Celebrating professional development!

Right now, we’re holding our Celebrating Professional Development event. Yes, that’s right – we’re live blogging!

The aim of today’s session is to celebrate BIAD researchers as creative individuals, and their development through knowledge exchange and working collaboratively. As well as PhD researchers from both Knowledge Exchange in Design (KED) and Research Mentoring schemes, there are also faculty staff and we are delighted to welcome external KED partners from a range of organisations including IE Design, Ikon Gallery and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG).

So far, Prof Richard Coles has welcomed us with a story of Archimedes in the bath as a way of thinking about the journey that leads us to that unexpected Eureka! moment. Jacqueline Taylor then introduced the BIAD Professional Development Network and our Research Mentoring scheme.

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This was followed by a talk by one our mentoring partnerships Gregory Dunn and Zoe Millman. This provided insights into their mentoring relationship and how it has grown to be supportive and productive for both mentee and mentor.

Jayne Sharples introduced the KED scheme, going back to how it started and current residencies as at IE DesignIkon Gallery and a collaborative project at the Herbert Museum and Art Gallery and Coventry University.

Following this, Sian Vaughan has introduced our activity. Our participants have been split into four groups in which each group has been given an Easter egg. After being unwrapped, each egg has revealed the group’s themes iced onto their egg: collaboration, sustainability, impact or discipline. Participants are encouraged to break off bits and to share their thoughts as they do and are currently discussing these themes …

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There have been some really interesting and thought-provoking conversations around these themes which have only strengthened the importance of the schemes we are running and the need for them to be sustained. We are looking forward to unpicking these further and incorporating them into our future events this year.

Of course, we couldn’t properly celebrate professional development without food and drink! After final remarks from Anne Boultwood, participants are now continuing their conversations over wine and canapés. There is a real buzz and we hope it has been an enjoyable evening for all and thank everyone for coming!

We would love to hear from you! Continue discussions by adding any comments to this or any other posts. If you would like to write a blog post for us, email our website editor Jacqueline Taylor at Jacqueline.taylor@bcu.ac.uk. 

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.

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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:

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Option 2

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Option 2

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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.