This year's Made in Brunel® graduate showcase at London’s Oxo Barge House from 16-19 June, welcomed a distinguished list of prominent design figures and guests.
Many excellent talks were given by leading design thinkers including Matt Hunter, CEO of Plus X, and Design School alumni, including Jack Day, award-winning lighting designer, and Red Bull Basement winners, Joanna Power and Paramveer Bhachu who shared their journey to success and how they set out to mirror the Design School’s entrepreneurial spirit.
Vice Chancellor, Professor Andrew Jones (above), Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean, Professor Hua Zhao, and Dean of Brunel Design School, Professor Hua Dong, all made glowing remarks about the significance of Made in Brunel® to many of the big issues we face in our lives.
The message from the event was clear: through the use of design and innovative thinking taught at Brunel Design School, students feel empowered and more capable to invent new ways to tackle real issues.
About Made in Brunel®
Made in Brunel® is a significant student-led initiative seen as an interactive and engaging platform for design graduates to launch themselves into the industry by showcasing their final year design project each year.
Made in Brunel® managers – design students supported by their Technical Manager, Paul Josse – commit to countless extracurricular hours throughout the year leading up to the showcase, planning operations, publications, social media, digital and web development, whilst liaising with some of the leading names in the design sphere.
From sponsors to industry leads, and design influencers to the design icons of their era, the Made in Brunel® network of students and alumni spend a significant part of their experience at Brunel building organisational, interpersonal and communications skills to take on end-to-end ownership of Made in Brunel®.
The mission each year is to continue founder Paul Turnock’s pioneering work to develop Made in Brunel® into a nationally recognised brand and to build anticipation towards a successful showcase in June.
Over the years, Brunel Design School students have applied their design inventiveness to social, geopolitical and environmental challenges, including global wildfires, women’s safety and well-being, the ageing population, climate change, and more recently – the use of play to positively shape the future of digital and physical education products.
Attendance this year was in the four figures, including over 90 industry experts and 60 successful alumni. There was also significant attendance by schools, local council personnel, academics, engineers, artists, and industry representatives, including Ashford School, Southwark Council, Coin Street, Arts Thread, TomTom, Dezeen, IDC, Dyson, Samdoesdesign, and many others.
Made in Brunel® brings future students, graduate alumni and industry together
Co-innovate, the support programme for London-based SMEs, entrepreneurs and start-ups, hosted a networking lunch on the second day of the event, inviting industry leads to talk about the future of innovation in design and the opportunities for co-ordination between industry and students.
On the second day of the event, graduating students and alumni got together at an evening reception to share talks and networking activities as innovative designers looking to solve some of the current and future challenges of society, such as the environment and the economy.
Made in Brunel® exhibitors often go on to become successful designers after completion of their Brunel Design School programme, which helps them to develop high levels of perseverance, entrepreneurship and technical skills to help address this new age of uncertainty in a competitive job marketplace.
Key advice from graduate exhibitors to those approaching their final year projects is to try their best to engage in public and private funding calls, talk to people, be ambitious, protect your work, and always take pride and ownership of it. These are the elements that will help you enter the graduate job market more confidently.
Engaging in public dialogues
Saturday and Sunday were the days when passers-by and the general public could visit the event to explore students’ work: the bright ideas and innovations that emerged out of their final year major projects.
Public dialogue and the raising of the profile of Brunel designers have always been central to how students approach their projects, and the event was a great opportunity to connect with people and get feedback.
Many visitors from the general public had sons and daughters, friends and family who aspired to become designers, design teachers and design entrepreneurs. Teachers in particular understand the importance of Made in Brunel® to the community – in motivating and encouraging younger generations to study design.
The effectiveness of design solutions that help to solve real problems is the ethos of Brunel Design School. Model-making, digital design, physical products, digital apps, materials, manufacturing, and people-centred design, all contribute to equipping graduates ready for industry.
Would you like to get involved in Design at Brunel University London?
If you're a student or an employer looking for examples of work or talent from Made in Brunel®, copies of the Made in Brunel book are available on request. Alternatively, if you’re looking to study design, why not visit a Brunel Open Day or Virtual Open Day and discover more?
Dr M Elsouri at e-mail
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