this week by Tom Norcombe of James Long.
  • Option 4: Design/Studio – a project working with property developer Bruntwood as a client to make, pitch and create proposals that redefine creative space in the city. The aim is that proposals pitched to Bruntwood at the end of the unit will become real spaces that are commissioned, produced and installed!
  • Option 4a: Rooftops – where students can reinterpret and transform rooftop spaces with creative problem-solving through up-cycling and re-hashing ‘industrial materials’. This week students have been researching rooftop spaces in preparation for an Unconference next week.
  • Option 5: Archive – the Imagined Museum – the work of finding or inventing a narrative connected with some of the city’s archives. The project includes the chance to work with composer Peter-Byrom Smith.
  • Option 6: Whitworth Threads – in which students who are interested in being an independent craft practitioner, a designer responding to a client brief or an artist responding to a location, are placed in partnership with the Whitworth Art Gallery. We joined them for their first site visit this week, more to follow in a separate posting.
  • Option 7: Publishing – after a workshop this week with Studio Dumbar (a world-renowned, multi-disciplinary studio from Rotterdam) students have the opportunity to take a collective and collaborative approach to the creation of publications.


Words: Abi Goodman