Last October 25-28th, Central Saint Martins (CSM), the renowned London-based college for Arts and Design, showcased at Lethaby Gallery the work from two pilot courses in Printed Textiles and Fashion Design written for and delivered at HMP Isis, a young offenders institute in south-east London from November 2022 – May 2023.


Alongside designs generated in workshops inside the prison, the project called “The Unlocked Room” consisted also in presenting a series of collaborations between young men held at HMP Isis and students at Central Saint Martins.

Furthermore, a live empathy experiment was staged across five days for the duration of the exhibition. Cell structures were inhabited by cross-disciplinary and cross-level groups of students from Central Saint Martins to resonate around the sensitive question: How might we identify and nurture talent in places we don’t usually search it out?

This project was made possible through the Design Against Crime Research Lab with financial support from: The Bromley Trust, CSM KE Impact Fund and Access & Progression Programme.Fedrigoni Special Paperss were among the technical sponsors of the initiative as paper suppliers, both for the creative stage and for the exhibition material which was printed on Tintoretto Ceylon Sesamo. We’ve been kindly involved by Central Saint Martins Professor Umberto Giovannini.

More info on the exhibition can be found: here.