Our University of the Underground guest tutor Kate Moross was interviewed by Ted Gioia for It’s Nice That. The conversation  focused on Kate’s practice and participation in the Uni of the U. Kate discussed our key syllabus: Social Dreaming, Social Actions, Experiences and how you Kate has encountered these in her practice and teaching experience.

You can read the whole article here 

Words by Ted Gioia

“I always say that I don’t have big ideas, I just have lots of little ones that fill the same amount of time,” explains London artist Kate Moross. “I much prefer to take things a little bit at a time and change things that way. I think change is lots of small steps, not necessarily always the big things.” This small-idea ethos has helped Kate forge a genre-defying career as a graphic artist: she founded the London design agency Studio Moross in 2012, started the vinyl label Isomorph Records, and penned the DIY guide Make Your Own Luck. Her work has spanned from music videos to designing the tour visuals for One Direction. “I very much don’t conform to what most people think of what a graphic designer would be,” Kate confesses.

Kate has recently joined University of the Underground, an institution dedicated to reimagining the rules of countercultures for the 21st century. Kate will be a guest tutor for the university this autumn, and here she speaks to Ted Gioia on the challenges of design education, unconventional creativity, and pushing the outer limits of the imagination.

How did you become a designer and start your studio?
I kind of fell into it because I really like drawing and just sort of found my way in the music scene doing posters and flyers as an illustrator. Then I went professional. But I found it quite boring, found I wasn’t really challenged or didn’t get to use my mind. I was just sort of a hand for people. So I started Studio Moross five years ago to enable me to do more art direction, more design, and to collaborate with people to find new ways to do things.

What do you think is important to teach young design students that’s being missed in standard education practice?
A sense of a reality. [Laughs.] There’s this sort of fantasy that exists within academia that you float through these courses and maybe when you come out the other end you’ll be ready for the real world. But usually that isn’t the case. I think you don’t really learn about systems whether that’s technological, governmental, scientific or whatever institutions exist around you. You don’t learn how to interact with them. You don’t learn how to talk them. You don’t know how to change them or work with them.

How has design helped you forge your own identity?
Well, I very much don’t conform what most people think of what a graphic designer would be. First of all, when I started I was very young. I got a lot of backlash online for being young and also probably for being a girl. Now, I identify as being non-binary, so I live in a kind of middle ground between the two master genders. I’m interested in a world from that perspective: looking at design and design interaction through the eyes of different genders. So for example, I’m constantly battling peoples and businesses who don’t have a third or fourth or fifth box for when you sign up for something and have to enter your gender. That’s something of a small battle I’m fighting every day.

I find that there’s so many different types of expression that those things aren’t necessarily grouped into sub-cultures or counter-cultures anymore. I think people fall into different groups but don’t necessarily have one [category] that they identify as – I think that’s more modern generally than just being like “I only like punk music. Or I only hang out with gay people.” I don’t think people are defined like that anymore.

You can read the whole article here