University of Worcester Students Commence Partnership with the National Trust

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Design students from the University of Worcester visited the National Trust’s Croome Court stately home to begin the first of many collaborative projects with the Trust.

The partnership is part of the Heritage Lottery-funded Croome Redefined project and is being undertaken to repair and redefine Croome.

The students had been briefed to take part in a two-day ‘Pressure Project’ at Croome, which will contribute to their degree course. The project aimed to give them the experience of the quick turnarounds common in the design industries that many are aiming to work in after graduation.

As such they had 24 hours to create a set of ‘working prototype’ designs and concepts for Croome’s ‘storyboard’, to present at a Dragon's Den-style panel at which the best piece of work was selected.

Croome Redefined’s Project Manager Richard Higgs said of the collaboration: “Our partnership is a brilliant start to Croome Redefined and we’re very proud that we have made such a strong connection with our local university. The students from many different departments will form our Creative New Talent Teams and our first step was to invite them to start creating ideas for our storyboard.”

The students were supervised throughout the project’s duration by a team of University of Worcester design lecturers, including Senior Lecturer in Design, Helen Holmes. “This partnership is a fantastic opportunity for our students to get involved with a live project. The experience is invaluable and the pressure of working to a tight deadline, and having one chance to present their concepts, is a perfect introduction to the life of a ‘real’ creative,” she said.

Design student Heather McGinty added: “I can’t imagine a better opportunity for a designer still studying for their degree than to have an opportunity to work with such an established company as the National Trust. Once we got over the initial nerves of presenting, the project became a great chance to showcase our abilities, learn how to develop client relationships and create unique live work for our portfolios that will hopefully make us stand out from the competition.”

A team of second and third year students from the Pressure Project is now working on developing their ideas further in order to finalise the storyboard. The storyboard will be a web-based interactive local community and visitor hub for information and feedback on Croome Redefined.

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