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July good news

The latest good news from the School of Art, Architecture and Design.

Lindsay Whitley

2017 Round up from BA (Hons) Design ProductSchool of Art, Architecture & Design

New Designers

Students from the course exhibited their final year work at New Designers Part 2, at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London this month. New Designers is a key event in the UK bringing together design education, designer consumers and the design industry to celebrate and recognise the next year of graduate designers.

Industry Insights Series

This year the course has forged strong links with local companies, inviting them to talk to students about their design practice as part of our ‘Industry Insights’ series. The aim was to expand students’ perception of career opportunities and to build on the course network of industry professionals.  This has created opportunities for our students, with many of the visiting companies have gone on to offer work placements to Level 6 students this summer.

Pro2Pac Competition Success

First year Design Product student, Jayne Cunningham, was a finalist in the Pro2Pac - Making Recycling Easier Competition, for her independently submitted inflatable package design. The competition was supported by Sanjay Patel, Global Innovation Manager at Coca-Cola, who gave a presentation and mentored students as part of the competition. Jayne won a week-long internship at brand and packaging design consultancy, Hurricane Design Studio, Cheltenham, which she recently completed.

Retail Institute Member Network

This year the Design Product course partnered with the Retail Institute to co-write a second year student project to design a packaging for fast moving consumer goods, that incorporates both sensory and sustainable elements. The resulting student work was exhibited in March, during a Retail Institute members event on the theme of Designing Packaging for Consumers. The networking event was hosted within our Design Product studios and included a showcase of work from across the course. The Retail Institute Member Network offered real engagement with the student competition, and many were involved in judging the student work as well as offering prizes, from work placements to iPads.

University Challenges

Second year student, Hasan Rasib, joined a team of staff and students from BA (Hons) Sociology, to help in the development and refinement of visual elements, physical contents and the packaging of a board game introducing new students to university life.

‘University Challenges’ is an interactive, competitive and collaborative board game in which students attempt to accumulate credits by moving around a board. The first to ‘pass-progress’ (to the second year) is the winner.

The project, funded by the Centre for Learning and Teaching, was launched as a finished product during the DEAP Conference at Leeds Beckett this month.

Design Futures Conference

In April, staff and students from the course gathered together for the second Design Product Futures conference. The day provided the opportunity to watch presentations from five product designers working in different and varied aspects of the industry and to hear about their individual career journeys.

Staff news

Dr Anne Schiffer permanently joined the staff team as senior lecturer in January. Shortly after her arrival Anne delivered two webinar presentations for ‘Friends of the Earth International’, exploring what the concept of ‘energy sufficiency’ means in practice.

Anne also ran a workshop titled ‘design thinking as a tool for activism’, during the Educate, Agitate, Organise, event held at the Student Union in April. She will also present and join a panel discussion at this year’s Small is Beautiful Festival at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales.

Research news

Exhibition – The Etiquette of the Arms Trade

Senior Lecturer, Dr Jill Gibbon has been awarded an Independent Social Research Foundation grant, which will support the development of her confirmed exhibition, The Etiquette of the Arms Trade at The Peace Museum, Bradford, scheduled for 2018.

Environmental Ceramics for Architecture Laboratory

Amanda Wanner from our Interior Architecture & Design team is co-founder of Environmental Ceramics for Architecture Laboratory (ECALab). This research is bridging disciplinary boundaries and bringing together the University of Liverpool, Leeds Beckett University, Liverpool Hope University, and Glyndwr University with leading professionals, designers, engineers, architects and ceramicists to create projects with an environmentally sustainable focus.

In April a call was issued to ceramicists for them to collaborate with us in making interpretations of ceramic prototypes an our exhibition which will open in October.  A programme of events will run throughout the course of the exhibition.

A one-day interactive workshop will be held in November which will include presentations by ceramicists and a workshop for children to make something with clay. In December, Moulding Futures Symposium, will be held to support the exhibition. Some big names have already confirmed their involvement:


Martin Bechthold the professor of Advanced Ceramics from Harvard University

British architect Eric Parry

Ceramic specialist Alexis Harrison from Arup engineers who are at the forefront of architectural ceramic engineering, have all confirmed their attendance.

Highlights from Art


March 2017 saw the launch of the publication ‘Setting the Table - The Home Studies Collection’ documenting a series of responses to the ‘Home Studies Collection’, held at Manchester Metropolitan University Library, commissioned by Feast, available here. The publication was launched with a talk by historian Dr Rachel Rich and artist Catherine Bertola on their current collaborative Leverhulme project at Leeds Beckett University.

Exhibition - Lost Culture

BA (Hons) Fine Art student, Charlie Langdale recently curated ‘Lost Culture’, an exhibition in the new and model Kestrel House space.  We gave him the opportunity to do this based on an excellently written proposal and original idea.  Many of our second year Fine Art students took part. You can take a look at the video Charlie made explaining the exhibition concept.

Visit from Dr Robert Harland from Harland Design

As part of the periodic review process for BA (Hons) Graphic Arts & Design we invited Dr Robert Harland, from Loughborough, to present and discuss his pedagogic research and specifically his paper on Art & Design assessment: From fail to first: revising assessment criteria in art and design. Rob also delivered a workshop as part of the day’s discussions.

His design practice experience involved setting up Harland Design, undertaking design projects for national and international public and private sector organisations in the UK, France, Germany, Portugal, and Belgium, working mainly in the field of visual identity, literature and wayfinding design. Major clients included the European Commission, Eurosport, Portugal Telecom, Lloyds Bank, Office of Fair Trading and Granada Television.

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