This final year’s main aim is to bring us a step closer the real world by teaching us to work with real clients, to pitch our ideas, to be more self-driven, organised and develop our individuality further.
This year I would like to challenge myself to be more organised, to take confidence in showing my work to the world and to let go of the negative voice that is afraid of failure, the same one that often stops me from even trying. I’m beginning my last year with enthusiasm and determination to improve. This spark’s presence is adorable and gives me meaning and I hope it will stay with me till the end of the year. Most importantly, I hope I will be certain about who and where I want to be after the end of the year and to start shaping that. Transforming that year into a beginning rather than an ending.
However, in the beginning of our lecture Wendy and Neil talked us through what kind of creatives the real world needs.
In addition to the technical skills and the core “craftship” that underpins design practice, the industry is looking for people with a strong point of view and the ability to defend their ideas.
A part of the lecture that I particularly liked was about deciding what to stand for because our work impacts the world. Slowly but surely, the ideas that we decide to communicate change people and their mindset. Before starting to work on a “mission”, we have to think about what the world really needs and to decide whether to support the current mission’s ideals. I was really excited to listen to them talk about exactly this topic because it is one that makes me think a lot and even my dissertation’s main focus is about that – the impact of design in the bigger picture. We need to have empathy.
A key part of this is putting yourself in the centre – as a creative you share your own personal point of view through your work, so the first thing you need to take care of is your personality, wellbeing, health and keep your morals high.
Our first project is called “Healthy University” and we will get to work with a real client to produce work.
“Healthy University” is our client and their mission is to improve university staff and students experience in 4 main aspects-
- Environment (Environmental impact of the whole university)
- Health and Wellbeing (Of both staff and students)
- Equality and Diversity
- Welsh Culture
The group I was allocated in will work with Environmental management and our audience will be the university staff. Our mission and key message is to inform the staff about the footprint and achievements of the university and to remind them that they are a part of it.
Our team consists of 4 people – me, Dan Bird, Dan Covello and Laura Marron. We have a diversity of interests and skills that, if used wisely, could make a wonderful collaboration.
We started off by brainstorming on “Environment” and “Staff”.
What we concluded is that the staff are people who are responsible, have a lot of knowledge, talkative, driven and organised. However, what we didn’t get to talk about and I personally consider important is that it’s not only academics who should be considered “staff” – there are also many others who help the smooth running of the uni processes. The cleaners, electricians, waiters, technicians, people in administration. We need to find a way to get the message to them too and to let them know that they belong.
In terms of Environment, we looked at recycling, green, nature, animals, means of transport and their impact, what’s around, air, water. Even though mainstream, dull and dry at first sight, these are the things we should really care about. Because there are other generations to come after us. The Earth is our temporary host and it is certainly not very polite of us to abuse it.
Subsequently, we generated ideas for an ambient design solution that is a part of an everyday life activity. Some of our ideas:
- Attaching stickers to door handles so that they stick to a person’s hand as they open the door
- Leaving trash on the floor that hides a message underneath – so that when (hopefully) a person picks it up, they find a “hidden treasure” – to reward them/let them know that what they just did probably has had a bigger positive impact than expected
- Designing a trash bin that “celebrates” when you recycle – sound/lights.
- Attaching a shredder on top of the bin and giving life to the “confetti” produced from paper material- a wedding inside/ a Christmas scene
Environment management’s aim is to really do things to improve the university’s performance to leave a better impact on environment and it is a pleasure for me to be involved by helping to get the message through.