In this video Zoe describes the Design Agency Project, an initiative to help students understand what a design consultancy is looking for in a graduate and their portfolio.
Three years ago the Design Agency Project as it stands was established. The project creates several independent Design Agencies comprised of students from each stage of study (Stage 4 as Creative Directors, Stage 3 as Senior Designers, Stage 2 as Junior Designers and Stage 1 on internships) supported by mentors from the college teaching staff, postgraduate students and most importantly the design sector. Each student agency is partnered with a professional design agency. This is a yearlong team assignment where students work collectively towards a series of common objectives, some determined by the teaching staff, others determined by the students themselves. In this team-working environment students are responsible for contributing skills and delegating tasks dependent on their role and abilities.
Professional practice is the primary area currently being taught through this process, a notoriously difficult subject area to teach effectively outside of actual industry experience. It was imperative we embed this project within the curriculum and not just bolt on employability workshops. What is stressed at all times to the students is that the actual creative work they produce is an added benefit of the Agency, not the driver.
‘The agency project for me gives the students an awareness of the professional requirements of being a designer beyond designing’.
- Andrew Wolffe, Creative Director, GPWolffe Design Agency
In terms of my research I want to further explore the pedagogical principles of the Design Agency Project and how we can embed employability more seamlessly within curriculum and to test this as a framework that can be adapted for fellow educators whatever their field.