University of the Arts London
  • London, United Kingdom
Recent publications
This Brief Report argues for approaching fashion sustainability as a whole systems issue and outlines some of the systems insights already uncovered. It also calls out the logic of economic growth as a key factor that limits the prospects for whole sector change. I propose an alternative logic – Earth Logic – which prioritizes Earth and all its species, including humans as a way to diversify and vivify fashion activity within planetary limits. The fashion territory cultivated by this changed logic is unfolding already today and will continue to do so, with roles for existing and entirely new actors, garments, and ways of organizing clothing, albeit configured differently with altered priorities.
Micro- and small-sized sustainable fashion businesses benefit greatly from their formal and informal networks which provide a wide variety of support and services. This exploratory study reports on the findings of a UK-based research project that investigated 27 firms in this category. We focus on four case studies comprising two designers running their own labels and two product developers who support other designers. Our analysis maps the networks of these micro- and small-sized sustainable fashion businesses. Taking an approach informed by actor-network theory (ANT), we describe human, organizational, and social media actors in formal and informal networks. We show how networks are formed and extended through supply-chain relationships, professional networks, and the serendipity of personal and online contacts. Focusing on informal networks, the article also discusses the models of working and the role that geographical (or physical) and cognitive proximity plays. The networks of sustainable businesses particularly depend on trust and shared values and help designers to understand and increase their sustainable practices.
Background: The proliferation and penetration of social media into professional and everyday lives have reshaped the way in which people deal with their personal information and call for refreshed perceptions and conceptualizations of the power relationship between individual users and technology giants. Despite intensified privacy concerns and crises over social media, there is little research on the correlations between users’ privacy perception and protection in non-Western settings. Research question: To what extent are Hong Kong Facebook users willing to sacrifice control over their information in exchange for self-expression, sociality, and intimacy in their social roles and relationships? Literature review: We first identified a gap in the literature on user perceptions and concerns over privacy in Eastern cultures, which is scarce despite the increasing concern over privacy in professional communication. Informed by the recent literature on the privacy paradox and Foucault and Deleuze's work on power, the unbalanced and normalizing power relationship between Facebook and its users in Eastern contexts is identified as a synthesis of discipline and control. Research methodology: Data from a survey of 797 young users in Hong Kong were used for our analysis of privacy perception and protection. The survey contained three sections: Facebook usage, attitudes and behaviors, and basic demographics. Results: The findings support our hypotheses in revealing that the privacy paradox is evident for Facebook users in Hong Kong. In addition, excessive Facebook use leads to reactive privacy awareness and normalization behaviors. Conclusion: We believe that technology giants, such as Facebook, should be pioneers in safeguarding users’ privacy while encouraging the establishment of social relationships and freedom of expression. The implications for internet governance are discussed from a multistakeholder perspective.
Between 1947 and 1950, the Soho bebop clubs were repeatedly raided by police and closed down. While on the surface the official version would state that they were raided for drugs, this chapter demonstrates that the raids were in fact due to underlying fears of miscegenation, Americanisation and the fears conjured up by the arrival of colonial migrants from the Caribbean. This chapter first presents eye-witness accounts of the raids, before tracing the evolution of drug policies in Britain. Thereafter it looks at how miscegenation fears were disseminated by the media and various mediums after the Great War, the eugenics debates of the 1920s and the arrival of African, African American and West Indian troops during the Second World War. The chapter then returns to the police raids exploring them in detail, and demonstrates that the busts were an assault on not only black and white people mixing, but moreover due to the notion that drugs were perceived to contribute to a relaxation of the boundaries between the colour lines and would lead to sexual contact across the races. The chapter employs theories around moral panic to enforce and illuminate these ideas.
The appetite for design in local government saw a rise in the late 2000s with the global financial crisis and the resulting economic austerity that required local government services to innovate. This appetite has been exacerbated by the awakening to the global climate emergency and inclusion of action plans to reduce carbon emissions at a local scale; and of course, the global health crisis caused by Covid-19. Local governments are responsible for responding to these unprecedented challenges ensuring continued and equitable access to public services for residents. Yet, design for local public policy is a nascent field of practice. This paper presents an approach to design for local policy characterized by “world-building preferable futures through Critical Service Design” which proposes a novel approach to participatory place-based local policymaking. This design-led methodology has been developed through theory and practice, informed by critical reflection on the successes and shortcomings of collaborative design practice research with public servants in England and developed iteratively at Service Futures Lab, as part of the postgraduate service design curriculum at London College of Communication. The paper aims to contribute to a growing a body of academic literature on design for local governance, supporting collaboration between design education and local government and the development of dedicated training programmes on design for policy.
