The Knowledge Exchange in Design: Coventry University and Herbert Art Gallery by Geraldine Marshall

For the last 3 years I have devoted my time to academic research, away from the commercial creative industry and employment. The Knowledge Exchange in Design (KED) residency gave me an opportunity to rekindle these skills and put my current research ‘into practice’. It is all too easy to forget the world carries on outside the academic world, or room 104 BCU – Parkside, or even the elaborate shed/office at home; so I was very happy for the opportunity expand my practical professional development away from the confines of the pure academic research and reading.

I am presently working with KED colleagues at Coventry University and Herbert Art Gallery working on the ‘Digitising experiences of migration: the development of interconnected collections’ research project. Further details can be found here. The KED partners at Coventry University are based at the Faculty of Business Environment and Society.

As part of the project an exhibition is due to take place at the Herbert Art Gallery, titled ‘Leaving, Crossing, Arriving: Stories of migration as told through correspondence’. The exhibition will be open 18th – 22nd May. Monday and Wednesday the exhibition is open to the public. On Tuesday the exhibition will be closed from public viewing to host three 40-minute school workshops.

The theme of the exhibition is to display the experience of migration through personal correspondence in the form of letters and images of the people who for various reasons have migrated. My role as part of the creative steering group is to curate the exhibition within the time frame and limited budget.

Having practical knowledge of commercial graphic design I was able to initiate the design of the publicity material (example below), and demonstrate illustrative options to the rest of the steering group regarding the setup of the exhibition.

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Herbert exhibition wall layout

Herbert exhibition wall layout

I was also able to source relevant artwork to be exhibited alongside the historical letter archive through my own research networking knowledge. somecities is a Birmingham based photography initiative co-founded by Dan Burwood and Andrew Jackson. The project is a city wide image-sharing website featuring more than 40,000 pictures of people, places and events taken in Birmingham. Photographers of all abilities are invited to submit the images directly to the somecities site here.

somecities

somecities also work with partners across the creative, cultural, academic and voluntary sectors in Birmingham to train and cultivate the city’s photography community through a series of public talks, bursaries, workshops and sharing events. Most recently the project produced a series of images taken by a number of new migrants who undertook a collaborative photo workshop facilitated Dan Burwood and The Refugee Council. The photographers have kindly offered their images to be included in the exhibition. Below, some of the display options:

Option 3

Option 2

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Option 2

SomeCities Exhibition prints option7

I am only half way through this KED project but so far the experience has given me a fantastic opportunity to network with such exciting projects as somecities and open external dialogue with other faculties in other academic institution that I may not of had the opportunity to do so before. And I therefore look forward to updating you further as the KED placement continues.

Geraldine Marshall is a PhD researcher whose research examines urban letterforms in Birmingham.

Learning to mentor by Mattia Paganelli

In the process of becoming an academic researcher, one learns in unexpected ways; teaching has been one, mentoring at first seemed no different. Yet, I was quickly proved wrong. The dialogue with a prospective PhD researcher is an entirely different experience, miles away from the inevitable limitations of the lecturing format at BA level I already knew. It is a curiosity platform, where questions are exchanged and one offers his experience in tackling them. It requires creativity in reorganizing one’s experience beyond the structure of a specific subject of study, in order to understand to someone else’ work.

Thus mentoring has become an opportunity to explore the tutoring role in a broader and more rewarding way. This offers great help in the specific case of art school, where developing studio tutoring skills requires more than simply passing information, and one must learn to be flexible in order to respond to different sensibilities and different practices.

In the conversations we have, I find I am sharing the excitement for having a study project that is entirely my own. The experiences collected in making art in a globalized technological world and the knowledge gained studying merge in this dialogue, becoming valuable references when discussing why and how undertaking postgraduate research; not to mention the more delicate task of advising how to embark in the PhD adventure with the right mixture of foolishness and determination.

Mattia Paganelli is a PhD student at the Centre for Fine Art Research, BIAD whose research examines the relation between aesthetics and epistemology in contemporary art practice.

