A Design Council survey found there are 230,000 designers operating in the UK, making it the largest design industry in Europe. Despite the recession, the sector continues to expand and the design industry has grown 29% since 2005 with earnings up by £3.4bn.
LJMU is currently showcasing open exhibitions to view the work of all of this year’s graduates from the University’s School of Art and Design, including graduates of Architecture, Fine Art, Graphic Design and Illustration, Popular Music Studies and Spatial Design, as well as Fashion (Communication) and Fashion (Design). Graduates of the Product Design Engineering BSc (Hons) degree programme are also taking part in a show of the same name.
The shows are free to attend, with the Art and Design degree show taking place from 29 May until 12 June at the University’s John Lennon Art and Design Building on Duckinfield Street, off Brownlow Hill, from 10am to 6pm on week days and from 12pm to 6pm at weekends. The Product Design Engineering Degree Show takes place at James Parsons Building, Byrom Street Campus, from Tuesday 9 June to Thursday 11 June, 10 am to 3pm. No booking is required for either show.
Commenting about the work of the Fashion Design final year students, Programme Leader Lesley Peacock, said: “They collaborated with Plexus on a project based around the concept of upcycling denim with African print. The designs are innovative and show a way forward for creating new designs from discarded clothing. The students’ own collections, which were also showcased on the catwalk as part of the end of year show, are individual and highlight the wealth of talent created on the fashion programme, with contemporary shapes and colour creating the next new trends. Alongside the designers the fashion communication students also showcased their work in a static exhibition and launched the new magazine Un_Fold.”
As well as bringing the work of students into the public eye, and highlighting the design and engineering skills developed during their course, the Product Design Engineering Degree Show offers students a chance to meet with industry partners, engineering and design companies. All 50 students are displaying their work, with several projects shortlisted to win prizes. The shortlisted projects include a cattle incubator, resonating smoke alarm and an emergency oxygen inhaler.
Course Leader Adam Papworth, based at the School of Engineering, Technology and Maritime Operations, explains: “Sir John O'Reilly, the Government's Director General of Knowledge and Innovation, has urged engineers to embrace the arts as being key to creativity and an important component of innovation, crucial to creating successful new products and boosting future competitiveness.
“The Product Design Engineering degree therefore looks at everything from sketching, modelling, visualising and presentation. We want students to have practical engineering and science knowledge and explore their design ideas, particularly through the final year show which we have held since 2012.”
The degree course has gained a reputation for producing excellent designers, engineers and technologists, with 80% of recent graduates being in employment, training or further study within six months of completing the programme. They have joined companies such as Heightec, Aerocare, DriveWorks, Glasdon, WCRS, Kimberly Clark, Prysmian, NIS, Renishaw, AM Technologies, Oliver Valves and Thomson Aero Seating.
See www.ljmu.ac.uk/events for more details on both shows.