Short biographies of the designers in the A+ show, R
Rachel 'Ray' Marshall (1891 – 1940) joined the Central School of Arts and Crafts in 1912. She had previously drawn cartoons. Her work was submitted by the School for the Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society's tenth exhibition in 1912. The Central Saint Martins museum and study collection holds examples of Rachel's woodcut and pen and ink illustrations, including the two examples shown in the A+ exhibition, cover illustrations for suffragette publication 'The Common Cause'.
Dr Rathna Ramanathan (b.1972) was Subject Leader in Design and Interaction at CSM from 2009 to 2014, before taking up the post of Head of Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art. Rathna was previously a student of the MA in Communication Design at Central Saint Martins, before gaining a PhD in Typography and Graphic Communication from the University of Reading. Rathna maintains her own practice and has worked for the BBC, Harvard University Press, Tara Books, Pushkin Press and Unicef India. Rathna's design of 'In the Land of Punctuation' was awarded an International Society of Typographic Designers Certificate of Excellence in 2014, and the same book received a Design Observer's award for the top 50 books of the year in 2015.
The books shown in the A+ exhibition are from the Murty Classical Library series, which exists to make classic Indian texts available to a global audience. Rathna designed the interiors and indic typography for the covers of these books using a typographic system inspired by research into the history of the Indic book, including palm leaf and birch-bark manuscripts, and early printed books.
Rathna sees her time at Central Saint Martins — both as a student and as a tutor — as 'integral in giving me the foundation, courage and a strong sense of community on which to build a flourishing international practice'.
Rebecca & Mike studied graphic design at Central Saint Martins in the 1990s and credit their time there as helping them 'bounce over the wall'. Their projects include work for Paul McCartney, Trevor Beattie, and the UK Government. Their two pieces in the A+ show are results of collaborations with fashion designers. The paper dress (1999) was designed with Hussein Chalayan , and is made from Tyvek, a synthetic paper-like material which has many applications, including protective clothing and tear-resistant envelopes. The Political Zeitgeist t-shirt was a collaboration with Maharishi, produced during the run-up to the 2015 election, combining the symbol for industrial irritant with the cross on the ballot paper.
Dr Rebecca Ross (b.1977) joined CSM as an interaction design tutor in 2008, and is now MA Graphic Communication Design course leader. Before deciding to pursue academia full-time, Rebecca worked as an interaction designer for FLAT, Nickelodeon, FDNY and Simon & Schuster publishers. Rebecca taught at Harvard and Yale before moving to London and becoming Senior Lecturer at Central Saint Martins in 2008.
Rebecca's research interest is a combination of visual culture, interaction design, and urban studies: investigating how media, information, and data, interact with space and place, design and technological change, as well as new forms of participation and community engagement. Rebecca is an advisor to the UCL Urban Laboratory.
The billboards shown in the A+ show are the visual outcome of Rebecca's recent project 'London Is Changing'. Participants entered online responses to questions about moving to, from, or around London. The online questionnaire elicited 3,900 replies. Edited down to 175 different messages, the responses were shown on two large-scale billboards over a ten-day period. Rebecca describes her project as a response to the socio-economic changes underway in London which lead to a population in flux. Her aim was to use a communication media normally reserved for one-way corporate messaging, and use it as a platform for voices of people affected by these changes.
Rebecca describes life at CSM as 'incredibly stimulating and I absolutely love working with students from all over the world. Graphic design as a field is in the midst of major transformation and it is ideal to be in an environment where experimentation and critical positioning are highly valued'.
Rose Epple (b.1968) moved from Germany to London to join the BA Graphics course at CSM in 1994; and taught on the course from 1996 to 1999 as well as writing and delivering her own short courses at the college. Rose remembers CSM feeling like 'an artistic homecoming. It is where I found the openess and encouragement to go my own way. I have been a bit homesick ever since I left!' Rose runs her own practice in Berlin, designing exhibitions and visual identities, and writing and designing books. Describing herself as 'an adventurous collaborator for special projects' Rose recently created a light installation with Alex Valder called 'Chapel for 30 Seconds' on a bridge crossing the River Ill, a tributary of the Rhine. Other cultural projects include 2 & 3D design for clients such as the Barbican, London; the Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin; and The Jewish Museum, Berlin and Munich. Rose has written for Eye magazine and contributed texts to books about the projects she has been involved in.
For the A+ exhibition, Rose selected a current project that combines the traditional childhood plaything, a soft toy, with one of today's digital 'toys', Instagram. Bruno in Berlin suggests a way of combining the imaginative play required by 'real' 3d toys with the digital media of today.
Ruth Sykes (b.1969) & Emily Wood (b.1973) formed REG Design in 2003, two years after graduating from BA Graphic Design at CSM. Specialising in work for non-profit and social change clients, projects have included work for the V&A, Amnesty International and Somerset House. Their work has been reporduced in design books published by Laurence King and Rotovision. Ruth and Emily combine teaching graphic design at UAL with their design practice: Emily is Acting Stage 1 leader of BA Graphic Design at CSM, Ruth is an Associate Lecturer at LCC and CSM. Ruth's research interest is the history of women in graphic design in Britain; Emily is currently studying for an MA in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.
The REG six-year Christmas card is shown in the A+ exhibition. Made from recycled card, and styled like a multi-use office internal envelope, Christmas bling is added with foiling for the line work and typography.