I’m Jay McCauley Bowstead, writer, designer and teacher graduating this year from the Critical Writing MA at the Royal College of Art. Welcome to my blog!
My writing frequently starts from a close engagement with a design object. As well as seeking to convey the tangible and aesthetic properties of design, I also attempt to communicate how meaning and conceptual content is bound-up or woven-in to the process of making. This approach has informed recent pieces of work including an essay focusing on the covers of ARK magazine (ARK: Words and Images from the Royal College of Art Magazine 1950–1978, Royal College of Art, 2014, pp.5-8), as well as current research focused on the construction of masculinities in contemporary menswear. My published work includes the article ‘Hedi Slimane and the Reinvention of Menswear’, which was first produced as a first-year project and will be published in Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion in early 2015.
With a background in fashion, design continues to strongly influence my writing through a focus on materiality and the aesthetic qualities of art and design objects. I began teaching design students in 2009, and I am the author of the educational manual A Guide to Preparing Your Portfolio, published by Bloomsbury in 2011.
Previous design work in the fashion industry includes a collaboration with Knitwear Studio Sophie Steller for Shanghai’s Spinexpo exhibition, working with designer Han Him Park on the Design Workers label in Seoul and London as well as stints at Burberry and independent label Les Chiffoniers.