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Reflections on London

By Christine Ferrell

This post is a reflection on the first three days of the week-long “Trendspotting for Culture & Design in the UK” study abroad course.

Reflections from Janelle Tracy, a first-year NC State Jenkins MBA student. You may read Janelle’s first post on the global immersion trip to London here.

While I’ve only been in London for three days, it feels like much longer in the best kind of way. I’m amazed at how much we’ve been able to experience in such a short amount of time – from outdoor markets to fringe theater to Buckingham Palace. There is so much to observe and absorb in London! It is clear why Dr. Reid would bring us to this city for trendspotting. Highlights and insights of the trip so far:

  • London is a diverse city full of energy — fast-paced and full of juxtaposition; traditional yet modern; serious yet playful.
  • We already know how to use the tube (subway) like pros!
  • My colleagues and I are having a great time navigating the city, searching for trends and learning the methodologies to substantiate our findings. Some of us have identified fashion trends. Others are tracking trends they’ve observed in food, public transportation and sustainability.
  • We have been to popular tourist destinations including the Museum of London, Kensington Palace, The Thames River river cruise, the London Eye, London Bridge and Big Ben.
  • We had the privilege to experience “I Do,” a form of immersion theater in which groups travel to six different hotel rooms to watch a play. The performance was amazing and sparked a long discussion about the arts and trends we’re seeing in this space.

Here is a look at today’s itinerary, Tuesday, March 11:

  • 9:30am – Meet in lobby and walk throughout Kensington Gardens and Hyde park to Serpentine Gallery for Martino Gamper’s “Design is a State of Mind” gallery exhibit
  • 12:30pm – Tube to Saatchi Gallery, for “Body Language” exhibit
  • 2:30pm – Meet and tube to Tower of London

Reflections from Rachel Huffman, a first-year NC State Jenkins MBA student, on the March 11th itinerary.


Today was all about art! I thought the Serpentine Gallery exhibit, Design is a State of Mind, curated by Martino Gamper was really interesting because it wasn’t just about art created by artists, but everyday objects and how they are arranged. The exhibit was as much about a collection of objects as it was about the shelves – both commercially available shelving and unique pieces created by designers. My favorite piece was the labeled shelf piece (shown above).

After spending time at the Serpentine and Saatchi galleries, we headed to the Tower of London. I absolutely loved the Tower of London. It was the best experience for me on this trip so far because of all the history! I have always had an interest in and passion for British history. It was surreal to walk on the same cobblestones that people from the 11th century walked.

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