Student spotlight details
Katie chose the MSt in the History of Design in order to gain a deeper understanding of craft and design.
'I was, and still am, a craft and design writer. I write for titles such as The Guardian, Crafts Magazine, Elle Decoration and Monocle and have authored three books about craft – the most recent, Weavers: Contemporary Makers on the Loom, was published by Ludion in September, 2018. My MSt in History of Design is part-time, so I am working alongside my studies and it's really rewarding to see how the two pursuits are already starting to enrich each other.
'As a journalist, I tend to work on quite tight turnaround times, so I can only do as much research as is required to write the article – I wanted to get deeper into subjects and gain a depth of understanding that I felt I was missing. It has been positively luxurious to spend three months researching a single object for this course!
'Our course leader Claire O'Mahoney really pushes us to think harder and more deeply – to move into areas that we find challenging and to sit with the discomfort of not knowing. Of course, that can be really hard, but equally it's incredibly rewarding when you suddenly see a complex concept with newfound clarity or successfully apply a challenging methodology and discover a completely new perspective on something. It's something I think I'll really miss after I graduate.
'I am hoping to develop my second year research into a book. I've been commissioned to write several books to publishers' concepts, but this will be the first one written to my own concept, so I'm really excited about it. At my matriculation dinner someone asked me what my 'big hairy audacious goal' was and I told him it was to write a book that would one day be described as 'seminal.' I'm not saying this will be that book, but it certainly feels like a step in the right direction. I'm also tentatively exploring the idea of a PhD, but I don't want to get too ahead of myself!
'I'm not sure what I would say to someone who is considering a Continuing Education course. I sometimes think that if you realised how hard things were going to be before you started them, you might never start – and the most rewarding things I've ever done have also been the hardest – so I might be tempted not to tell them anything at all! I think I might just keep quiet and let them find out for themselves.'