The design of the 2019 degree shows focused in creating a supporting visual system helping to navigate a spatially complex and visually saturated venue such as the London College of Communication. The visual identity proposes an inside/outside duality: an understated and supportive tone for the inside with the aim of highlighting the students’ work; and a loud and dynamic outlook towards the outside and the digital realm.
The show proposes a journey through the college building divided into six acts. The different acts are interconnected with each other and don’t overlap with the existing signage of the building. In order to guide visitors throughout the venue, we used a wayfinding system that mainly took place on the floors. This system, is activated by a group of performers during the opening night, delivering practical information and provocative questions to the audience in their interactions. This way, the opening night becomes a choreographed event in which the different actors (the work, the public, the performers, the institution), interact and expand the experience of a degree show, which was live-streamed to social media platforms. Translating the temporal nature of the event into the design had a special impact in the showguides. They reference through their format, materiality and narrative, the ephemera of lyrical performances. They are made of two components, an outside folder-like cover and a thin saddle-stitched booklet, translating into print the dual identity of the outside/inside of the exhibition.
The visual identity of the show represents the moment of graduating: a moment of transitioning from the academic environment into the professional world. For this reason we used materials that evoke fluidity like liquids and fabrics. These elements appeared recurrently in all the different visual elements used to articulate and communicate the show.
This exhibition aimed to celebrate the diversity of disciplines that happen within the college, and looked for a sensory experience that is positioned beyond the traditional visual container. The design itself is an event where interactions, visuals and performance coexist, while testing the boundaries of what/who/how a degree show should be.
Design: Carlos Romo-Melgar and John Philip Sage
Animations: Mark Crowley
Tailoring: Héloïse d’Almeida
Choreographer: Christopher Matthews
Performers: Alex Henderson, Anouk Jouanne, Eevi Kinnunen, Genie Pini, Hannah Ornsby, James Healy, Joao Costa, Rebecca Douglas, Tasha Hess-Neustadt, Taylor Fisher, Venla Niitemaa.