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Repeating success through design project partnership

Students at Nottingham Trent University's School of Art & Design are helping pupils stamp their mark on the creative world through a collaborative design project.

Students at the School of Art & Design are helping pupils stamp their mark on the creative world through a collaborative design project.

Six students spent their Wednesday evenings during March and April working with 13, post-16 pupils from colleges across the Midlands on a project to design and market mugs. They have helped the creative pupils develop designs, branding and marketing strategies for their products.

Working in three teams they have come up with the themes of Nottingham, nature and travel for their branding and have so far produced nearly 100 mugs between them.

Decorative Arts student, Katie Alderson, 20, said the process had benefited her own work: "Working with the students has been such a great opportunity to inspire young people to think creatively and share the skills and ideas that are introduced to us at university. Personally it has been a valuable opportunity to evaluate the current market, trends and practice live trading – all factors I must be aware of within my own design work."

Abby Parry, 21, is studying Fashion Communication and Promotion at Nottingham Trent University. She said: "This project has been really interesting, seeing it go from planning in our weekly meetings to actually putting the plans into action. It has been great meeting the team as it gives us a chance to work alongside other students from a wide range of courses and year groups. The participants have been great in turning up and creating ideas and imagery as a team."

The project, called Think:Make:Sell:Repeat, is run by the University's Schools Colleges and Community Outreach and Art and Design Employability teams, with the aim of building the pupils' enterprise skills, equipping them with the knowledge to be able to market themselves and their creations in the future and to give the volunteer students teaching experience and evidence for their portfolios.

Esther Johnson, Partnership Officer within the University's Schools Colleges and Community Outreach team, said: "Think:Make:Sell:Repeat is an exciting new initiative helping pupils explore their creative talents and business future. This is the first time we have offered a project of this nature and it is going strong with great commitment from the pupils to further their design skills and develop their commercial awareness and also experience university life.

"The pupils have had time to chat with our students about their courses and their progression into higher education and I believe that this will give them a real solid foundation for choosing the course of their future. The project has also challenged our volunteer students to think creatively about how to encourage the best out of the pupils and has really developed their flexibility and leadership skills."

Both students and pupils will get the chance to test their skills by selling the mugs at a stall on the terrace at Cobden Chambers in Nottingham on May 3 from 10 am to 4 pm. The winning team will also get to take home the profits from the day's trading.

Five students from Central College in Nottingham studying for the B-TEC L3 Extended Diploma in Textiles, Fashion and Decorative Arts, have taken part in the project. One of the Central College students, Sophie Bowater, said: "My future career goal is to have my own business and market my individual fashion designs one day, so the business and commercial skills I acquired during this workshop were very valuable. 

"This workshop has now encouraged me to consider a higher education fashion course which has an integrated business/marketing module. It is not enough for me to be just an excellent designer. I need to sell my clothes so I can make a living and a profitable business. I am really excited by the opportunities open for my work now and can't wait to get designing and selling!"

Fellow student Summer-Lea Smith said: "I found the Nottingham Trent University workshop really supported my college studies. It gave me some outside commercial experience and opened my mind up to all the possibilities that my work can be marketed for."

  • Notes for editors

    Images attached showing students working on the Think: Make: Sell: Repeat project.

    The students involved from Nottingham Trent University are Abigale Parry, Fashion Communication and Promotion; Keira McLellan, Fashion Design; Amy Stefr, Photography; Rahdeep Maiton, Multimedia; Rosie Klein, Graphic Design; Katie Alderson, Decorative Arts.

    The colleges involved in the project are Central College, Derby College, NCN and Grantham College.

Repeating success through design project partnership

Published on 2 May 2014
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