In Other Worlds

Nicola Hardy

THIRD YEAR [GRAP2249 / 2251]
3A & 3B FRIDAY 9:30~12:30, 13:30~15:30
*See myTimetable for Room & Time

Studio Inquiry

World-building can be described as constructing and developing an imaginary world or universe. You might already be familiar with world-building in the context of films or written fiction but it’s also an essential component of video games, branding, and fashion as well as many other areas of design. We will examine why consistency in world-building is essential to believability. We will also examine the subtle art of convincing audiences through visual storytelling and designed artefacts.

What role can you play in creating an alternative world? Join me on this fun adventure and we will try our best not to have an existential crisis along the way!


For inspiration in this studio, we will look towards film and literature as well as the visual and craft aspects of set and prop design. We will go beyond the film and delve deep into the background elements, the colours, small tickets and stationnery, posters, logos on a coffee cup in the background, trying to understand how these all contribute to the overall world. This studio will analyse and synthesise research about the world of world-building itself.

Communication of knowledge

You will create a fictional world from your own imagination, giving ample consideration to making the fantastical believeable. You will consider your audience and how well you can communicate your ideas to them. 


You will explore and develop the parameters of your world through workshops and activities in the studio. Testing ideas, failing, collaborating and giving and receiving creative direction will be essential in this process.

Studio sessions will be a mix of quiet concentrated effort and talkative collaborative workshopping with your studio mates. You can expect to participate in creative writing, research, drawing, and plenty of hands-on making. If you like geeking out about movies and books, using your imagination, collaborating, making things, and sharing and developing ideas, then this studio is for you. This is a space for big and wild ideas and for bringing these ideas to life. This is your opportunity to integrate some of your personal hobbies or diverse skill sets into your design practice. 

There will be some writing but the main thing you need to bring to this studio is your imagination. 


This Studio has 3  assessment tasks:


1. World-building by using your writing skills and imagination. 

Develop your world's inhabitants, language, environment, social rules, histories… 

Communicate your world through a lookbook showing visual ideas and inspiration. 

Create your own rich portfolio of visual material to communicate your world to others.


2. Artefact
Create an artefact from that world.

This could be an illustrated book of wildlife, a set of postage stamps, packaging for products, posters, a portrait of a ruler, a traditional pattern, a movie, a piece of music… You can use your favourite media to create something from your world. It might be digital or hand constructed or hand-generated. You can decide what to create and how to create it.


3. SKO
Students are encouraged to document each week's findings in preparation for the final SKO assessment.


Brief 01: World-building 35%
Brief 02: Artefact 35%

Brief 03: SKO 30%


Atkins, Annie, Fake Love Letters, Forged Telegrams, and Prison Escape Maps: Designing Graphic Props for Filmmaking, Phaidon Press, 2020


Elborough, Travis and Horsfield, Alan, Atlas of Improbable Places A Journey to the World's Most Unusual Corners, Aurum Press, 2016

Communities of Practice
Type & Publishing

About Nicola Hardy

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