KED in words, film and pictures by Jayne Sharples

KED wordle

At the start of KED 2012/13 we asked researchers to share three key words to describe their experience of the KED project startup phase. The Wordle created from these words reminds us of the potential of Knowledge Exchange, and the ways in which it can enhance the researcher experience.

If you are involved in a KED project this year, do share your three key words to describe the startup phase of your KED project.

We can add the key words to last year’s Wordle and share the results.

Another visual reminder of KED 2012/13 is the film created to showcase the projects and to demonstrate to our funders the Arts and Humanities Research Council the return on their investment. It’s great to look back to the film and to hear from researchers and partner organisations the successes and outcomes enjoyed through the KED residencies. The film has proved to be an excellent and versatile resource. Its first showing at the June KED Symposium, was followed by a viewing as part of an educational workshop to fellow researcher developers at the annual Vitae Conference – these are just two examples of the many ways in which the film has helped us to get across key messages.

For researchers interested in film and researching how it is used as a communication tool in the heritage sector, check out the KED project on offer by IDM Media. Applications are required by mid March to take advantage of current funding. For further information contact Jayne Sharples: jayne@js-coaching.co.uk

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A new round of KED projects were launched at the Curate your Career event in December 2013 pictured above. For the full blog post about the event click here.

Pictures and stories shared on this website are a great way for us to collectively document and capture the great work of all involved in KED and the new mentoring initiative. We’ll soon also be adding content for ECRs.

Jacqueline our blog editor shares here a current call for content:

We’d  like to invite everyone involved in all the schemes and events run as part of BIAD Professional Development network to share their experiences, reflections and images on the blog as a guest author. Please get in touch!

If you would like to blog as a guest author, email Jacqueline at: Jacqueline.Taylor@bcu.ac.uk

And finally, a date for your diary. We are planning the next Professional Development Network event to take place on 9th April and will be posting more details soon.

Research Mentoring Initiative launch

The BIAD Research Mentoring Initiative has now officially launched! Through a successful induction event held at the School of Art, Margaret Street, both mentors and mentees were able to meet each other and engage in discussion over tea, coffee and cake.

We are please to announce that there are 18 researchers taking part in the initiative, forming 9 partnerships overall. Those involved include PhD researchers at various stages of their study, recently completed students (Early Career Researchers) and those actively thinking about embarking on PhD study at BIAD.

There are researchers from a multitude of rich and diverse backgrounds from School of Jewellery, School of Art and Parkside campuses, incorporating home, EU and overseas students and practitioners across a range of disciplines from Philosophy to Typography, Fine Art and Idea Management.

We wish all of our mentoring partnerships the best of luck and look forward to hearing about how they are developing!

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Regularly check our website to stay updated on the Research Mentoring Initiative, read posts by mentors and mentees about their experiences and more. You can follow us by clicking on the link at the right-hand side of the page to receive email updates when new posts are published.

IE Design Consultancy residency by Bushra Zalloom

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.

Bushra - KED blog 1

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 - KED blog 2

Bushra Zalloom is a PhD student at the School of Architecture, BIAD whose research examines the social sustainability of urban landscape.

Happy New Year!

Hello 2014

A very happy new year and best wishes for 2014!

Thank you to everyone who submitted an application for this years BIAD Research Mentoring Initiative and Knowledge Exchange in Design scheme! We received a wealth of strong applications which reflect the diversity and expertise of Art & Design researchers based at BIAD and will contacts applicants soon.

The deadline for applications for both schemes has now closed. However, there are some residencies for this years KED scheme still to be filled. If you are interested in applying for our residencies at the Ikon Gallery and the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, please download the project briefs on our Resources pages and get in touch as soon as possible as we would love to hear from you!

If you have any questions or would like further information on either of our schemes, please contact us:

Research Mentoring Initiative – Dr Jacqueline Taylor at Jacqueline.Taylor@bcu.ac.uk

Knowledge Exchange in Design – Jayne Sharples at jayne@js-coaching.co.uk