Studio Unbound VI

This week Studio Unbound traveled  to Dundee to kick of our sixth session. The show got off to a late start, but we were genuinely excited to be presenting to such a multitude of design disciplines. Sarah talked about networking, mindset and name a few. I joined in via skype and focused on the difference between under grad and masters level and what my dissertation taught me.

We got a great reception, I was talking to the students on twitter and have captured their feedback and insights here. Sarah naturally focused on Service Design and Systems Thinking, we got a strong sense from the audience that these messages were suitable for all disciplines.

Sarah, being the lovely lass she is, went for coffee with some of the students afterwards and had great conversations about  Service Design as a discipline and a process. It has become an attractive and adaptable process at The University of Dundee , the students recognise it helps their own disciplines move into Social Design and designing co-creatively with people. We left Dundee more determined than ever to make Making Service Sense a reality...the students want it and need it!

We have been totally humbled by the response from the students and it makes us happy to hear them describe Sarah's blog and Redjotter as very accessible and their main source of learning about Service Design.

Many of the audience didn't know where to start to start with twitter, but we think we convinced them showing real examples of how twitter has changed our life! There was a good proportion of students already part of twitter although they admitted they don't use it or know what to say. The ones who did use it said it had made them feel more confident !

We have had some amazing feedback from designer Lorri Smyth about the effect  Studio Unbound has had in the Textiles studio .

  • There have been lots of people joining Twitter who hadn't used it before. Those who are a bit scared are receiving encouragement from others who have joined or have their own blogs already.
  • The other day some girls in my class set up a studio blog to discuss fundraising...we are working on other ways to use the blog ; to promote and network our year.
  • Inspired by the idea of Mypolice I began to wonder how as class rep I could use social media to facilitate better communications between staff and students. I am thinking of lots of ways to engage the class through the blog by writing articles and voting on polls etc to produce some positive action out of all the moans I hear!
  • Meanwhile we are working on our self motivated brief while the tutors are busy busy with the degree show. I proposed a series of peer led skills swap shops to extract and share the skills we have gathered as a class. People seem really up for it. I see the blog playing a part in this too.

You can follow their adventures here.

You can also read some brill feedback from Laura about her perspective as a jeweller on the session.

If you would like us to come and talk to your class or your students do get in touch !

Studio Unbound III calls all jewellers

There has been chatter on twitter about Studio Unbound III, which is happening at Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee, on Monday afternoon. I am co-presenting alongside Kate Pickering, known as Katesjewellery online, Kate is a forward thinking jeweller and a wonderful friend of mine. She has very openly shared her feelings about her first encounter with Studio Unbound and shared how her perception of networking online has amazing example of a jeweller from a traditional discipline is embracing what Studio Unbound stands for.


For those of you who are new to this initiative you can watch the first Studio Unbound that happened in February at The University of Dundee. Read about the second Studio Unbound that happened last month at Glasgow School of Art


Kate Andrews and Sarah Drummond will be tweeting from our virtual audience  – join in on twitter with the tag #studiounbound and follow us live!

See you at 2pm on Monday, Matthew Building 5016...

Join our facebook group and keep an eye on our blog which is still in the making but looking promising… :) We are growing, students and educators are taking notice.

If you would like us to talk to your class or your students please get in touch and say hello.

Studio Unbound II

There has been chatter on twitter about Studio Unbound II, which is happening at Glasgow School of Art tonight. studiounbound_card1sq

For those of you who are new to this initiative you can watch the first Studio Unbound that happened in February at The University of Dundee.

Founded in 2009 by University of Dundee Master of Design graduate Lauren Currie (@Redjotter), and design writer and consultant Kate Andrews (@kateandrews), the Studio Unbound is an initiative aiming to introduce students, graduates and educators to the creative power of social media.

Together as Studio Unbound, Kate and Lauren explore the power of digital networking, demonstrating tools that students can use to move ideas forward, form networks with practitioners around the world, and build a reputation before and after graduation.

In highlighting creative people all over the world using social networking to their advantage, Studio Unbound discuss the dynamic, conversational value of new communication technologies and illustrate how ideas of teaching and learning need to move away from the confines of the classroom or studio towards other, often ad-hoc and virtual venues.

