GDE730 - Week 8

Week 8 : Research & Workshop Challenge

I loved the lecture this week – the two brothers just knew so much about collaboration and the work involved. The steps given really helped me nail down exactly what I want my collaborative process to be about.

The first steps in their list were to consider the audience (who is it for?) – this is quite an easy one to consider. My main aim for this collaborative event is to utilise the local talent at our universities and colleges in York – to bring together students who can offer skills or experience in different sectors and unite them to create amazing, experimental and collaborative work. It would also hopefully encourage them to make contacts they can use in the future and collaborate at a later date. Nane talked about Junior Designers and how the tool we create may help them in the future – I think it’s so important to keep in mind that this event is a design orientated one, but to becoem inclusive across all subjects and institutions. It’s vital that we bring together the young, local talent of the undergrads, postgrads or even researchers – this is how the Thin Ice Press at University of York started (they have combined lecturers in English Lit, Historians, Engineers and Designers to reproduce a working printing press).

I think it’s also important to note that this event will be created as both physical and digital – Alec mentioned to note down the pros and cons of both and as I was doing so, I noticed that they both have the same merits – so why not have a physical event showcasing the collaborative work and introducing new students, but also running the digital work alongside across the year? It could be a digital platform for the institutions to use and collaborate together, find engineers that could help make a design dream a reality … the list goes on!

Secondly, we need to consider the problems the ‘audience’ has in order to create the right product. Currently, it’s so evident that there is no cross-institutional event or programme, there is no way for the many students in this city to communicate or come together. there are design weeks, engineering weeks, showcase events for artists etc, but not one to bring all together. The students, as mentioned in my business plan, also struggle to stay locally and tend to move to larger cities when graduated – I think it’s so important to retain our local grown talent!

Because of the above, I think my speculative plan for this digital tool and physical event could really manifest into something celebratory for the 3 schools. nIt’s not just design, it’s engineering, science, art, history, english and so forth. It’s celebrating all students together and showcasing the work they can produce when they collaborate.

I decided to approach a couple of students (past and present) from the different schools and I also spoke to 2 lecturers (UoY and York St John). It was very much an eyeopening experience, I had no idea there was a minor “rivalry” between the two universities and they tend to keep themselves to themselves.


Ok, so this week we got back some fantastic feedback about this project – granted my pitch wasn’t complete but I find it so helpful getting feedback whilst I’m working on a project so I can amend as I go…

Firstly, the good points – Well thought through concept for project 2. Fantastic ‘concept’ TRUST… I liked the fact that you linked this week’s project with your business idea in the business brief. Beneficial to all universities involved to share their resources. Bravo for keeping it part of the last few weeks too – very nice to see it all develop together. Supports your business plan well – would be a nice way for your business to find it’s feet locally. The idea of feeding into employment from the event is really positive, been done in other ways before but its always useful and beneficial for all involved so good inclusion. The project could really foster the community between different institutions in the city – many cities have a few unis/colleges and students should be encouraged to work together! Also, your inclusion of local shops is important as there is often a separation between students and ‘townies’.

There’s so so much I can take from this – it seems to be a really good thing to run this project or event from my business plan and write that in so that’s a must! Also bring together the universities and colleges – people of different ages and backgrounds etc.

I also got some great constructive feedback – How would you control the ‘quality’ of work aspect? Hannah should consider how to expand the reach of the proposed service, and further explore how local businesses could play a role in the testing and implementation process. Yes make a simple website for it, and spend some time on the branding I think that will be important to get it traction in the busy market of a university students minds.In a lot of cases an undergraduate degree is a starting place and I think a lot of students studying at that level are kind of still figuring out what they’re all about and are just following along with their course. Is it maybe a graduate scheme? A way for students that have finished their courses to stay engaged in the academic sphere?

So much again here but really constructive and good foundations to build on – I love the idea of bringing in the local businesses too – really making it a local, York based project involving locals as well as students. And I really need to think about how I’d advertise it to the students – they’re all busy on full time courses… it’d be an opportunity to experiment with a new project, something that isn’t graded or limited to certain parameters.

Following all of this i’ve taken a lot on board – what was initially going to be quite a standard “pitch” will now become a ‘mapped out’ webpage style PDF to make it interactive and fun to really explain the different elements and aspects to this event. hopefully it works out as I am imagining it!! I’ll also be using the same design and style as my business plan so the two link together.

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