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Visual Communication (MA)

Urjuan Toosy

Urjuan Toosy is a London-based multi-disciplinary graphic designer and educator whose research-based practice explores collaboration and systems of accessible knowledge-sharing, with an acute focus on the fields of design and education. 

She currently teaches at Ravensbourne University and Richmond American University, London. She has previously taught at Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design, University for the Creative Arts and Fashion Retail Academy with primary roles in leading and supporting units Innovation in Publishing, Design Futures, Critical Design Practice and Professional Life Practice: Criticalities.

Urjuan is currently learning Modern Standard Arabic through the London Learning Co-Operative Group.

Graphic with overlapping magenta, cyan, green, yellow and white lines.

My passion for research and education stems from the interrogation of decentralized knowledge systems and the improvement of social mobility within educational frameworks. My work interrogates learning structures utilizing written briefs, workshops, collective and open-source publishing with participatory practice as methods for testing systems and dynamics of knowledge transfer.

Within my practice lies the exploration of methods and modes of collaboration. It examines what it means to be part of a collaborative practice and how to engage through varying degrees of criticality and communities, where both process and outcome(s) are of equal importance.

The Short Big is a podcast series and interactive platform which aims to demystify academic language.
[About] The Short Big
Diagram showing the approach and process in making the podcast series.
[Diagram] Displaying the approach and processes
On Commons: Pedagogy as Medium. A roundtable discussion at Truman Brewery on 13th July 2023.
Launch Project
[Roundtable] On Commons: Pedagogy as Medium
Structurally Screwed? A roundtable discussion at Truman Brewery on 13th July 2023.
Launch Project
[Roundtable] Structurally Screwed? Political Configurations in Design Education
 Large graphic showcasing Workshop 1: Sonic Bath and Workshop 2: in(Site) Mapping.
Sonic Bath [workshop 1].
[Workshop 1] Sonic Bath
Sonic Bath [workshop 1]. Selection of workshop outcomes.
[Workshop 1] Selection of Sonic Bath workshop outcomes
in(Site) Mapping [workshop 2].
[Workshop 2] (in)Site Mapping
in(Site) Mapping [workshop 2]. Selection of workshop outcomes.
[Workshop 2] Selection of in(Site) Mapping workshop outcomes
Large graphic showcasing Workshop 3: Critical Digest and Workshop 4: Desire Lines.
Critical Digest [workshop 3].
[Workshop 3] Critical Digest
Critical Digest [workshop 3]. Selection of workshop outcomes.
[Workshop 3] Selection of Critical Digest workshop outcomes
Desire Lines [workshop 4].
[Workshop 4] Desire Lines
Desire Lines [workshop 4]. Selection of workshop outcomes.
[Workshop 4] Selection of Desire Lines workshop outcomes
Diagram showing structure of the podcast.
[Diagram] Structure of audio layers in the podcast
Quote from Corinna Canali, "Power aims to surround the individual by systems where norms are fixated and incorporated."
Launch Project
[Quote] Corinna Canali, Episode 1
Quote from Abbie Vickress, "Discipline is second – the individual in the room with you are the priority."
Launch Project
[Quote] Abbie Vickress, Pilot Episode
Diagram showing breakdown of content within pilot episode of the podcast.
[Diagram] Content breakdown in the Pilot Episode on Unlearning

The Short Big is a podcast series bridging the gap between urgent academic research and disruptive practice, through a shared interrogation of language and the discourse it builds.

We seek to produce transferable and equitable academic dialogue by open-sourcing the process of knowledge production, allowing space to understand, question and contextualise theory in a caring, inclusive and additive way. 

Through workshopping contemporary research, we iteratively transcribe and edit material anew. A process by which niche research interests become more accessible — activated publicly, for public growth.

As part of RCA2023, The Short Big will be hosting a 3-day live transmission with roundtable discussions and talks on the urgent topics of The Commons: Pedagogy as Medium, Structurally Screwed: Political Configurations in Design Education and Neoliberal Mobilisation of Desire. 

Find out more:

With special thanks to: 

Abbie Vickress, Corinna Canali, Ayoto Ataraxia, Adrian Shaughnessy, Joshua Trees, Sheena Calvert, Ken Hollings, Jessica Sammut, Conor Moses and School of Commons, ZHdK.

Digestive Publications

Digestive, born (2022) out of a love of biscuits and chatting, is a monthly reflective publication from the Visual Communication BR13 studio at the Royal College of Art. We create content based on the collective theme of the month – designed, collected, and shared on a single piece of paper.

Previous issues of Digestive include Digestive, Tunnelling, Leftovers, Collective Mapping and Crusty Sunburn where we explore the gut, crumbs of conversation(s), parasites, tunnel-vision, pockets, the weather, rock pools, tubes, ideal holidays, nostalgia and revel in the sharing of nan’s recipes.

Find out more:

School of Commons, Zurich University of the Arts

School of Commons (SoC) is an initiative dedicated to the study and development of self-directed Peer Learning, located at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). SoC represents an international community of practitioners, artists, designers and researchers who focus on matters surrounding the production and mediation of knowledge with a common interest in self-directed practices.