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Design Is No Coincidence review

Danny McFadden gets to grips with a Salford University art show that takes its inspiration from Jade Goody

Published on June 10th 2009.

Design Is No Coincidence review

While all the local academic institutions offer an overview of those graduating from their respective creative courses, one in particular stands out as being that bit different.

Design Is No Coincidence is a group project from Salford University’s Design Studies cluster which rises to the challenge of representing the work that comes out of its niche programmes. Unlike, say, fine art or graphic design, the likes of Journalism and Design Studies, Design Management for the Creative Industries, and Design Futures, don’t easily lend themselves to an archetypal gallery set-up.

Consequently 41 students secured over £5,000 of funding from the likes of Central Salford Urban Regeneration Project, Argent Manchester and Meredith Thomas PR Consultants for what’s been described as 'a progressive venture': an undertaking that includes an ambitious print book, a website and a show at the university’s Sterling Prize-winning Centenary Building.

The Design Is No Coincidence title – explained by course tutor Roy Chilvers as reflecting a belief that good design is “the result of good process rather than fortuitous accident” – has become a banner for a diverse selection of work. It analyses everything from Salford identity (told through a selection of entertaining photographic images) to the British affair with sentimentality (described through a Jamie Reid-inspired image of Jade Goody that’s accompanied by a ‘Land of Hope and Glory’-goes-dubstep soundtrack). Other, often conceptual projects within the cluster have included research-based activity with subjects including Biomimicry, ‘a homepage metaphor’, and ‘Are Users Stupid?’

Among the more provocative exhibits is visual arts student Claire Hodson’s bed which features pornographic images woven into the floral bedspread, and pillows in the shape of nipples.

Claire, from Salford, explained: “My work celebrates the wholesomeness of women’s craft, by exploring textiles as a medium to represent pornographic images of women. The embroidered images aren’t obvious at first – there’s a real contrast between the prettiness of the quilt and the subject matter.”

Chris Farrow, Central Salford’s chief executive, says: “We are delighted to support this event. We hope that the graduates continue to contribute to Salford’s economic prosperity.”

“The quality of the project outcome is reflected in the response from the commercial partners involved,” Roy Chilvers adds. “Their willingness to associate their own brands with this is due to Design Is No Coincidence being representative of innovation, ambition, commitment and creative quality.”

Design Is No Coincidence, Centenary Building, Peru Street, Salford, until 12 June, designisnocoincidence

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mike painter4 allJune 10th 2009.

hodson deserves an exhibition of his own. too often new and exciting artists like him are ignored by the reactionary media who control our lives. give mr hodson his own show.

lilian chapmanJune 10th 2009.

well the article may be good ?? but you have spelt Claires name WRONG! is HODGSON not hodson! and you havent even put a picture of her work on here but somebody elses! DOH!!!!!!!

AliceJune 10th 2009.

Claire is not a part of 'Design Is No Coincidence', she is on a different course!

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