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First Impressions – A Few Weeks In

The most accurate phrase I’ve heard used to describe London is “anything goes”. This place is so huge that you interact with every type of person you can imagine on the daily. Especially at Goldsmiths, which truly values and original thought, the phrase “anything goes” is even more accurate. As long as you put ample effort into an idea, then it is accepted with open arms – from a fashion statement to an academic perspective to an artistic display.

Which brings me to the thing I love the most about this city: its creativity. London is undoubtedly fabulous because of its wealth of museums, it’s historical significance, it’s interesting architecture, but so are many cities. What sets London apart, is it’s unique creative style. Retail stores turn floor displays into art. Brick walls become canvases, coffee shops transform into studios and parking lots host open markets for artists. Nobody takes anything at face value – every object and every space has an ulterior motive. It’s up to Londoners to discover it.

Goldsmiths I’m sure has something to do with my perception of this city. It’s a very creative school – students and faculty pride themselves on the value of their original thoughts. Classes are taught with the assumption that each student will bring some sort of a new idea to the table. Readings are designed to inspire critical thinking about theoretical ideas, and it’s up to us to form our own opinion of the theory, perhaps tweaking it to fit our perceptions. At first, that sort of an open-ended curriculum seemed overwhelming, but I’m finding it encouraging. We are meant to apply the things we learn in class to our realities outside of class. What good is learning Mill’s theory of Utilitarianism if we can’t use it to define what we experience?

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