The future of news: a postgraduate cross disciplinary industry project

  • Rebecca Wright: Programme Director, Graphic Communication Design, CSM

Brief description of session and activities

This session will report on and discuss a ‘post-curriculum’ innovation - a postgraduate project run over the summer between the CSM Enterprise Centre (Hattie Allen), four graduates from MA Industrial Design + Programme Director Nick Rhodes, four graduates from MA Communication Design + Rebecca Wright, with Matt Malpass as project tutor.

The client was News UK (formerly News International) and the brief was for the CSM graduates to explore the future of news. We had an initial briefing/launch day at News UK headquarters and then the students were asked to come up with initial proposals, for an interim crit at which News UK were present. At this session 12 ideas were selected for development and then presented at a final review with the client. These were then exhibited at a pop-up cafe in the West End as part of an open event for the News UK group and other press and media partners. The project attracted coverage in a number of publications including Wired magazine on-line. 

What made this an interesting collaboration was the fact that MAID and MACD students had not worked together before, that they were collaborating not as students but as graduates (they were paid) and that their speculative proposals were possible through the combination of skills sets from across the disciplines. What Nick, Matt and I discovered was that our students worked easily together because the philosophy and approach we teach comes from a similar place, even though the outputs and processes our students go through are distinct.

Discussion would focus on - approaches to teaching /common denominators that make cross disciplinary projects work - approaches particular to projects that cross borders between disciplines which can stimulate industry as a result - students’ learning experiences form the feedback received on this project.

How will students be involved in the session?

We are planning to invite one or two graduates who were involved to participate in the presentation and or leading a part of the discussion. Graduates’ outcomes from the project will be shown electronically.

What will participants take away from the session?

Further development of ideas to support postgraduate students transition to professional contexts and increased awareness of - how our subjects can challenge an industry’s preconceived ideas - common pedagogy at the root of apparent disciplinary difference - how we can expand our students’ senses of their potential to adapt and contribute beyond their own expectations