TLmag 22 (extended) – London Graduates and Postgraduates – Central Saint Martins (CSM)
Short interview with Simon Fraser, Course Director, MA Design, Ceramics Furniture or Jewellery – Central Saint Martins and Debbie Lotmore, PA of Fabio Piras, Course Director, MA Fashion – Central Saint Martins – by Anne Pericchi–Draeger
TLmag: How would you define your school?
Simon Fraser: Central Saint Martins is an icon, it is an icon because people serious about design and creativity, come from across the world to study, work and play together, sometimes it is the play that provides the breakthrough! As a Course we have a focused design culture that is part of a wide range of design cultures gathered together in the School. Debbie Lotmore: The MA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins is about enabling creativity, having an aesthetic point of view, looking forward, nurturing significant design and talent identity.
TLmag: What is its specificity, its teaching, leading to what kind of job opportunities?
S.F.: We work with these three specialist areas as we have knowledge in them and understand that specialist knowledge gives design the competitive edge. Hybridity in design works best when the participants bring specialist understandings together. Teaching on MA Design Ceramics Furniture Jewellery is hard work for the staff partly knowing that we are very ambitious and so are our students. This means that when they graduate they become design stars who lead the field, they go to work in design teams across the globe, or they start their own ateliers that consult across the industry! D.L.: It is a vocational course and has contributed to establish many designers’ careers and reputation globally.
TLmag: On what criterias do you select your students for entering/studying into your school?
S.F.: For MA Design in Ceramics Furniture or Jewellery, we ask applicants to define a vision for their field, to explain what their fiercest ambition is and to start to explain how the skills and knowledge that already have will help them to reach that goal. They need to bring skills, a lot of energy and to be aware that design is about people first. D.L.: Significant creative ability, the talent to move fashion forward, the skills to realize a creative vision and a personality.
TLmag: What do you expect and require from your students?
S.F.: Hard work, hard work, hard work, that they are willing to explain what they really want to achieve, that they are open to critical advice and ideas not convinced they are right all the time, that they can give 100%, then laugh if it goes totally wrong and get right back on with the job. D.L.: Commitment to succeed, rigorous work ethic, having an informed point of view and an aesthetic identity.
TLmag: What do you think of the talents from your school that we have selected for the magazine?
S.F.: All of these students have a great and serious passion for design, they have worked to create objects that define how they see the world and all of them are very connected into our changing world, it’s not just design for design sake. Between them they innovate materials, they tell compelling stories, they also share an ability to be at the front of their own cultures as design moves forward. D.L.: Designer Ondrej Adamek is a distinct aesthetic sculptural, experimentally playful and luxurious.
Interview by Anne Pericchi–Draeger