Amelia’s Magazine | Critical Tensions Design Conference

Category: Art

This week the tenth annual St Bride Library conference returns, with a host of speakers from across the world of design speaking of Critical Tensions. The premise of the conference is thus:

Tension is frequently described as a positive in design, with designers balancing opposing constraints and visual ideas in often ‘perfect tension’. Design work balances a whole series of tensions: analogue–digital; male–female; Twitter–Facebook; art–design; East–West; old–young; interns–employees; global–local; micro–macro; educated–‘feral’; in-house–independent; degree course–short course/apprenticeship; designer–client.

In these uncertain times of economic and educational cutbacks, what of the old adage that from adversity comes creativity? In the aftermath of WWII, the exhibition ‘Britain can make it’ celebrated the potential of design as a tool for national recovery. The political struggles of the 1960s fuelled the portfolios of a generation of our most celebrated graphic designers. So where are seeds of creativity emerging from current struggles? What are the key points of tension today and what possibilities for designerly making and thinking are opening up as a result? Is tension vital to the design process itself?

And guess what? Yours truly will be speaking, on Friday afternoon at 4pm for half an hour. I'll be in highly esteemed company, so if critical analysis of design is your bag, make sure you grab a ticket and get along.

Here's my blurb:

Amelia Gregory is publisher, editor and art director of Amelia's Magazine, an online arts magazine that focuses on emerging art, illustration, design, fashion, photography, music and the environment. Having trained in printed textile design for fashion she entered the world of styling, working at magazines such as The Face, Sleaze Nation, I-D and the Guardian. She then moved into photography before starting Amelia's Magazine in 2004. For ten biannual issues it was in print before moving entirely online in 2008, where it now gathers 65,000 readers a month. Amelia has published two books on illustration, Amelia's Anthology of Illustration and Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration. She also lectures widely on art direction, eco design, PR and social networking in the UK and internationally. At the moment Amelia is busy designing her second range of cards for Roger La Borde.

Amelia Gregory will be talking about the critical tensions between print and online, photography and illustration, mainstream media and blogging, traditional promotion and social media.

Full line up below:

Thursday 10 November

Jonathan Barnbrook – The critical role of typefaces

Tom Farrand – Are you Good for Nothing?

Phil Baines – Thinking and making happen in the same place

Paul Rennie – ‘Britain can make it’ (1947) – signposts to the future

Alan Kitching – The Wrington Suite: the show must go on


Gerry Leonidas – The emergence of meta-typography

Timo Arnall – (BERG)

Plenary moderated by Emily King

Friday 11 November

Vaughan Oliver – Visual Pressures (30 years in 60 minutes)

Derek Yates – A new approach to vocational learning

Lucienne Roberts and Rebecca Wright – GraphicDesign: Inward / Outward

Zoë Bather

Educational plenary moderated by Phil Baines

Marina Willer and Ije Nwokorie

Amelia Gregory – Bringing a magazine to life: tales from the frontline of print and online production

Steven Watson – Is anybody there? The importance of authorship in independent magazines

Plenary moderated by Phil Baines

Full information on the St Brides website.