News & Events >Tutor Talks > Central Saint Martins presents: Design Transforms

Vinky Zhang – Ceramic Designer – MA Design at UAL
June 28th, 2023

Central Saint Martins presents: Design Transforms

Within the framework of the UY Design Month (Cámara de Diseño Uruguay), University of the Arts London presented: Design Transforms: how do we use product design to shape the future and generate a positive impact? In Magma Futura, Montevideo.

Simon Fraser and Ulli Oberlack, MA Design Tutors at Central Saint Martins, London, gave their thoughts on the transformative power of design and the central impact of materiality in a digital world. The moderator was Veronica Cordeiro Curator, Writer and Visual Anthropologist, with the participation of invited local designers. Additionally, Central Saint Martins graduate’s design processes that were featured at New York Design Week in the Tom Dixon Showroom, were also exhibited. 

Who is Who:

Simon Fraser 

Accomplished creative director, consultant, designer, and academic practitioner, has spent three decades working with jewelry, precious materials, and luxury production. His experience includes running a renowned design studio, becoming a thought-leader in jewelry and master craft, and contributing through writing, curating, broadcasting, and lecturing. Simon is currently course leader of MA Design Ceramics, Jewellery & Furniture at Central Saint Martins. 

Ulli Oberlack 

Designer, researcher, and educator who focuses on investigating light as an immaterial medium in relation to the body. She serves as the Academic Course Coordinator for MA Design: Ceramics, Jewellery & Furniture at Central Saint Martins. Additionally, she is a founding member of the STADHI Science, Technology, Art, and Design Hybrid Innovation Lab, a collaboration between Central Saint Martins and the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Veronica Cordeiro 

Artist, writer and curator of art and photography. In her artistic research, she works on the intrinsic connection with nature, focusing on the transformative power of the creative process. Veronica has a degree in Art History from the University of Edinburgh, and two master’s degrees, one in Visual Anthropology (University of London, Goldsmiths College) and another in Documentary Photography (LABASAD, Barcelona School of Art and Design). She spent the first decade of the 2000s working concomitantly as an artist, curator, teacher, and art critic, writing for various magazines such as Trans- arts, cultures, media (New York); Art Forum (New York); Arte y Parte (Valencia), Trópico (Brazil), Marcelina (Brazil), and Art Nexus (Miami, Bogotá). She began her curatorial career at the XXIV São Paulo Biennial and has curated more than a hundred group and individual exhibitions in 10 countries in the last 20 years. She recently completed her first biography to be published in Brazil, about an ex-prisoner who discovers art in prison and transforms his life. Since 2021 she has dedicated herself mainly to her own artistic research, a multidisciplinary practice that she has called Poetics of Transmutation.

Federica Levrero

Educational advisor, coach and founder of FAD Connection, a global network of creative universities. Born in Uruguay, Federica was exposed to diverse cultures and languages from a young age, after working ten years in the family travel agency. Federica leverages her multicultural background and passion for education to support others in their vocational and professional exploration.

Vinky Zhang

Ceramic designer specializing in narrative ceramic design, as she believes that ceramics are a good medium for dialogue. Vinky came from the oldest ceramic manufacturing city in China, Jingdezhen, with a degree in MA Design at Central Saint Martins. Her work has been showcased in New York Design Week 2023 and she’s now working as a Product Developer in a homeware design company in the UK.

Yejoong Choi

MA Design at Central Saint Martins 2022 graduate, Yejoong Choi has a strong interest in Korean traditional crafts and is studying modern technologies and materials to revitalize them. Currently, he is preparing a design studio in London that focuses on future-oriented furniture design and eco-friendliness. His approach involves combining traditional Korean craft techniques with innovative technologies. Yejoong Choi claims to love both the “decorative splendor” of traditional Korean crafts and the cutting-edge expressions and ideas that transcend any specific point in history.

Mingyu Xu

Product and furniture designer. His research and exploration of bamboo weaving techniques commenced in 2016. The aim is to inherit and develop traditional bamboo weaving to fit products and furniture in modern interior spaces. Mingyu Xu graduated from Central Saint Martins, and created the ‘Parallel Forest’ collection in 2022. After graduation, he successfully launched new pieces at the Future Heritage exhibition. To great acclaim, he introduced ‘Parallel’ and ‘Stream’ collections at Salone del Mobile in April 2023.

Ruth María Robledo

Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Ruth Maria Robledo lives and works in London. Having Majored in Industrial Design from ITESM and undertaking an MA Design: Ceramics from Central Saint Martins, Ruth has been able to create a holistic vision of how clay can be used to express emotion and have a functionality, allowing the pieces to become heirloom objects. Ruth Maria Robledo uses clay as a form of expression and seeks to provide people the opportunity to bring a sense of nature to their own space.

Zhan Zhan

Zhan Zhan is a jewellery designer from China. Her jewellery aims to evoke people’s curiosity about traditional fears of magical creatures. She combines the language of contemporary jewellery and traditional craftsmanship to connect ancient stories with jewellery. Each piece has its own story, personality, and emotions. Zhan innovates within the form of enamel jewellery by combining digital design and 3D printing to make enamel jewellery three-dimensional and more free in design expression.

Zhuyun Chen

Zhuyun Chen is a Chinese jewellery designer with a background in gemology. Her work explores a playful way of wearing and seeing jewellery through a combination of space, interaction and optical illusions. During her two years of practice in MA Design at Central Saint Martins, she dives into the world of optical art and creates her first collection “The Uncertain Space”, bringing unique and immersive experiences to the audience. 

Xinyi Chen

Since 2016 Xinyi has been experimenting with and exploring the use of electronic components as the gemstone to make jewellery. She has achieved several group exhibitions in China and Europe. By making the setting of recycled components, she challenges traditional fine jewellery and proposes a transgressive approach to what we value moving forward.

Yuxi Ji

Yuxi incorporates the style, attitude and visual dimension of youth sub-cultural groups into traditional Suzhou embroidery, changing it into something rebellious and bold. She shows how traditional culture can be used to establish a new Chinese aesthetic through pleating, sewing, and the luster of silk threads, displayed in many dimensions.  

For further information please contact FAD Connection ask@fadconnection.com