Healthy University – Week 2 + 3


As I mentioned in the previous post, our team is working on “Environment” for target audience: Staff. Here are some thoughts on what we’ve done as a team from 29/9 to 12/10.

Thursday 29/9/16 Writing the creative brief, Compulsory group tutorials

Before starting to think about actual ideas and doing work, I think that it is pretty important to be clear on what the company does exactly. At the client briefing our client Rachel shed some light on what they do, but briefly. A detailed, fruitful, rather long explanation of Environmental Management activities I found particularly beneficial Here. I encouraged the other team members to read it carefully, but it seems like I am the only person who thinks it is important. Personally I think that it is a great source of info. They have also mentioned areas for further development – which can and should be used in our advantage.

We talked about the creative brief. A creative brief‘s difference to the project brief :

  • The project brief gives us an overview about the client, their needs, what has to be solved, what the problem is.
  • The creative brief is done by the designer and it is the creative solution, the objective, what is yet to be achieved. Clarified needs and motivations of the audience. Simplified, vague, not necessarily precise. More

After throwing some light over what a creative brief is and before starting to write it, we moved on to some brainstorming within each team.


Next step was sharing our current thoughts and ideas with all the other teams.

It was lovely to hear how each group approached the task differently. Before this discussion, I had the feeling that our solution is really mainstream and that there is nothing else that could be done – however, that meeting proved me wrong. Sharing is a bliss!


Our key message is to inform the staff about the environmental impact and achievements of the university, while making them realise their own importance. We recognised the fact the need to focus not only on lecturers/academics, but also cleaners/ waiters/ chefs/ etc. All the people responsible for the wellbeing of the uni.


Next step: Each one of us has to write a creative brief individually.

Friday 30/9/16 Contacting the mentor

On Friday we contacted our mentor, Julian Sykes, Brands Director at “Hoffi” – a creative agency in Cardiff. We arranged a meeting for the next Friday. I see it as a great opportunity to have the chance to be advised by a person actively engaged in the industry. It is up to us to get the most out of it. Hopefully we will have some specific questions to ask by then.


Monday 3/10/16 Action research

Each one of us had written a creative brief. Here’s my draft. Neil suggested changing the design, so I did a quick one. The next step is to discuss each team member’s brief and write a new one, as a group, or choose one to represent the whole team.

Writing the creative brief. Empathy.

  • How does graphic communication fit into the wider world?
  • We will be the people to transform the creative industries to a more sustainable form.
  • Always begin at the end! Understand the outcome. What are you aiming for? What do you want your design to do? What’s the desired effect? That will inform each stage.
  • What does the world really need? Add value to the world around! Empathy is a design principal – the ability to care about somebody or something else.
  • How will my design actually be experienced by the recipient? How do people see/respond to information? Why would they trust me?
Wednesday 5/10/16 Meeting stakeholders

Stakeholders are the people affected by the client’s decisions.

  • How will we find who to talk to?
  • How do these relationships in the particular area of interest work?
  • Decide which particular niche is worth building upon.
  • Think about the needs of those we’re having a conversation with. Why are they where they are? What makes them happy?
  • What change would we/they find meaningful and healthy?
  • Avoid preconceptions. Ask rather than presume. What matters to me does not necessarily apply to other people.
  • The outcome needs to be authentically, truly healthy.

We met with the other team members and did some thinking on the people that we will work for: STAFF.14647316_10207151940300472_1592793148_o.jpg



Each one of us was randomly given a staff group for further research.


Thursday 6/10/16 Visualising Research


Friday 7/10/16 Meeting the mentor

This morning was a very unpredictable one. Even though I had the intention to, I could not attend the meeting. Donating my hair to charity took longer than expected and then I spent 20 minutes trying to unlock my bike. However, life, just one of those days. At least I did something good for somebody else!

After catching up with the people who were there:

Some of the questions that came from the meeting with Julian:

  • — When do they have free time? When would they spend time with what we create?
  • — What are we allowed to claim the staff have achieved?
  • — Is it just one member of staff hanging out, or is it a group?
  • — Where will our work come in? When will it be seen?
  • — How can we make it interactive without making the staff go out of their way too much?

WEEK 3 -IDEATION- (What’s the story?)


Monday 10/10/16

Neil talked about empathy again and shared a symbolic story on persuasion with us:

The Butterfly Principle of Gentle Persuasion

The North Wind boasted of great strength. The Sun argued that there was great power in gentleness.

“We shall have a contest,” said the Sun.

Far below, a man travelled a winding road. He was wearing a warm winter coat.

“As a test of strength,” said the Sun, “Let us see which of us can take the coat off that man.”

“It will be quite simple for me to force him to remove his coat,” bragged the Wind.

The Wind blew so hard, the birds clung to the trees. The world was filled with dust and leaves. But the harder the wind blew down the road, the tighter the shivering man clung to his coat.

Then, the Sun came out from behind a cloud. Sun warmed the air and the frosty ground. The man on the road unbuttoned his coat.

The sun grew slowly brighter and brighter.

The man grew warmer and warmer, until, caressed by the heat, he took off his coat and sat down in a shady spot.

“How did you do that?” asked the Wind.

The Sun replied, “I lit the day with warmth…”

A walk around the university, observing staff and looking at existing visual material to communicate the Environmental issues:
After that I thought it would be a good idea to actually talk to some of our stakeholders as opposed to just watching them do what they do. So we made a questionnaire, printed it out and went on a quest to collect answers.
My observations were:
  • Most office staff don’t enjoy engaging with students. They prefer sitting in their office, on their own. They really wanna go home. As opposed to the lecturers who are approachable, friendly, in a good mood.
  • All of the offices are really white – everything is white! In one of them, the only thing consisting color was the recycling bin – which I found pretty symbolic.
  • The information written itself is not that important, but the attitude of the people to the fact that they are being involved.

Wednesday 12/10/16
Tutorial with Wendy – a really efficient one. We talked through our current ideas.

Special thanks to Connor who was writing down the following during the whole discussion:

  • — Make large format posters using the appropriate materials to the posters audience and environment
  • — “Because of you we can do this, so why stop?” material based-lettering
  • — Gift box with all the means to adding a touch of green to your life. These need to have tiny details to make that the person smile, build a connection with the products inside and in turn, get them to use the items.
  • —Make the ordinary extraordinary. Find areas or objects which are boring and bring them to life. Monotone green, recycled materials, added little touches to make people smile. Film the reactions. Replace objects commonly seen with something unexpected. — Green trail? Use signage, the unexpected, optical illusions to help direct people towards a certain area, goal, etc.
  • — Make any print products interactive. How can they help others? See IBM posters.
  • — Green takeover. How can we make it look like mother nature, or rubbish and scrap are taking over the university? Should these get people to destroy them and recycle?
  • — Competition on who can make the coolest thing out of rubbish. Bring in rewards, shared on social media, helps add creativity into peoples lives. Do people have time for this?
  • — Perhaps the reward for the green trail is a hidden green pack with a coffee mug, discount on hot drinks at uni, and other related goodies. This could be done every day for a month, with new objects turning green.
  • —The world around you is turning green. Maybe we should too?
  • — Made up notes between staff that causes conversation. Maybe on a live leaf, a little joke or note?
  • — Pop-up plants from coffee cups, etc.
  • — Direct a message at a small range of people and the message will spread.
  • — Which block(s) are we focusing on? All blocks but art & design are boring, and A block smells like a hospital.
  • — Make something electronic/talking table. Give an object a personality.
  • — “You spend so much time with me, and yet you know nothing about me.”


Next step will be to prototype some final ideas to be discussed with the client.



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