Students of Design²


Design, Education

The second incarnation of Designworks’ graduate year book, fittingly titled Students of Design², took a bold approach this time—with students providing their favourite project to be critiqued by seasoned practitioners: Vince Frost; Chris Maclean; Stefan Sagmeister; Christopher Doyle; Andrew Hoyne; Michael C. Place; and yours purely, Dan Pike. Let’s hope next year gets bolder with critiques from a female perspective—if the critique concept continues—which will hopefully broaden the students’ expectations after graduating.

That said, the bold approach clincher was having their critiques published alongside their work, for all the world to see. It’s a smart move and possibly what drove the choice of a thick-skinned crocodile cover for the book... I’ll let the press release cover the rest below, and I’ll be heading down to Burleigh for the launch this Thursday, August 14, to meet the students and hear what keynote speaker Vince Frost has to say.

If you can’t make it along, and are interested in what the book has to say, you can pre-order a copy here—and help support the next batch of creative talent.

With its tough crocodile-leather-feel skin, and no-holds-barred student critiques from graphic design’s international elite, Students of Design² represents a remarkably honest insight into the world of design. 

At the 128pp book’s core is a reflection of the importance of idea-driven design, showcased through a unique collaboration between graphic design students and their industry heroes. 

It’s a concept created by Drew Davies, head lecturer of Designworks. “The idea with Students Of Design² was to create a genuine interaction between Designworks students and the wider industry,” he says.

“The concept was to get students to choose a case study from a brief they had completed during their Graphic Design Diploma course and present that to an established designer, who would, in turn, give an honest appraisal of their work.”

“We wanted to put students in front of a designer that they admired, and expose them to the grown-up world of graphic design that they will soon be part of.”

The students were asked to select their dream designer to work with. The list included Stefan Sagmeister, of New York based agency Sagmeister & Walsh, Michael C. Place of Build in London, and some top-flight Australia-based designers including Vince Frost. 

All designers humbly agreed to participate, under the condition that their feedback would be completely honest. With Designworks students given this unique opportunity, Davies says that they really pushed themselves to create compelling case studies highlighting their design process, and their design solutions.

Overall the responses from industry were a well-balanced combination of highly constructive feedback, both positive and negative. Davies says this has been an incredible learning experience for the students.

“In all instances the students have definitely grown in confidence and in their way of design thinking,” he explains.

“When you get Vince Frost saying that it is the best student work he is seen in a long time, that is a priceless moment for any student.”

The student case studies and industry critiques have been carefully designed into the Students of Design² book, with students also giving a written response to their critique. The student work is offset against a comprehensive case study provided by their chosen design hero, resulting in a book, which is visually inspiring and deeply educational.

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