Focusing on the ever growing possibilities and opportunities that the digital world presents, Studio Unbound demonstrate that during a time of mass communication change, design courses must change with it if they are to stay relevant.

Studio Unbound is not all about Twitter or Facebook, but about breaking down preconceptions of social media technologies, into an incredible value system that can enable us all to find both an individual voice, and collaborative practice.


“A great designer understands that search and discovery is an on-going process that is at the heart of what makes us human. We spend our lives searching for people we share a strong sense of connection with. Designers must join that search.” - Desiree Collier, 2009. Design Week. The Joy of Search.


Joining Studio Unbound since October 2009, is Social Innovation Camp winner Sarah Drummond (@rufflemuffin). On October 8th 2009, Lauren and Sarah will run a Studio Unbound lecture at Glasgow School of Art, with Kate joining from London via Skype.

Join the conversation on twitter #studiounbound

Join our facebook group and keep an eye on our blog which is still in the making but looking promising... :)

Kate Pickering, a forward thinking jeweller will be tweeting from the audience tonight - join in on twitter with the tag #studiounbound and follow us live!

See you tonight at 6pm, Bourdon Lecture Theatre...

Masters of the Universe

"Does the world really need more creatives? Adrian Shaughnessy weighs into the education debate by suggesting designers are well-equipped for any career The education of designers is a perennially hot topic. Among design's chatterati it's an issue that's guaranteed to raise blood pressure as well as hackles.

Two unlikely bedfellows have recently chucked petrol on to the debate. In these pages Ian Cochrane has advised students to 'Get out of this business. It is inundated with graduates and there aren't the jobs, especially at this time'. And, in his recent D&AD President's Lecture, Peter Saville questioned the point of colleges producing '50 000 design graduates a year'.

Cochrane and Saville are riffing on a familiar theme. Warnings against the intensive farming of design graduates are nothing new. But is it really a problem? 3369437997_d0a9b56973

Perhaps Cochrane knows something no one else knows - namely, that the current financial situation is going to last forever. I'd have thought that studying design over the next few years will allow graduates to avoid the worst of the current implosion. It could even see them emerging into a saner world where, after a decade of financial greed, fraud and ineptitude, design is valued as a force for social good rather than a lubricant of consumer indebtedness. I know of one university that's had a marked rise in applications for next year - which it attributes to a desire among students to avoid the worst of the recession.

Saville's lack of enthusiasm for the over-production of design graduates is easier to fathom. Since he is responsible for inspiring many of them to choose a career in design, he is perhaps experiencing a twinge of culpability.

But I think both are wrong. A design education - even a basic one - equips individuals with many of the skills that will prove invaluable in an information-based, digitally rooted global culture. Just as Britain produced engineers to forge the Industrial Revolution, the information revolution is being - at least partly - driven by designers. I can't think of many skills that will be more useful in the coming years than a mastery of digital tools and the presentation of information across all media.

When I first started hiring designers in the late 1980s, most had been soured by their educations, and were in retreat from a process that had encouraged them to think of themselves as service-sector fodder. Towards the end of the 1990s, a new breed of tutors, radicalised by theoretical developments within design, started to produce graduates with a disdain for the old notion of design as a problem-solving process, and saw it as a means for self-expression and creative experimentation. The notion of design as art took hold in design schools - or at least in the imagination of students - and it has been hard to dislodge. It's a question that Nick Bell is wrestling with in his new role at London's Royal College of Art.

But after recently spending time in two universities, I think the balance has been redressed. Both knocked me out with the standard of teaching on offer, and the imaginative level-headedness of the students. I think we've reached a point where a design education is a bit like a history degree. History graduates don't necessarily become historians. Instead, they use their analytically trained brains to work in business, research and education. Today, we can say the same about a good design education. Design graduates are equipped for life in the modern world. Let's have more of them."

A fantastic, long over due article that has fuelled me with determination regarding my Masters research question:

"What is the role of  a service design graduate in tomorrow's design landscape?"