We caught up with Vilja Achté, who graduated from GMD in 2014 and went on to study MA Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art…

Any reflections on your time at LCC?

“Certainly it was an environment that had a lot to offer. I was particularly interested in how the education was divided in contextual studies and studio work. The interplay of these was very valuable.”

What was your reason for applying to do postgraduate study?

“On the final year of GMD there naturally existed an intent to package your work to fit the professional world. This was the aspect that gave me a reason to gravitate towards postgraduate study. Perhaps the wish to stay unpackaged a while longer and to further explore the intersection of contextual studies and studio work.”

How did your work/approach evolve at the RCA?

“Certain existing elements in the work became more distinct, such as approaching visual production through storytelling and favouring ambiguous communication over clarity. Attempting to articulate abstract cultural concerns through narrative became central. Working in close proximity with students whose practise was very varied enabled valuable collaborations and exchanges. Collaboration continues to be an important aspect of how I wish to work.”

What kind of work are you doing now? Any plans for your career?

“After graduating in July, I have been working with projects involving 3D animation, interior and stage visualisation, visual identity and workshop creation. Working in 3D has opened a new perspective of working spatially (or even scenographically), which I am keen to explore further. In addition to this, I am spending the winter in residence in Paris (Cité des Arts). This is an exciting opportunity to develop self-initiated work in an unfamiliar environment. The perviously mentioned feeling of ‘unpackagedness’ certainly still exists, and I am considering it more as an aspect of my work that I should perhaps embrace.”

To see more of Vilja’s work

Links: viljaachte.com


MA Course: https://www.rca.ac.uk/schools/school-of-communication/visual_communication/ma-description/

Pictured above (clockwise): Polar Byzantine (Illustration by Klaus Haapaniemi). Polar Byzantine. Temple of Modern Virtue.

below: Tumblr Manifesto (with Joana Pestana, James Sanderson and Max Ryan)