I was invited to return to De Montfort University to sit on a panel that offered feedback on some excellent student design projects.
These projects were part of the 'New Product Development for Upcycling and Circular Economy' project which students have participated in over the last 6 months. It was great to receive such insight from the students and to have the opportunity to understand their projects in great detail. Each explored hugely important topics, not only within the design world but within the wider ecosphere.
The projects were well-researched, thoughtful, and presented with a great deal of enthusiasm.
As a panel, we provided constructive feedback to the students, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of their projects and offering suggestions on how they could improve.
It was an excellent opportunity for all of us to share our experience and knowledge while also learning from the students themselves.
The feedback session was a humbling experience. It reminded me of my own journey as a design student and the importance of industry feedback in shaping our work. For these future designers, it is crucial it is to receive feedback and advice from people who have experience in the industry.
After the presentations, we had the opportunity to network with the students and lecturers. This enabled us to see things from a fresh perspective and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities that design students face today. It was an amazing chance to provide feedback and advice to both the lecturers and students on how the design curriculum is tailored for 'real life' design work and what students to look to focus on when entering the world of employability.
Returning to De Montfort University, now with 2 years of experience in the industry, was an enriching experience. Not only did it show me how much I have grown as a designer, but it reminded me of the importance of professional feedback in design education and the need for collaboration between academia and the industry. It also gave me the opportunity to offer support to the next generation of designers, which is crucial to the growth and success of professional design practice.
Jones & Partners and De Montfort University
As it turns out, I'm not the only DMU grad in the office. Craig Jones, our Director, graduated from what was then Leicester Polytechnic 30 years ago. Through discussions in the studio about our great times there, we were made aware that it's a very small world. Craig didn't only used to go to the same university as me, he lived on the same road as me while in Leicester, directly over the road, in the house opposite my bedroom window, just 28 years apart.
We both feel that our university gave us a good stepping stone to where we are today, now sharing the same design studio. Jones & Partners will always strive to help the progress and development of the design community in any way we can.