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Lectures

After having assisted at a lecture hosted by the Design Commission at King’s Cross in december, I had been invited to the Design Commission Report Launch which happened this morning. Breakfast at the Palace of Westminster!

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Barry Quirk CBE and Baroness Denise Kingsmill presented us the report through a short introduction to it, talking generally about design and user-focus in the public services area.
While Barry Quirk focussed more on the way of designing and what to consider (user-specific, easy to handle etc), Baroness Kingsmill specifically insisted on how designers should approach people/clients, making them aware of all facts, including cost, in the public services area, since there are more and more cuts in budget being made. She proposed to create some sort of a working group in order to keep the project going and not turn it into another report.

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I haven’t read the report yet, but there are design issues that consider more than just public services. I hadn’t really considered graphic design in public services yet, as it seems to be quite different from applying graphic design to products.
It is probably a good approach to increase importance in design in all areas, however I don’t think it can be that easily simplified.

During the launch there were mostly people knowing each other, it might have been more logical to make the launch open to public instead of keeping it closed in the Palace of Westminster and invite only, if they want to apply it to public services and especially if they want to get the word around.

The second and last day of the UCreate Workshop was a bit less busy as we already knew somehow what we were going to do. So after a market-targetting-estimating-session, we went on to develop our idea, work on the pitch, design, and estimate costs. The organisers and tutors came by a few times to have a look at what we were doing and were very positive and encouraging, which motivated us to go further with our project. Chase and I also had a small break as we were being interviewed for the short trailer about the event.
In the afternoonm there was a last session to prepare us for the pitch, then a short period to finalise our presentation before we went back to the presentation room at 4pm to present. Every of the nine teams got five minutes to explain their concepts and projects, then there were two minutes for questions, and then it was the next group’s turn.
While the Jury was consulting, we were filling out forms and making souvenir group photos. It was/is the first edition of UCreate at UCL, so we were somehow the experiment.
Not much time for a coffee break as they came back pretty fast into the auditorium to announce the four winning teams. Which also included our team, Design Unlimited! So, together with three other teams, we are now competing against each other in order to make the most profit, as the winning team is the one that makes the most profit, and they get all of the profits. Each group gets a budget of £500, as well as two market stalls. We managed to get a stall on Upmarket and one on Spitalfield Market (we had to fight for this one!), and are now trying to set everything up as fast as possible…
So in the meantime, you are just going to have to wait to see what we came up with…
All I can say is that it’s should be pretty refreshing…

Today I had the first of two Workshop Days of UCreate Design Make Sell, a workshop organised from UCL in order to promote and train people for independent entrepreneurship, somehow like a crashcourse in marketing, group work and design in two days. Divided into groups with students from different colleges and with different study backgrounds such as Engeneering, Architecture, Design, Art, Construction and Law, the students are giving a brief in order to create a product or experience that is viable, supports the cause and can make profit. Out of the nine groups we had today, they are going to choose four groups that will get £500 each as start-up-money in order to produce and manufacture their product or idea, which is then presented in a market stall on two days during the first weekend of March. The group making the most profit gets all of the profits.
So the main goal of the workshop differs from person to person. It can be the experience of designing, the process and the selling for one person, the profit part for another.
Today was a really long day, and they tried to fit in as much information and courses and sessions as possible, as there are only two days to work on the brief. The group experience, the briefing, the ideagenerationsessions (x3), group discussions, brainstorming, market research at Camden Market, Marketing and Target course were on today’s program.
Tomorrow we are supposed to further develop and prepare our ideas, while also preparing the pitch which is going to happen during five minutes around 4pm, where the judges are deciding on whose projects are going to be supported and going to the next day.
Long day behind me and another long day in front of me..