The Intelligent Optimist can take many guises: Future Gazers, Material Explorers, Social Agents and The Fixers. All, in their various ways, are using their creative practices and canny intelligences to reimagine better futures.
Professor Jeremy Till, Head of Central Saint Martins explains, “The Intelligent Optimist exhibition goes to the heart of everything we do at Central Saint Martins. The work of our students is almost by default optimistic – why design the world as a worse place? – and is always shot through with a canny intelligence.
The Intelligent Optimist has never been needed more than in the current era of political and social despondency. We are all looking for alternative visions, but not naively hopeful ones. In their various combinations of wit, rigour, lateral thinking, sensuousness, ingenuity, social engagement and all round intelligence, these Central Saint Martins graduates provide a brilliant riposte to the novelist Howard Jacobson’s provocation that he “has never met an intelligent optimist.”
The Intelligent Optimist exhibition runs from Saturday 19 September – Saturday 17 October at Central Saint Martin’s Lethaby Gallery, in the Granary Building. The exhibition is open to the public Monday to Friday 10am – 6pm and Saturdays 12noon – 5pm.