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Why is the Alexander McQueen exhibition so impressive?

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It would be easy to view a fashion designer as popular as Alexandra McQueen as overblown and over rated, whose fame is overinflated by the hubris surrounding his death. The cult of doomed youth has such a pungent smell in the fashion world that it tends to overpower the more delicate scent of genuine creativity and fresh thinking. Such a large career retrospective in a major museum does not often favour the latter. In addition, the waiting list and queues to this exhibition are likewise overpoweringly long and a real deterrent unless the visitor is armed with a suitably sharp V&A membership card to cut down the wait. However, if there is one exhibition that is worth the challenge of entry it is this one. Rarely does a specialist in a creative field seem so fresh and clear in their communication. It is as though McQueen has made his collections after entering fashion from another field, working as a skilled outsider who has not been trapped by the traditions, assumptions, and tired routines of the fashion world. Yet strangely this is not true, he spent years perfecting tailoring skills, working in one of the most stylistically constrained areas of the fashion industry.

So where does this clarity come from? how does McQueen achieve the simplified overview that is fresh, creative and approachable, interesting yet understandable by all of us? It is perhaps his ability to raise his head above specialist and localised thinking of his trade, to genuinely combine different perspectives of knowledge in a way that is intelligently enriching. This is not the form of appropriation that often happens where surface visual references are grabbed and consumed by the trend machine of fashion, but a deeper understanding of culture’s structure in a simpler and more fundamental way. His work has almost a child like in its desire and clarity, which is combined with advanced technical skills and a seemingly unending stream of creative options. Perhaps he exemplifies ‘beginners mind’ for as Shunryu Suzuki says ‘In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.’

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Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers

Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers.

This diagram is really useful to try out different scenarios with ….

 


Times Higher Education

 

Is this a more workable model ?

 

Times Higher Education.

David Latchman, master of the college, said shorter part-time degree programmes, which usually last at least four years, had been vital to his institution’s success.

For the first time in its 191-year history, Birkbeck this year admitted more part-time undergraduates studying over three years than students studying over four years.

Next year, Professor Latchman expects about 1,100 students to enrol on three-year courses, up from about 850 this year. All courses taught over four years will also be available over three years in 2014-15 – up from just three subjects offered in the shorter format when it was launched in 2010-11.

The three-year programmes are attracting different types of students from the mature learners who typically apply to Birkbeck, Professor Latchman toldTimes Higher Education. “We’re starting to appeal to 18- to 20-year-olds who ask ‘why should I go to university full time and spend my Saturdays stacking shelves in Tesco when I could study in the evening and apply my learning to my employment?’,” he said.

“We are also getting a lot of 21- and 22-year-olds who may have gone straight into work from school, but are now seeing graduates entering the workplace and being promoted ahead of them,” he added.

Part-time degrees over three years are also attractive because those doing the courses are eligible for maintenance loans, worth up to £7,751 a year in London next year, unlike traditional part-time students, Professor Latchman said.

The courses, held in the evenings, are also advertised by Ucas, unlike other part-time courses, which opens Birkbeck up to a wider audience, although such students will count towards its places quota until caps are scrapped in 2015-16.

 


This draws out many threads and reminds me again of all the possibilities offered by this book …

Fractal Ontology

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D+G have reached the point where it is no longer of any importance whether one says I [This, of course, is preceded by similar assertions about the schizophrenic in Anti-Oedipus]. (3).
A book is an assemblage and a multiplicity:
One side of a machinic assemblage faces the state, which doubtless makes it a kind of organism, or signifying totality, or determination attributable to a subject; it also has a side facing a body without organs, which is continually dismantling the organism, causing asignifying particles or pure intensities to pass or circulate, and attributing to itself subjects that it leaves with nothing more than a name as the trace of an intensity. What is the body without organs of a book? …We will ask what it functions with, in connection with what other things it does or does not transmit intensities, in which other multiplicities its own are inserted and metamorphosed…

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The Merry Bobbins – An Afternoon with the Craftivist Collective

The Merry Bobbins – An Afternoon with the Craftivist Collective.

Interesting to see political craft gaining ground …. Making and social change a seem to be forming closer bonds.


the Frozen Fountain

 

the Frozen Fountain.

This is a really telling project – that shows the ‘old world’ still holding the skills lost in europe … and then developing them.


Is the “New” Brooklyn Economy For Real? | Brooklyn Abridged

 

Is the “New” Brooklyn Economy For Real? | Brooklyn Abridged.

This is a very interesing artical – the rise of entrepenurto who are Internet connected but also focused  on passionate but slow quality goods.


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