Leah Fredrickson

Leah Fredrickson

Kingston University

Shanghai will be massively stimulating for me as a place to explore.

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Translation fascinates me and I’m constantly frustrated that I can only enjoy nuances in English, due to my lacking skills in other dialects. The prospect of engaging with the complexities of the Chinese language and its multiple dialects truly excites me.

My design practice involves collaboration. Interning in Shanghai and being immersed in such a rich culture, I know I will meet people with a vast set of skills and outlooks and I look forward to how this will develop my understanding of people. Often, my ideas result from walking and I delight in beautiful and useless things. I particularly enjoy the absurdity of people, watching the irrational and honest quirks they have and how this can translate into design. Being able to complement and satisfy these quirks is what brings me most pleasure.

Shanghai will be massively stimulating for me as a place to explore. I don’t know a great deal about the city itself, apart from how it’s currently surfacing as a new hub for design in China. It’s the fascination of the unknown, the truth in the poetics of human nature and the challenge that compel me to explore China, not knowing exactly where they might lead in my life as an emerging designer.

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Working at BBH was a very valuable experience for my practice and the work and guidance they offered Ollie and I was fantastic. The pace at which we worked, the huge responsibilities we were given and the variety of tasks would have been very beneficial in a UK branch but the amount I learnt was amplified massively being in China.

After being unsure before I left about what China had to offer me, working there completely changed my mind and it definitely seems a place I need to spend more time working and living in the future.

Living in Shanghai showed a side to the city you wouldn’t get as a tourist, I felt I saw how the city worked and loved what it had to offer me.
I found , in working in Chinese advertising, my interests in translation and communication were really stimulated and challenged, giving me a lot to think about and reflect on in my own work. I got to experience working under a creative director and as part of a big team and with the time I was there I really felt I got to understand my practice internationally.

I felt I saw what was available within the creative sector in china and what was yet to be explored and developed. Particularly a gap between creativity for personal gain (rather than commercial) and amazing advances in technology. You could see how young a lot of these companies and ideas are and really exciting work and spaces are starting to emerge in Shanghai, it really felt like an amazing thing to be part of. It was a very valuable experience for me understanding my work and the way the design world is and can develop both within china and in a global scale.

I truly encourage anyone with ambitions for their practice to explore working outside of London and can honestly see China as having massive potential for growth, change and a stimulating creative space for designers and thinkers from all over the world.
 

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