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Webinar: Rethinking the Grad Show

Is it time to tear up the grad show and start again?

The COVID-19 lockdown has meant the cancellation or postponement of many graduate shows and associated events. We’re inviting craft students to join an expert panel to look at the alternatives.

What can you do to showcase your work online and offline in the current climate, and post-lockdown? What other approaches are there to networking and sharing your work with the world? How can you respond to the challenge of finishing work with limited access to materials and studio space? Bring your questions, suggestions, and challenges! The session will be hosted by Izzy Roope, final year student in 3D Design and Craft at the University of Brighton. 

The Speakers:

  • Abdollah Nafisi is a designer craftsman at Nafisi Studio, with over 15 years experience in woodworking. He has created luxury furnishings and artwork for the home as well as sculptural works for the outdoors. As a Freeman member of the Worshipful Company of Furniture makers and a TV star from the BBC TWO series ‘The Victorian House of Arts & Crafts’, Abdollah likes to contribute to the craft industry and inspire others. Originally from Iran where he ran his own woodworking workshop for 4 years, he spent 6 years in the desert travelling with nomads and tribes studying their craftsmanship and improvisation. He relocated to the UK in 2011, in 2013 he set up his workshop in Horsham to produce bespoke commissioned pieces.


  • Anna Stewart works as a consultant on design-related content. Her projects take the form of exhibitions, books, websites or entire cultural programmes. Working collaboratively with individuals and organisations, Anna is drawn to educational design initiatives or interventions that have a positive impact on the world around us. After training as an editor at Penguin Books, Anna spent several years managing the Brompton Design District programme in London. She holds an MA in the History of Design and Is interested in the interpretation of contemporary craft, design and architecture.


  • Bridget Harvey investigates processes and concepts through making, asking what we make, how we make it, and why that matters, and looking at forgotten or ignored areas of making. Since 2013 she has focused on repair as craft practice (including my practice-based AHRC funded PhD - Repair-Making: Craft, Narratives, Activism) and as 2018/19 V&A Artist in Residence, she examined the relationship of repair to conservation. She uses found objects and materials, learning skills and techniques as she needs them. Alongside making and exhibiting work, she also curates exhibitions, gives workshops and talks, writes and works as a tutor.


  • Georgina Voss is an artist, writer, and researcher. Her work focuses on the presence and politics of large-scale technologies, heavy industry, and complex systems. She is co-founder and lead of Supra Systems Studio at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London; where she is a Reader in Systems and Deviance in the Design School. She has shown work at Tate Modern, TAC Eindhoven, Auto Italia South East, STUK (Leuven), Brighton Digital Festival, and London Design Festival. Her writing has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, Harvard Design Magazine, Science and Culture, and Journal of Homosexuality.


  • James Tooze is a designer, maker and researcher whose work focuses on the interconnected areas of digital manufacturing, urban production, circular economy, open data and future cities. James is Course Leader of the Product Design undergraduate course at the University of Brighton. Prior to joining the University of Brighton James was Senior Tutor on the Design Products MA, Royal College of Art, London (RCA) where he established and ran the Exploring Emergent Futures Platform. James is a visiting tutor on the Masters for Design for Emergent Futures at the Institute of Advanced Architecture Catalonia.


  • May Rosenthal Sloan is an independent curator, writer and educator based in Glasgow. She co-curated the V&A exhibition FOOD: Bigger than the Plate (2019) and was formerly a lecturer in Modern American History at the University of Glasgow. Her research interests are wide ranging but include food and food systems, storytelling and constructions of identity, and the role of design and art in everyday life.

Image: New Designers, Edward Howell on Unsplash