This project, seed funded by the Centre of 21st Century Humanities, examines how to establish a viable Design Studio within an HR Environment that meets the demands of clients whilst providing valuable professional experiences for student designers. Outside the Design discipline, there is little understanding of what design research is, and this often gets mistaken for “making things pretty”, when it actually encompasses a much broader remit. One aim of the studio is to make the clear distinction between Visual Communication Design Services and Design Research. The design discipline has been approached by external potential collaborators for both Design services and research, however the procurement procedures of the University, long and slow ethics approval processes, and the convoluted contract processes mean that many collaborations have not taken place, because each of these adds a level of bureaucracy which outside agencies find confusing and negatively impact timelines to the extent that projects are no longer viable because clients have specified timelines.
In setting up the Design and Research studio, the aim is to streamline these processes, and facilitate smoother collaboration between the Design discipline and clients, so that projects actually take place. This is project is researching how to devise a studio model that can work within an HE environment and on completion of this research, recommendations will be made for implantation and maintenance of a sustainable studio model.