Robert Beckford

On a grey but close day, with no windows open, the low-ceilinged lobby outside Robert Beckford’s office at Goldsmith’s College in London – at the top of what feels like a high-rise portacabin – can leave one feeling a little claustrophic. The lift is small and tinny, the main reception for the college is more like a school caretaker’s office. Things are on the scruffy side, which works for Goldsmith’s College, Beckford says as he ushers us into his only marginally more airy quarters.