UWS students explore the difference design makes
Fourth-year University of Western Sydney design students recently travelled to Melbourne to unveil their exhibition 'The Difference Design Makes', at the AgIdeas International Design Week.
The exhibition is a collaboration between final year students from the UWS Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) degree and the Australian Academy of Design, and explores the impact ethical design can have.
Lecturer Samantha Edwards-Vandenhoek says the students were asked to express how they wanted to make a difference professionally, and if it was possible to satisfy both the clients' and their own creative expectations and personal ethics.
"Their brief for this exhibition was for the students to represent an informed opinion of where they want to stand within the graphic design industry, both professionally and personally" she says.
"So in a way this exhibition showcases the students' individual creative responses as they burrow their way out of their degrees and head out into the professional world of design."
Each of the 47 participating students was asked to produce a written manifesto and an A1 poster which visualised their opinion on the difference ethical design can make. Student Jennifer Noorbergen concluded that one's ethics and values should guide and be expressed in their work.
"It was a highly personal brief, asking us to define our social responsibilities and individual accountability for the work we produce. My manifesto discussed the difficulty of finding the balance between the strategist in your mind and the activist in your heart, and whether or not you should have to make that choice," she says.
"I believe that your ethics and values should permeate through all of the work you produce, whether commercial or pro bono. I reflected this with a poster that read 'strategist' one way and when turned upside down read 'activist', to show how the two parts of your creativity should be entwined."
The students also produced a catalogue which included the work of all participating UWS students.
During their time in Melbourne the students also attended a three day AgIdeas conference with international guest speakers from a range of creative fields, visited professional Melbourne studios, and as the UWS AgIdeas representative, Jennifer also attended a Gala Dinner with all of the conference presenters.
"The conference changed the way I approach my work and how I think about the role of a designer, and our exhibition was the highlight of our trip, it allowed us to see all of our hard work in a beautiful gallery space," says Jennifer.
"The experience has pushed every student to go beyond aesthetics and focus on the power of a designer to facilitate positive change, which I believe will influence everyone into their professional life."
The exhibition will be on display in building BJ on the Werrington South Campus from 12 noon on Tuesday 28 May 2013.
13 May 2013