Partnerships with Industry

Chrissie Louise Smith
2010 Conference

Partnerships with Industry Chrissie Louise Smith University of Ballarat Abstract Work experience or studio placement has historically been a staple in Graphic Design education. There is a high recognition of the importance of this hands-on approach to the student’s education. However there are limitations, studio placements are usually brief and the environments are generally fast paced, we have found that only a small number of students benefit from this situation. The Partnerships initiative builds on this idea of work integrated learning but broadens and deepens the student’s experience through working on a ‘real project’ with a client. To achieve this broader approach we facilitate engagement with clients on projects that involve research, as well as all elements of the design process including briefing, refining and critiquing. Another vital aspect of the Partnerships initiative is to arrange for our students to work with ‘Not for Profit’ organisations wherever possible. These organisations provide the scope that we were looking for and have the added benefit of engaging and building relationships with different sectors of the community. The projects our students are engaged in to date are still in progress but our findings so far indicate a sense satisfaction from the experience of working in collaboration with a client, getting really involved in the project and in some cases making a significant personal contribution to the community. The Partnerships initiative creates a greater opportunity for students to work on quite large projects that require a degree of research not normally facilitated by work experience and studio placements. It is anticipated that is initiative will give the student a broader view of the practice of Graphic Design and foster a long-term view of the discipline perhaps leading to further study and enhanced career decisions. Keywords: Knowledge exchange between institutions, communities and workintegrated learning

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About the author

Chrissie Smith has many years of experience in the Design industry. Originally from New Zealand, Chrissie studied at the Whanganui School of Design and went on to work as a designer at Mantiss Communications in Auckland. Her next move was to Melbourne, where she accepted a position as Senior Designer at Myer Grace Bros. She currently lecturers full time at the University of Ballarat – Bachelor of Graphic Design/Multimedia across all three year levels. Chrissie is also one of the directors of a small design agency – ThinkPod’ in the Central Highlands region of Victoria. She works with a seasoned and talented team of affiliates in graphic and web design, photography and writing.