Beating Covid: Designing Industry-led Learning

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At Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design when it came to designing, Covid hit us as hard as those working in industry. As a brand-new teaching team taking over an established degree at DJCAD, we had to solve how to teach studio-based graphic design online fast. The University of Dundee had the foresight to move all teaching for the entire year online. This solved some immediate health-related safety issues but caused others.

Like many design agencies, we had to adapt quickly to an online world. We wanted to replicate the spirit of the studio in our online teaching. As a new teaching team, we had the freedom to immediately write new design briefs for the students, using resources available to students in their own homes.

We identified remote working as a desirable skill for employers, who have found their studio-based world changed to a digital world. As designers were in the same predicament as our students, we augmented the students’ online learning by engaging much more with design agencies in Scotland and England. This ranged from online Teams events or setting bespoke live briefs to enhance professional development.

In our final year’s first three weeks London-based Carr Kamasa wrote a short editorial brief. In our penultimate year, as part of a new Agency project, Glasgow-based agencies (Good, and O Street) wrote two branding briefs. We also had subject-specific talks on Thursday afternoons by agencies such as Jack from Jack Renwick Studio, Simon from DixonBaxi, and Marina and Craig from FIT Creative, amongst many other contributors.

Despite Covid, our student confidence levels rose because of these innovations that enhanced our students’ transferable skills of remote working. Already Carr Kamasa has recruited two of our graduates over applicants with more design industry experience. The implication of this is that we used Covid compromises to enhance the employability of our graphic design graduates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-169
Number of pages5
VolumeCovid Special Edition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


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