RSA Vaults Portfolio Review Night

Each year, we have the privilege of hosting a Portfolio Reception Evening for our final year students. Traditionally, this falls in the last 4 weeks of our teaching year – just ahead of the students completing their work and submitting it all for assessment.

The event was held earlier this year due to a changing timetable at our end, the lateness of Easter, and was disrupted by the fallout of mindless Terrorist attacks, but was no less valuable for all involved.

The venue has (for many years now) been at the RSA Vaults building in central London, and our ‘portfolio evening’ is now affectionally known as ’The Vaults’ in the minds of the designers who attend each year.

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It’s a significant time for a number of reasons – the opportunity for our burgeoning designers to rehearse talking about their work and respond to feedback from some of the UK’s leading agencies. It also allows industry the chance to see up-and-coming designers in their prime and to take the opportunity to build key relationships that lead to placements, internships and – occasionally, the first job offer.

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Our course has always been based on the premise that – at the end of the day, both the design ‘industry’ and design ‘education’ is very much about people, with names and faces and stories to tell, and we have worked hard over many years to build connections & relationships that have weathered many-a-storm. We continue to value everyone who gives us their time and support each year, and this feeds directly into our students’ experience of studying with us, complimenting the regular support they receive back on-campus at University.

At the end of the day, the event is at it’s most rewarding at both the beginning, and end of the evening. The beginning, as you watch nervous faces anticipating the next four hours ‘Can I do this?’, ‘Will I make a fool of myself?’,  ‘What if no-one likes what I’ve done?’, and then the end, as those same people are literally set-to-burst with the knowledge that they’ve been there, done it, and got the reward; ‘I can…’, I didn’t…’ and ‘They loved it…’.

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Future Creative Stars

Congratulations to advertising students Arif Abdillah and Roan Laenen who has been short-listed for a ‘Future Lions’ award. This is a tremendous achievement as they were in competition with students from all over the world. Fingers crossed they win it, they’ll be in huge demand if they do.

Student Work Placements

Some of our final year advertising students are starting their careers and they haven’t even graduated yet. Chelsea Thorley and Hannah Fortune have secured a placement at St Lukes and Raquel Frietas Tomé and Charlotte Benbow have secured a placement at Ogilvy and Mather. Well done to both teams. There are other student placements in the pipeline – watch this space.

 

MA London Trip

This March, as part of their Curate & Build module, the MA Communication Design students travelled up to London to attend a number of exhibitions and workshops. Highlights included the Fear & Love exhibition at the Design Museum, a tour of V&A’s Rapid Response Collection with curator Corinna Gardner, and a trip to the St Bride Foundation to explore their vast typography library and collection.

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design museum

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Special thanks to Lauren Bassam, Corrina Gardner, and Mick Clayton for hosting us!

 

Amsterdam studios visits

From 4 April to 8 April 2-17, the MA Communication Design cohort travelled to Amsterdam to visit a number of specialist studios, including: Wonderland, We Are Pi, Haller Brun, Perfect Fools, Havas Lemz, Build in Amsterdam and Droog.

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6 Build in Amsterdam

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Special thanks to our friends and partners in the Netherlands for hosting us, and sharing their work, insights, and unique creative methodologies.

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Various Writings + CAST

Various Writings is an art- and design-based research project initiated by Maria Christoforidou, Lizzie Ridout and Dion Star. It is both a research platform and programme of projects investigating acts of writing.

In February Maria, Lizzie and Dion were invited to undertake a short residency at The Cornubian Arts & Science Trust (CAST), an educational charity based in Helston, Cornwall. The residency was an opportunity to explore what writing is and what writing might become, through the creation of a taxonomy of writing acts and gestures. Various Writings asks the question, how do we write in the first place and why? What are the tools and surfaces that we find ourselves using? How do we define the media that we write with and how does that media, in turn, define us?

As a result of the CAST residency, many of the tests, responses and critical observations have been developed into workshops for a Collaborative Practice project. Various Writings: Collaborative Practice is a four-week project in which Stage Two students elect to work in conjunction with staff on specific research projects.

Acts of Writing

Dion, Lizzie and Maria will deliver a collaborative performed presentation in April at Please Specify!: Sharing Artistic Research Across Disciplines, the annual international conference of The Society for Artistic Research. This year the conference will be held at the University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland.

www.sarconference2017.org

In July they will also be delivering a paper about their research and collaboration at MIX2017 – Writing Digital, a conference to be held at Bath Spa University and examining the intersection between creative writing, storytelling, media creation and technology.

www.mixconference.org


Dion Star is Stage Three Coordinator and Senior Lecturer on BA (Hons) Graphic Design, Lizzie Ridout is a Senior Lecturer on BA (Hons) Graphic Design and MA Illustration: Authorial Practice and Maria Christoforidou is a theory lecturer across Fine Art, Illustration and Graphic Design at Falmouth and Plymouth Universities.

Graduate Day March 2017

Our annual Graduate Day is a special occasion on the Graphic Design calendar, when graduates from previous year’s cohorts are invited back to Falmouth to recount the experiences of their first formative period of professional working.

This highly valuable event allows current students to learn of the successes and challenges that are all part of the journey in achieving that important first rung on the career ladder. Whilst it’s great for the students to hear of the amazing achievements of the group, they also get to hear the reality of the motivation and sheer hard work that follows the completion of their degrees and the importance of perseverance and developing a thick skin to help achieve one’s goals.

We were delighted to have welcomed the group of nine young designers to give short talks in the main lecture theatre in the afternoon. The group also ran seminar discussions in the morning with final year students to share stories of ambition and encouragement for the last period of their degree study.

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Importantly, the selection of graduates for the day is made to paint a broad picture of career direction and opportunity, with design destinations including work at Penguin Books, The Partners, Oxfam, B&B Studio, LPK and GBH.  The selection also includes other strands of stepping stone after a degree, including going into Design Management and also following more academic routes, by going onto Postgraduate study on our own MA Communication Design course.

Thanks go to graduates Alex Bride, Cassy Bull, Matt Caldwell, Matt Churchill, Fraser Donaldson, Dan Prescott, Georgie Rait, Rosie Stevens and Queenie Wong.

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