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New initiative will help design industry professionals stay ahead of the curve

University of Gloucestershire is launching an innovative programme of events to keep it at the forefront of design conversations, and to help its students, past and present, to build new connections and explore fresh career opportunities.

Led by the University’s School of Creative Arts, the Design Matters platform will cover important and current topics within design through talks by industry professionals, discussions around the latest news and developments in design, and provide a host of networking opportunities.

Each event in the series will feature a ‘Spotlight Slot’ for recent graduates and emerging designers to share their experiences and work, providing a valuable way for the next generation of designers to contribute to the discussions.

The inaugural Design Matters event will take place at the University’s Park Campus in Cheltenham on Friday, 26 April (6pm to 9pm). Tickets for University of Gloucestershire students are free, while general admission is £10.

Entitled ‘All Things Freelance’, the first event in the series will include talks by freelance designers Sam Edwards and Katie Cadwell about their careers within the design industry, as well as inviting Graphic Design 2021 alumni to talk about their freelance experiences.

Sam, who previously worked for Taxi Studio, specialises in branding packaging and typography, while Katie worked at Design Studio in Sydney and Supple Studio in Bath, and launched the acclaimed NDA podcast, which discusses challenging topics within design.

Topics of focus in future events will include neurodiversity in the design industry, how Artificial Intelligence is being adopted, and salary transparency in the industry.

Building connections with industry

Organiser, Cat Mogford, Lecturer in Design at the University, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be launching Design Matters; these events will allow design industry professionals, graduates and students, to stay informed on current issues and experiences within design.

“Design Matters will also provide our design community with opportunities to network, discuss important topics, and make a valuable contribution to the future direction of the industry.

“As an established centre for the creative arts, we’re always extremely proud to champion our graduates and students – many of whom have won awards – so we’re pleased to provide the Spotlight Slot for emerging designers to showcase their work and make an important contribution to the programme.

Matthew Lovett, Associate Head of the School of Creative Arts, said: “Design Matters is central to our ethos as a creative arts school. Our focus is on building connections between our students and the professional sector to help launch our graduates into a range of rewarding and sustainable creative careers.

“Events like Design Matters provide a fantastic platform to bring our industry partners into dialogue with our students and staff teams to consider key opportunities opening up for creative professionals.”