Creative Lives: Joana Filipe, exhibition designer and creative producer


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On the podcast this week, we meet Joana Filipe, an exhibition and interior designer, who also works as a creative producer for ELCAF, London’s biggest annual festival for comics and illustration. Not simply a designer for traditional art spaces, Joana’s clients have included Thames and Hudson, Greenpeace and Converse – as well as the London-based Now Gallery, Fashion Space Gallery and selected universities. We hear how she went from studying sculpture in her hometown to moving to London and assisting at the V&A, before establishing her own practice. Joana begins by describing the role and responsibilities of an exhibition designer, before telling us what her work looks like day to day, running her own business from a shared studio in east London. She also describes her work with ELCAF – a three-day annual event to celebrate with comic artists and illustrators, which she has helped organise, produce and develop since 2013. Originally founded by independent publisher Nobrow in 2012, it now hosts over 170 participating artists each year. With exhibitor stands, talks, screenings and workshops to consider, Joana will manage overall spatial design to optimise visitor experience. Having grown up in Lisbon and studied sculpture there, Joana describes her route into exhibition design – from a hands-on education in physical materials, to co-founding a company specialised in art fabrication. After three years of running the business with her brother, she decided to make a change, moving to London to study at Central Saint Martins, and then taking up work at the V&A. ... This episode of Creative Lives was brought to you by Lecture in Progress. It was presented by Indi Davies and the editor was Ivor Manly. Lecture in Progress is made possible with the support of a number of brand patrons – they include ustwo, GF Smith and The Paul Smith Foundation.

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