Digital Designer in Residence

‘The designer in residence provides a wonderful model. It’s not just about doing a one-off project with pupils, it’s about upskilling the staff and giving them skills so that once that designer in residence isn’t there they can still run the same type of project in school.

 It’s about giving the teacher the opportunity to develop alongside a professional, some teachers don’t get the opportunity to do any inset training. They do their degree, they do the PGCE and that’s it, they don’t develop any skills after that.’

Assistant Head – in Charge of Creativity and Research, St.Ambrose Barlow R.C. High School

Digital Designer in Residency
The Creative and Digital sector in Manchester is the fastest growing sector of the economy and the prediction is that between 2015 and 2025 GVA brought to the local economy by these sectors is set to increase by 45%. Opportunities for entry to jobs in these dynamic industries has never been better for Manchester’s young people, but employers speak of severe gaps in the talent pipeline for young people with a ‘fused’ creative and technical skillset. Along with other Comino and Ideas Foundation work in the North West, this project aims to contribute to the development of an eco-system of talent and progression opportunities from schools, Further and Higher Education and into creative industries employment.

The specific aim of this project is to bring industry relevant support to schools and teachers to widen their capacity to deliver collaborative projects which ‘fuse’ innovative digital design practice to the needs of the creative curriculum in schools.

This is a partnership project between NW Comino Creative Consortium of Schools, Ideas Foundation and Manchester Metropolitan University School of Art & Design. The model has run very successfully previously in schools in Salford and Manchester, and offers an agile solution to multiple stakeholders. A report of the pilot phase of this project can be viewed here.

Digital Designers in Residence are drawn from the final year undergraduate cohort across MMU School of Art. This allows the project flexibility to offer specialist skills across a wide range of design sectors. Undergraduates will be undertaking the project as part of a period of self-directed and collaborative study which is a mandatory requirement of their course – Unit X.

Digital Designers in Residence are matched to appropriately profiled teachers within participating schools, to co-develop, and co-teach a short project which brings new digital practice to the teachers own area of specialization.

Specialist subject areas may include interactive graphic design; website and app design, digital applications for fashion, textiles, 3D and product design, and digital animation amongst other specialisms which may be led by teachers own personal direction of enquiry.

© Digital Designer in Residence / Ideas Foundation