The underground is a place for rapid transport, subversive music and the birthing of social movements. Regarding the latter, formality almost neutralises the original purpose. Nevertheless, University of the Underground would like to formally announce the launch of its new two-year Design MA, to be taught within a hidden network of urban spaces in London and Amsterdam.
Affiliated with Amsterdam's Sandberg Instituut and spearheaded by French designer Nelly Ben Hayoun, University of the Underground is an attempt to educate 'creative soldiers', young designers trained to successfully 'infiltrate power structures and digital and scientific ecosystems'. In other words, it supports an alternative reading of design as it crosses music, film, theatre and politics.
The graphics have been designed by Nelly Ben Hayoun Studio
Through this 'deviance in creativity', it hopes to attract 'all the Willy Wonkas of modern times, the contemporary Velvet Undergrounds and Joy Divisions... mythologists and makers of new worlds' and engineer a power shift within the industry and beyond. Confused? Its mission statement may or may not set you right.
In London, lecture rooms have already been put aside at Village Underground, a converted warehouse in Shoreditch dedicated to music, art and theatrical events. With its emphasis on research and critical theory, the university hopes to grow into a full-fledged PhD programme at Sandberg, the postgraduate arm of Amsterdam's Gerrit Rietveld Academie. The current MA will be provided through a scholarship programme funded by a combination of government grants and and philanthropy.