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By definition: Graphic Design Educators Network Spring Symposium 2019

Exploring the articulation of contemporary graphic design courses in higher education.

By definitionAbout:

This symposium will instigate further critical debate on the definition and identification of Graphic Design courses in Higher Education. Over the last two centuries, the discipline of Graphic Design has been, re-categorised and articulated as commercial art, graphic arts, visual communication, and communication design, amongst others terms, which have formed related course titles at Higher Education institutions across the UK.
As academics, researchers, and practitioners we have an inherent familiarity with subject discipline parlance. For some candidates, who navigate the 378 (Graphic/Communication Design/Illustration) undergraduate course providers in the UK, the multiplicity of titles, can be indistinguishable and confusing. There is a requirement, to further explore diverse course characteristics, to evaluate their meaning and clarify the objectives of a graphic design course to learners. The speakers will provide critical, contextualised, perspectives on defining contemporary models of graphic design at Higher Education and will encourage participants to share thoughts and experiences on course design.


Lucienne Roberts & Rebecca Wright:
The Clue is in the Name
Author of Good: An Introduction to Ethics in Graphic Design, Lucienne will open with a short introduction to the work of her studio. LucienneRoberts+ specialises in exhibition, book and identity design for the cultural and voluntary sectors, practice that is characterised by an abiding interest in what gives graphic design societal value. In 2012 Lucienne and design educator Rebecca Wright co-founded GraphicDesign& to advocate for what design can do. Six books and two exhibitions later, they will explain the rationale behind the name – and why they believe graphic design wouldn't exist were it not for everything else.

Dr. Paul Wilson:
How is the rhetoric of 'research-based learning’ configured to provide the skills necessary for graduates in Graphic Design? This presentation looks to map the presence and expression of research-intensive education within the context of one undergraduate graphic design course, where institutional and sector expectations directly shape students’ experiences and knowledges of study in such a context. By looking at the specifics of individual modules, feedback from students and the necessary self-definition of open-day marketing material, the presentation aims to identify key characteristics of an exposure to - and engagement with - a model of graphic design education explicitly shaped by and through experiences of research.

Helena Good & Zoe Patterson
What the f**k is Graphic Design? wasn't the actual title used when embedding a Designer in Residence scheme into six Scottish Primary and Secondary Schools. But that question, posed by a school pupil, was what we, within the Graphic Design Programme at the University of Edinburgh, tried to answer for young learners, their teachers, careers advisors and parents about this misunderstood and often undervalued subject. Simultaneously colleagues from across Scottish Institutions have met on a monthly basis to support Edinburgh Colleges Daydream Believers scheme. Daydream Believers is a partnership between employers, teachers, lecturers and student ambassadors collaborating to create free online resources for teachers which we believe will help shape and inform the curriculum in our secondary schools. We are passionate about education and want to encourage our young people to explore ideas, envision situations, and get a better sense of their future selves by bringing a practical and clear understanding of Graphic Design into our classrooms.

Programme (please note lunch is not included)

12:30 Registration
13:00 Welcome – Justin Burns, Head of Art & Design, Leeds Beckett University
13:10 Helena Good & Zoe Patterson
13:50 Dr. Paul Wilson
14:30 Break – refreshments provided
14:50 Parallel sessions x 2 (details TBC)
15:30 Lucienne Roberts & Rebecca Wright
16:10 Plenary
16:45 End
17:00 Onwards: All attendees are welcome for post plenary drinks in The Victoria, Great George St

£20 including refreshments
(Lunch not included)

Contact the organiser – Justin Burns –

About Graphic Design Educators’ Network

Graphic Design Educators’ Network is an open collective advocating for the advancement of education in graphic design by developing, sharing and cultivating pedagogy, research and discussion. Our mission is to incite discourse about our practices. We invite you to join the conversation. 

This event is part of the Beyond Creative Arts Festival. For more events click here.

Beyond Writing

Event Details

1 May 2019 -
1 May 2019
13:00 - 17:00
Leeds Beckett University Woodhouse Building (WT Lecture Theatre 1) Woodhouse Lane Leeds LS1 3HB
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