Knowledge Exchange in Design (KED) provides PhD and Early Career Researchers at BIAD with career development opportunities outside the academy. Getting involved in a KED project will enable me to take my research expertise to a partner organization and to gain experience in a new professional field. It was really great to work with Jayne Sharples who is managing the KED project for BIAD and with Dr Anne Boultwood who is the academic lead for the KED project.
When I reviewed IE Design Consultancy’s Project Brief on the KED website, I found that there are many similarities in objectives between their project and part of my PhD research at BCU, as they both focus on assessing social impacts, understanding the target groups’ needs, early engagement for stakeholders, increasing awareness, promoting and branding aspects. I believe that we may exchange knowledge in a dynamic way that helps them to achieve their goal within a short period and help me to benefit from their experience as specialists in developing my skills in the mentioned fields.
I applied to the IE Design Consultancy project, and I was selected by the KED project team for the year 2014, my application had been successful, and I was awarded my first choice to work on the project with IE Design Consultancy, it is the first project for KED in this academic year. In her email on behalf of KED project, Jayne Sharples states that “You put forward a strong application and clearly outlined the contribution which you can make to the IE project. I am sure that you will make a success of this opportunity”. Her email motivated me to start this challenging project that combines between BCU, KED, and IE experts.
Accordingly, I contacted Mr. Ollie Leggett, the Managing Director at IE, and we arranged our first meeting with Michel Farr, IE’s Marketing Executive. During our meeting I received a briefing on the Careers Network rebrand project for the University of Birmingham (UoB), and the strategies that IE employed to transform the positioning, messaging and visual identity of the careers services there. Therefore it is very important to assess the impact of re-branding on all stakeholders (students, staff and employers) to ensure the real value behind this project and the return on investment (ROI) delivered to University of Birmingham. My research role is to assess these impacts and to create a framework to measure them. This framework includes the main aspects, and each aspect is underpinned with tangible and intangible indicators.
I believe that it is a very productive experience, a great opportunity for collaboration and knowledge exchange between all parties.
“The project with IE Design Consultancy promises to provide us with an excellent case study demonstrating the value a researcher can add by taking their research expertise in to a partner organisation.” – Jayne Sharples.
“IE is a little obsessed by measuring the impact of our work. In an industry where style and creative flair can safely be taken for granted we differentiate IE through our values, our sector specific expertise and – critically – the ROI we can deliver to clients. The KED project promises to provide us with a robust, independent piece of research that will measure the impact of our work for a prestigious client – University of Birmingham – whose project has already generated substantial interest from many other UK universities and careers professionals across the world.” – Ollie Leggett, Managing Director, IE Design Consultancy.
Bushra Zalloom is a PhD student at the School of Architecture, BIAD whose research examines the social sustainability of urban landscape.