Creative agency Superimpose has launched a new educational programme with a focus on sustainability for aspiring creative talent in partnership with University of the Arts London: London College of Fashion.
Its non-commercial creative platform Services Unknown is looking to pioneer a new educational format by switching up the creative curriculum with its week-long crash courses aimed at inspiring the next generation of creative change-makers.
The UAL partnership launched with The Anti-Fragile Collective, a week-long crash course facilitated by Superimpose as in-residence course leaders at the end of January. That course saw Superimpose take over London College of Fashion’s Lime Grove Campus with 65 Year One students from the School of Media and Communication in attendance.
“It is incredibly exciting to be the first agency to be given a whole week’s programme by the LCF,” said Ollie Olanipekun, founder and creative director of Superimpose in a statement. “With a sole focus on Year One students, we will be the first to recognise this generation's talent before they graduate. Flipping traditional teaching formats, our aim is to challenge the familiar industry focus on final year Grad Shows by providing a platform for those artists already demonstrating potential or blossoming earlier.”
The course invited students to manifest their conscious vulnerabilities within today’s turbulent cultural-social-political climate, with an emphasis on sustainability to create “living and breathing” displays on the ‘Anti-Fragile’ theme for an exhibition presented to the industry, attended by more than 300 people from industry, press, culture editors and alumni.
The students treated the campus as an exhibition space and displayed items included a projection-mapped walk-in installation that interspersed with nature (a metaphor for acknowledging self-vulnerabilities as a catharsis for transformation), to an architected experience that incited feelings of ‘emergence’ through visual cues, and bespoke sound pieces notably familiar to the darker side of human vulnerabilities, the presentation closed off with an immersive ‘ritual’ encouraging self-control, reflection and acceptance.
Prior to the final presentation, the week followed a structured scheme of play from empathise to define, ideate, prototype and finally through to Test, explained Superimpose. The concept was to frame future creativity through the “lens of collective human emotion”, with students dedicating a space to “channel universally-relatable truths, fears, knowns and unknowns”.
London College of Fashion and Superimpose launch new programme for creative talent
Daniel Caulfield-Sriklad, knowledge exchange leader, School of Media and Communication, at LCF, UAL, said: “I was eager to work on a Knowledge Exchange project with Superimpose to see the impact and value that could be generated within a co-creative environment. The ethos of Superimpose is all about doing things differently and having worked in higher education, it’s clear that across all sectors we need to promote, encourage and support new systems that celebrate uncertainty, conscious vulnerability, change and collective wellbeing. This is the spirit of the Anti-Fragile Collective.
“Designing the Anti-Fragile curriculum alongside Superimpose has been an ‘anti-fragile’ experience as we are unable to foresee the outcomes of this collaboration. In order to teach anti-fragility we also need to practice it. Working with students, I have seen how they are governed by their anxieties, making events like this hugely important in empowering them to value ‘anti-fragility’ as a hard skill and one of the most important skills at this moment in time.”
The aim of the partnership with UAL long-term is to create an annual rolling programme that will continue to nurture the new generation of creatives, by providing inspiration, materials and guidance for subjects that extend beyond the ‘classroom’.
Olanipekun, added: “For over three years, we have been supporting students and aspiring creatives across the country, with the aim of making a positive impact across education. We want to engage not only creatives and the industry but also businesses and the wider public, to demonstrate that moving beyond the traditional ‘agency’ model can encourage theory to become action and to show that education doesn’t always have to exist within the classroom, creating what we might call a ‘supercurriculum’.”
Images: courtesy of Superimpose by Ethan Hart