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Hi. I'm eaten alive by this thing for a year already, since i decided… - UK Designers [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
UK Designers

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[Apr. 28th, 2006|06:53 pm]
UK Designers



Hi. I'm eaten alive by this thing for a year already, since i decided i want to go to Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design to study graphic design and get a BA. The problem? I'm not from the UK, i'm Romanian, born and raised, i'm turning 25 soon and graduating my 6 year long study of architecture this summer with a major in architecture. I want to wait till the academic year 2007-2008 (various reasons, i need a break from school, need to gather finances, need to work a lil for my architecture practice etc etc etc, create a portfolio for graphic design etc)

Now, what i want to know is, did any of you go there or is in the process of studying there? How's the school, profs, curricula, projects, etc? What did you put in your potfolio to be admitted?

The reason i want to go there is that, while i know the basics of graphic design, having studied architecture and also worked in the GD field a little i simply want to see a different approach to design than what i taught myself or learned at school. We had graphic design courses along with the architecture ones, we took drawing and all, but i felt slightly bauhausian in a regard, meaning that i felt restricted because the overall idea was that "form follows function" and truly, i am sick of that. I want to learn in a highly experimental and creative field, i want to do something with myself, my mind, my hands and my vision that i haven't before. I feel a lot that, while i love architecture, i am limited in my desire to express myself (dude, i sound so academic hah) by the technical aproach. I need to see how to begin a concept, how to attack a brief as creatively as possible. I have a sense with colors, shapes, forms, with function and light and everything, of course i do, it's just that i find at times the need to express myself in different ways, through writing, painting, sculpting, etc. I have periods when i love to draw models, periods when i love to code websites and periods when i want to build a house. I am avid of everything that means expression and i want to know how that is aproached somewhere else. New culture, new place, new school. I love learning stuff, so i thought Central Saint Martin's would be the best (my other choices would have been Kent or Surrey)

I love graphic design a lot, but i dunno, how much of a broad course selection do they have (yes i can look at the site, i did, i just want to know how you felt while doing them), in which i mean, do they cover photography, digital media, screenprinting or illustration?

Also, do these schools (any art schools in the UK) have sports (i love swimming so eh. it's relaxing) or writing classes? How are the accomodations?

Pretty much any info, input or feelings (the more subjective the better :D) about Central Saint Martin's, the typical student life in London, how to make end's meet during and after school and graduation, etc is very very welcome.

Thank you.

[User Picture]From: ginnyhaha
2006-04-28 04:40 pm (UTC)


I applied to St Martins for their art foundation course a couple of years ago, but they turned me down. Some people have told me I'm lucky for that - they have a reputation for being snobby and elitist, and others would argue that they're not as great as they think they are. I don't know either way. I applied on the basis that it was one of the two universities within travelling distance from home :)

The interview process (which might be different from the graphic design one) was unusual. They asked everyone to leave their portfolios for 4 hours (there were about 100 of us all told), and they looked through them whilst we amused ourselves. When we got back, they called about about 60% of us for the interview, which was done en masse. We each had to choose a favourite piece of work, talk about it to the 'class', and ask each other questions about their work. I guess they were looking for a strong portfolio and someone very confident in themselves and their work.

Cynics might say that being a foreign student will enhance your chances of getting a place, because universities like your higher fees.

As a student in London, life is pretty good. Rent isn't cheap, but sharing a home with others is good for splitting the bills. There's a lot to do, good nightlife, and most universities have clubs, sports teams and gyms that you can join for relatively cheap.
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[User Picture]From: treacle_a
2006-04-28 06:19 pm (UTC)
I had an interview for the BA Illustration course at CCM and, yep, odd interview process. It seemed a great place to be though, very central (heh!) friendly and informal and very avant garde as far as the kind of work being done there. The Graphic Design BA has an excellent rep in the UK and they usually scoop more than their fair share at the Young Designers every year.

As to living in London, I'd recommend staying somewhere south or north, close to a main tube line. A lot of the CCM students I knew lived in Balham, Clapham and Tottenham, although some did manage to wangle halls for more than their first year. The cost of living in the capital is high though, as I guess you already know, and, although CCM students are from all over, they always seem to spending the big bucks :P

From waht you've said about yourself though, I wonder if maybe a Fine Art course would be more up your street. Have you considered that?
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-05-01 10:25 pm (UTC)

Not Surrey!

Don't go to Surrey, mate, certainly not the Epsom one. Worst graphic design course ever. Waste of three years of my life and lots of money. None of my mates enjoyed it and quite a few dropped out. Treated like kids from day one but some of the teachers were far more immature than we were!

If you're not a staff fave, forget it. Only arse-lickers get good marks.
I don't think we ever actually got taught anything.
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