Before he jumped on a plane and shipped his life off to Berlin, one of our fantastic rockstar volunteers Michael ‘Fletch’ Fletcher took the initiative to make contact with many of the South-East Queensland design colleges and universities to introduce the APDL. Given that our APDL team has been very small for most of it’s life, getting out and about to spread the word that we not only exist but that we exist for the design community (“all yours”) has been a distant but aspiring intention of ours for some time.
Thanks to the time that Fletch has invested in organising, since the start of semester I’ve been lucky enough to go out and visit a few of the local design colleges and uni’s and share a little bit about the APDL and the value of the design process to society.
On Wednesday 13 February I presented to three seperate groups (Graphic Design, Interior Design and Photography) at CATC Design School in Fortitude Valley. The visit was coordinated by the Think Education Group’s sole librarian Wendy Batho who’s been a passionate advocate for the APDL to all of the campus staff and students. It was great to witness the passion and enthusiasm of Wendy and the CATC teaching staff and students and we look forward to supporting them further.
The following Wednesday 20 February I was off to Griffith University at Southbank to present to the Queensland College of Art, Design Futures Students. Peter Hall, who is head of design at QCA has worked very closely with us over the last couple of months to develop resources for Design Minds and it was a privelege for me to visit Peter in his world this time. QCA have taken the bold initiative to ‘re-design’ their courses around the ‘design futures’ philosophy which is all about using design as a process for enacting positive cultural change. This was something I spoke about in my presentation also and so I’m very I’m very excited to see what will come out of this new approach from QCA.
Yesterday, I had my biggest gig yet, presenting to a few hundred first-year QUT School of Design students as part of the Design and Sustainability subject. This is my third year in a row guest-lecturing in this subject and I’m really encouraged by the approach QUT has taken to embed design thinking with sustainability as a primary focus from first year. The subject combines first-year industrial design, architecture, landscape architecture and interior design students and is lead by the wonderful Dr Jeannie Sim.
This was a full forty-minute lecture from me, so the main part of my talk was around the role that designers can play in improving their standing within wider society and helping to facilitate positive change. My presentation was adapted from a paper I wrote last year for Consult Australia and an article I wrote for Design Online entitled ‘Bottom Up, Top Down‘. Jeannie passed on some really encouraging feedback from the presentation:
“Strongest takeaway message for me was that designers can make real contributions to the future and society beyond the traditional pathways of yesteryear. You reinforced our challenge to the students to get involved now and in the future.”
The main takeaway message from us to all of the uni’s and colleges is that the APDL is all yours. It belongs to you and we are here to support you in your learning. So, if you would like us to come and present at your uni or college or if you have any suggestions for how we can tailor what we provide to better suit your needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.