Due to ignoring the effects of the change of the tooth attachment position caused by the cracks, traditional time vary mesh stiffness (TVMS) calculation models and dynamic simulations for cracked gears will lose their precision in the body crack case. To address this shortcoming, a new analytical TVMS calculation model of cracked gear considering tip relief (TR) is developed based on a proposed variable-angle deformation energy integration method. On this basis, a dynamic model of the gear system for the analysis of fault vibration characteristics is established. The effectiveness and accuracy of the proposed TVMS calculation model are verified by the finite element method. A comprehensive investigation is finally carried out to reveal the effects of the parameters of TR, load and crack on the TVMS and dynamic characteristics of the cracked gears. The study results indicate that the proposed models can meet the accurate TVMS calculation and dynamic simulation for both the tooth- and body-cracked gears, and the influences of the tooth attachment position change caused by the crack cannot be ignored. This study could provide a systematic methodology and meaningful reference for the dynamic modelling, simulation and fault diagnosis of gear systems with crack failures.
This paper situates the ‘Blind Box’ consumption, collection and prosumption practices in China within globalisation and the ‘media-mix’ fandom, which is to consume and resell media merchandise in opaque packages as probability goods. We re-centre the focus of fandom studies on the then much neglected ‘missing child’ and now the ‘emerging adult’ in a globalising world. We argue the Chinese emerging adult consumes, collects, and resells Blind Boxes as a generative and agentic collection and fandom practice, defined as “probabilistic and elastic prosumption” in a quasi-social and quasi-individual manner. We then critically examine and unpack the cultural production and meaning making process undertook by collectors who also accumulate sociality and form identity through affective and economic investments, mediated collection, and exchange of figurines in a post-socialist and consumerist society.
This article discusses the language of screen costume and representations of masculinity via a close reading of the successful and critically acclaimed 2019 HBO drama series Euphoria . It considers three key characters, Rue, Nate and Fez, and how each of these characters makes visible certain cultural and sociological ideologies which concern and influence current debates around diverse masculinities, social class and creative subjectivity. It is argued that the production team behind Euphoria employs creative acts of appropriation to articulate and explore the diversity of masculine lived experience within the restricted language of television. This is evidenced through the character of ‘Rue’, who sits in opposition to all other characters identified as feminine or transitioning in both narrative context and, significantly, costuming. ‘Rue’ is therefore explored as the masculine articulation and/or manifestation of the creator – Sam Levinson’s subjective position. ‘Nate’ is explored in relation to the currency of damaging stereotypes of dominant masculinity within television drama and how misconceptions around gendered identities work to reinforce, perpetuate and normalize problematic behavioural traits. It is suggested that we need to expand understandings of ordinary clothing or costume as a language, how meaning is articulated within this language and how the materiality of ordinary or unexceptional dress evolves and mutates and becomes a set of unquestioned yet dangerous symbols or significations. ‘Fez’ will be examined in response to Henri Lefebvre’s 1960s ideas around moments of contestation, alongside a discussion of the role that the body and clothing play in marking out or positioning ideas around the intersection of social class and masculinity which can be applied to differing, global manifestations of social hierarchies. Readings of ‘Fez’ highlight middle-class insecurities around subjective value and distance from working-class experience and are played out through the character’s costuming.
This chapter recounts the arguments made in this book and demonstrates that the Bebop scene in post-war Soho, London, was not just a scene, but was in fact the first youth subculture in post-war Britain. It also highlights how the police clampdown was driven less by fears about drugs than about miscegenation. The chapter shows how the Bebop subculture was strikingly similar in some ways to the acid house scene, although forty years earlier. It asks questions about potential research yet to be done on the history of British bebop. For example, were there similar scenes in post-war metropolises such as Cardiff, Liverpool and Glasgow? The chapter shows why this research is an important contribution to British cultural history. Not merely because the story has remained untold until now, but also due to the fact that this book speaks to the current social, political and cultural climate regarding questions of race and music, and how institutional harassment of black-related spaces and culture has continued throughout the twenty-first century.
This chapter innovatively blends theories around ‘classic’ notions of subculture and asserts that bebop in Soho was the first post-war youth subculture in Britain, an argument that has not previously been made. Furthermore, the chapter for the first time combines theories of club cultures by Sarah Thornton (Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital, Polity Press, 1995) with Hebdige (Subculture: The Meaning of Style, 1979) to examine a youth culture that was born, nurtured and flourished in the 1940s. While acknowledging that a body of work exists on ideas around post-subculture, postmodern theories of subcultures and neo-tribes, the chapter demonstrates that classic models remain relevant, while at the same time rewriting the first chapter in the post-war series of subcultures.
This chapter maps the social, cultural and political geography of Soho, London, from 1800 to 1945. In documenting and analysing how the area became a cosmopolitan melting-pot of transgressive cultural pleasures, the chapter charts the arrival of jazz in Britain, the black contribution to social, political and cultural innovation in Soho, illegal ‘bottle parties’ (drinking dens), the ‘musicians’ exchange’ and the burgeoning Swing scene during the Second World War. It sets the scene for the arrival in Britain of the subversive, subcultural musical form bebop during 1945, and demonstrates how Soho was imagined and constructed in the national imagination as a Rabelaisian playground.
