At this time last year I wrote this for our graduation show website:
'...the extraordinary times that we are living through point to the necessity for designers to be able to react rapidly, flexibly and inventively to the circumstances in which they work...’, little thinking that those circumstances would have evolved as they have.
The above remains true, therefore, but even more so. Alongside a public health crisis, and deep economic uncertainty, we now have a greatly increased awareness of a lack of equity and fairness in our society and its institutions. The long-established consensus that prosperity and peace are best served by enlightened internationalism is challenged, highly partisan narratives occupy our media and the parlous state of our environment is increasingly apparent. Our students demonstrate through their work their awareness of these issues, and their commitment to making a positive contribution to society.
Virtually everything in our world is designed, at least in part, intentionally or by omission, including the quality of our air, water and environment, as well as obviously built or manufactured goods. This makes designers as a community extremely powerful people, with enormous responsibility to strive to act well, with the welfare of all those affected by their designs at the centre of their endeavours.
This is the ethos we strive to live up to ourselves and to instil in our learning community of staff and students, and I am confident that you will be able to find these values in the works on display in our virtual show. This does not mean however, that there is no room for fun, beauty, wit and enjoyment, and you will find those here too.
Head of Design