How to make students experience both management and design?

27 février 2018
An immersive and creative experience at the Glasgow School of Art

In January 2018, 12 students from Audencia Business School’s MSc in Management and Entrepreneurship in the Creative Economy (MECE) programme lived an immersive and creative experience at the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) Creative Campus in the Scottish Highlands. During the two weeks of this International Winter School, they had the opportunity to work on an assessed design brief on the theme of Heritage and meet design students, scholars and professionals.

Design modules embedded in a management curriculum

The MECE students have three design modules delivered by GSA staff during the year:

  • Design today
  • Designing research
  • Designing experiences

All these modules are meant to help students deepen their understanding of design process and practices and apply them confidently in their entrepreneurial and career projects

A major part of the second module, Designing research delivered by Dr Lorenz Herfurth, took part in the Creative Campus of GSA.

Students have had already a training on the subject in Nantes, where they had taken the example of the Ile de Nantes. This place is full of heritage based on the industrial history of the city. At GSA, they focused on Forres and its region in the Scottish Highlands, where the Creative Campus is located. It is the land of crafts, distilleries and tartans.

Working in groups, they had to develop a collaborative design brief for an event that promotes the value of history and heritage to a local community. To achieve this objective and to deepen the user engagement, the students met with stakeholders and interacted with organisations that work in the heritage space.

 A genuine design environment

As part of the experience, the students had the opportunity to visit the Falconer museum, the Findhorn foundation and other historic sites. From these learning expeditions, they had the opportunities to find out more on what heritage means at an individual and community level. Back at the campus, students worked in the studios alongside design students of GSA, Copenhagen, Singapore and Cologne. They designed workshops and artefacts to gather further data from their stakeholders. Direct access to a workshop complete with 3D printers and laser cutters and the help of a dedicated technician meant that they could produce artefacts and posters in no time. They lived the creative busyness and happy mess of the creative campus!

This immersive winter school has led students to (among many other things!):

  • question their own practice and ideas, through systematic and benevolent collective reviews of their work and ideas by design students and faculty,
  • enhance their visual culture through the observation of international design students’ practices,
  • develop their own creative methods.

And for sure, students acquired a better knowledge of design as a discipline through talks by design academics and professionals. There is more to design than design thinking!

An immersion inside a top art school

As mentioned on their website, the Glasgow School of Art is one of the top 10 arts school in the world, providing inspiring studio, workshop and exhibition space as well as state of the art areas for research, teaching, prototyping and flexible lab work. The Innovation School seeks to create and design preferable ways of living: futures that will lead to collective wellbeing and sustainable growth. The development and expression of collaborative creativity is their core research domain and expertise

No wonder why feedbacks are extremely positive and students came out of the Winter School as different people altogether. Not only had they experienced a completely different pedagogy (studio teaching) but also a different angle on sustainable entrepreneurship in the creative industries. It did help them to reflect on their future role in the Creative Industries.

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