This chapter is about the men’s and women’s fashions and how it signalled bebop identity in the post-war Soho clubs. In first presenting an in-depth history of the men’s suit from its inception in the sixteenth century, its top-down dissemination and the social, political and cultural contexts in which it emerged, the chapter then shows how the bebop version (zoot and drape suits) bubbled-up and emanated from the ground and was created by disenfranchised black and Chicano youths in America. Once the style migrated to Britain, the Soho beboppers created a unique British version of the zoot suit which was hybridised and cobbled together in Soho by the black and white musicians and youths who formed the bebop collective (a process that included incorporating a ‘spiv’ look). In this respect, Hebdige’s notion of ‘bricolage’ and Thornton’s idea that ‘niche media like the music press construct subcultures’ are employed to demonstrate the subcultural nature of this style.
This chapter looks at the bebop scene in Soho throughout the 1950s. It maps the wider social, economic and cultural changes in Britain during that decade and takes in the arrival of rock n roll, the birth of the ‘teenager’, the rise of skiffle and trad jazz and how these music scenes and cultures impacted upon bebop and society in general. The chapter explores the links between the 1940s beboppers and the Teddy Boys and Girls of the 1950s, and the Mods of the late 1950s and 1960s. It also documents the rise of Tin Pan Alley in Soho, an increase in the business of record labels, and how Soho remained the nucleus of these developments in British popular youth culture.
This chapter first historicises bebop, locating the music in its birth place of Harlem, New York, around 1941. Documenting the key players and clubs where the original innovation took place, the chapter then travels to Soho, London, and maps the underground clubs and players who pioneered the music in Britain. The chapter argues that given its western classical, African and African American influences, bebop is ‘Black Atlantic’ music, shaped by movement and cross-fertilisation. The chapter then shows how the music came to be viewed as subversive and therefore banned by both the BBC and suburban dancehalls mainly due to the mixture of black and white people that produced it.
If I Don’t Do Some Couching I Will Burst’ was the explanation I gave to Dr. Amy Twigger-Holroyd to explain my need to make in order to feel more balanced due to work commitments generally, and during the Covid-19 pandemic in particular, and why I drew on couching as a stitch to achieve this. It was not until writing this essay about ‘The Piece’ I stitched in 2021 to stop me from ‘bursting’, that I realised the centrality of the work to expanded meanings of self-care.‘The Piece’ links my claims for psychological space, physical making space, camaraderie with like-minded makers and a quest for wholeness, all taking place within my home, in order to achieve the space that Louise Bourgeois refers to as being ‘‘a metaphor for the structure of our existence’ (Lorz 2015).
International social exchanges have always been an important part of China’s cultural soft power and image construction overseas. This study focuses on an internationally renowned mega influencer Li Ziqi and her vlogs on YouTube. These orchestrated vlogs tell stories of rural Chinese life and construct a desirable traditional Chinese rural culture to netizens at home and abroad. Informed by framing and cultivation theory, this study is to examine how user-generated content on national images can affect social media users’ perceptions of reality. Content analysis is used to analyze the visual portrayals of Chinese rural culture, including its customs and values, aesthetics, and cultural and scenic places in Li’s vlogs. Discourse analysis is further used to examine user comments and demonstrate the impact of her vlog content on user perceptions towards Chinese rural culture. This study sheds light on how a complex and hybrid national image with “Chineseness”, and a personal image with self-orientalized and performed ‘soft but independent’ Chinese rural female image, is constructed by a social media influencer Li Ziqi with affective associations. At a conceptual and practical level, the findings of this study contribute to the ongoing scholarly discussions on how China engages with the globalized world through cultural diplomacy from the bottom-up, while existing research primarily takes a top-down approach.
Traditional grass cloth has been used in China for a long time for the manufacturing of various household furnishing textiles and ladieswear.
This article explores the role of subcultural activism in the Stop the City Protests (STC), 1983-1984. It shows how protestors broke with the consensual approach of overarching political organisations, chiefly the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), using direct action tactics to shut down the City of London, which was emerging as a strategic centre for globalised capitalism. STC is shown to be on a continuum with the radicalism of the preceding decades, with bands, including Crass and Poison Girls bridging the gap to anarcho-punk. This article innovates by combining official evidence, in the form of police briefing notes, with ‘ground-up’ activist materials and fanzines, to evaluate the approach and ideology of the protestors and the police, thereby tracing the increasingly intolerant policing methods that were adopted during key political battles of the 1980s, including The Miners’ Strike and The Battle of the Beanfield. Questioning the extent to which Thatcherism was the hegemonic project of the 1980s, it demonstrates how STC was at odds with the contemporaneous corporatisation of political activism, and thereby provided a model for the road protests and Reclaim the Streets movement of the 1990s, and fed into the anti-globalisation and environmental movements of the 21st century.
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Vali Lalioti
  • Creative Computing Institute
John Tchalenko
  • Camberwell College of Arts
Sandy Black
  • London College of Fashion
Emmanuel Sirimal Silva
  • London College of Fashion
London, United Kingdom