Make it Manifest(o)

Design for Joy
Design for Expression
Design for Everyone
Design for Women
Design for Enjoyment
Design for Curiosity
Design for Entertainment
Design for Simplicity
Design for Authenticity
Design for Change
Design for Innovation
Design for Beauty
Design for Imagination
Design for Compassion
Design for Music
Design for Clarity
Design for Interaction
Design for Experience
Design for Understanding
Design for Emotion
Design for Evolution
Design for Union
Design for Aesthetics
Design for Discovery
Design for Pleasure
Design for Life
Design for Courage
Design for Compassion
Design for People
Design for Curiosity
Design for Fun
Design for Knowledge
Design for Stories
Design for Love
Design for Publishing
Class of 2023

What (the fuck) happened?

In a lot of ways life is like an ampersand – you start at the bottom & head up, round a loop, then back on yourself before reappearing in a similar place, but better for the experience, & hopefully the journey leaves you richer. The trick is to remember the ampersand of life is just a ride, & whether you are at the top of the loop or rounding the bottom, you are still the same amazing original ampersand you always were destined to be.

The class of 2023 started their lives in the shadow of lockdown. Like all great explorers we went on a curious voyage of discovery. Tutors & students had to unlearn everything. LIVE & in real time. The old normal was frozen by the billionaire class. ‘They even made us say things like: sorry, only one banana!’ We were forever doom-scrolling unsure of how the next announcement from our babbling (lying) PM would change our futures.

Out of this eschaton beautiful things happened.

The most wonderful of all was to witness an outburst of analogue making & the quiet rejection of screens as dominating forces in our creative lives. Students conjured cyanotypes, screen prints, rust dyed fabric, cut paper for mono printing, made surreal collages, got political & spray painted covid screens, used 35mm film cameras despite the cost of living crisis, we went through a lot of toner using the photocopier to fuck things up, had fun with Rick (F37) cutting black paper into type, we cast spells in beetroot juice calligraphy drawn with pens made from beer cans with Tim, embossed & debossed, discovered gelli-plate printing, handbound books with trippy risographs, laser cut braille, we drew hundreds of skulls on a window with chalk pen, cross stitched bleeding hearts, & not forgetting the infamous rainbow crochet balaclavas!

An art school tutors dream manifest.
It’s the end or is just eschaton?

For the past three years, as Terrence McKenna says, we have created a lifeboat for our students ‘…set on the transcendental, & it is pulling us toward it through the medium of transforming our languages, through the medium of the imagination which is, after all, this mysterious mental domain in which we are whispered to by angels, demons, gods, ancestors, aliens, & out of that intercourse culture, self-transforming, shedding its face every 100 years, building on novelty is ascending toward a reaching out toward the unspeakable.’

Thirty individuals bravely joined us on this uncharted journey & they have made manifest incredible things from their imagination.

They are makers, writers, body paint artists, illustrators, activists, lettering & type designers, photographers, art directors, curators, fashion designers, make-up artists, fashion models, primary school teachers in training, future bar owners, book designers, type geeks, story tellers, lovers of grid systems & type hierarchy, publishers & graphic designers. They have surprised me & inspired me & made me smile many, many times…

Glen Robinson
Cult Leader
BA Design for Publishing
Norwich University of the Arts

Enquires: g.robinson@nua.ac.uk