Friday, 11 May 2012
Information design students from the University of Worcester’s Digital Arts Centre visited a leading design studio while on a recent visit to London.
The ‘applied_’ studio is held in high regard by the global design community and has notably just designed and produced the new ‘Legible London’ wayfinding signage system for Transport for London - which can now be seen all over the capital.
Tim Fendley, founder and partner in the applied studio said of the visit “It’s great that the Graphic Design course at Worcester has arranged this studio visit. It’s clear that as well as the theory and academic side of their teaching, the students are getting crucial ‘real life’ industrial experiences too. The groups were really engaged with the wayfinding design thinking that I discussed too – which is a credit to both themselves and what they’ve been taught.”
The students are presently working on a semi-live brief for Malvern Hills District Council’s Route to the Hills project. Their brief was set by Manda Graham, the project’s manager and asks the students to use their newly-acquired skills, knowledge and abilities in wayfinding information graphics to design a set of working prototype directional signage and graphic interpretation boards for the town’s centre. These designs will then be assessed by Manda and her team and the hope is that some may be used in any final system used in Malvern – this could be a huge coup for any students involved and their portfolio of work undertaken.
Cllr Barbara Williams, Portfolio Holder for Community & Economic Development at Malvern Hills District Council said: “It’s really exciting to be working on this project with students from the University of Worcester and fantastic to hear that they are getting ideas from leading designers. The Route to the Hills project is very important for Great Malvern and we hope that some of the student’s final work will be displayed in Malvern for the public to feed back on before any decisions are made regarding town centre signage.”
Second year design student Stephen Hall said of his visit to the applied_ studio: “Tim’s talk was inspiring and it’s made me think differently about my own design ideas for the Malvern brief. The most intriguing part for me was hearing about the lengthy design process for the Legible London wayfinding system. This meant ‘applied_’ went through over 200 map designs before reaching something that the public would see in the street! It was fascinating to hear Tim’s theory about ‘People v1.0’ also and how they stick to a geographical ‘comfort zone’ when travelling from one place to another in London.”
Senior design lecturer Andy Stevenson arranged and accompanied the students to the London studio. He adds: “Showing the students examples of successful designs in situ and getting them in the door of prominent design studios to let them see first hand how this industry works is invaluable to them. The reason we contacted Tim and the applied studio was their fantastic work with the Legible London system which is now helping scores of visitors to navigate easily around the capital. I know that this visit and Tim’s excellent talk will have a hugely beneficial effect of the students’ final outputs.”