top of page

Key Ideas 03 – SOCIETY_

Camberwell College of Arts - UAL_London

Within a fluid social field new creative practices are negotiating their merits through interactions, collaboration and even frictions.

Society is the tittle of the 3rd Key Ideas Symposium at Camberwell College of Arts_ University of the Arts London curated by Fabiane Lee-Perrella. The event explored a range of critically important issues and themes relating to design, art and society.

The day included talks, discussions and a practical workshop. The aim of the day was to create an intellectual platform for students, creative practitioners and thinkers to develop an interdisciplinary conversation on the role of the arts and design in and for society. Through a series of provocations the purpose of the event was to bring to the table notions on the role of the artist/designer in the creation, growth and shaping of our built environment, communities and cities, through an exploration of theoretical concepts and practical approaches.

The occasion was intended as a space for critical debate, investigation and experimentation of ideas and concepts that relate art/design and their many contexts – in the public ream, environmentally, as notions, as a subversive tool, as utopias, on the streets and in communities.

As designers, we are largely concerned with how to create communication, product, or experience that fulfil their intentions. However, with globalisation, digitalisation, and virtualisation, we begun to realise the need of a bigger question, which is, how artefacts (the facts of art) defines us as humans. As designers we have influence on how humans manoeuvre and shape the environments and rituals through implements _ homo faber; how chairs alter natural ways of congregating; to ethical concerns of how participation in the design process empowers marginalised communities.

Perhaps there is a fundamental swing slowly underway redefining how artist and designers are recognised in and by society. Validation is being widened and is beginning to embrace practices which include ways of working that until relatively recently, were maintained on the boundaries of the accreditation narratives. Within a fluid social field new creative practices are negotiating their merits through interactions, collaboration and even frictions.


“The legacy of disconnection between contemporary art and society is being challenged by a wider rediscovery of the emancipatory nature of the art process (true of art’s function in the longer story of human societies), which is collaborative, participatory and communal, not limited to, or by, lonely agency of the individual artist.” It’s art… but not as we know it! By Professor Declan McGonagle in Art of Negotiation, 2007, David Butler and Vivienne Reiss. Cornerhouse Publications: Manchester


The scope of Key Ideas: Society was deliberately broad and ambitious. Our times demand nothing less. However, the day also embraces the specific areas of expertise of our panel of speakers with practical examples of ideas in situ.



Camberwell College of Arts _ UAL




Counterpoints Arts


Safina Projects

Karen Richmond

Key Ideas Society at UAL
bottom of page