From factors to Advantages

“soon you can start your own business!”

something I’ve heard from my family throughout my time at university. Being the first one to venture into university within my family, they have this vision of me being the successful artsy woman who owns her own shop. But had I ever really thought of what having a business would be like? How would it work, run and all the other cogs that help the model turn. Those are the things I never considered when picturing myself in the position. I’m now finishing up my 3rd year of university, and to be specific to this blog, finishing the design enterprise module. This module offers a creative take on designing your own business proposal, which has lived up to my expectations.

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“Put people at the centre of your organisation.”

I’ve chosen to go down a route I feel familiar in, something community orientated. After my experience volunteering and working with the community, I knew from that moment that I wanted to work with people. But what will work?  Is it demanded? Well that’s what I need to find out. No amount of reading can give you the answer to a successful business. It can depend upon countless factors. In my own strive for the perfect business plan, I felt a creative route was best suited. Dundee’s creative community is only growing, so why wait to design something that will only help flourish the locals skills.

“Execution matters a lot, but timing might matter even more.” Hearing this on a Ted talk is where I started to really narrow down my idea, to use timing to my advantage. I want to pull from everything I’ve learned throughout this semester to design something I’m not only proud of, but something that can truly succeed.


The Inspiring Kirsty Dand

This Morning I had the joy of meeting the very modest and inspiring Kirsty Dand. We talked over coffee about her organisation. Despite the busy day and minor recording issues during the interview- It was a pleasure to talk to Kirsty and hear her opinions on some vital issues in Dundee. You may have heard or read about her Shoe Box Appeal. Last year Kirsty started her own non-profit organisation to collect shoe boxes filled with toys for the children of Dundee who live in poverty. As disheartened Kirsty was after the referendum last September, she took things into her own hands to help the children in Dundee, those who’s families may not be able to afford presents. It was really inspiring to see what just one person can do, last year she collected just under 400 boxes and this year hopefully more!

I will be including my interview with Kirsty in my article which will be posted in December where you can read more about Kirsty and the incredible appeal she is doing to improve children’s Christmases in Dundee.

In the mean time, I strongly recommend donating a shoe box to the organisation; it’s such a heart-warming and rewarding thing to do and would make a Merrier Christmas for a child near you.

Along Came Kirsty

Today I visited Along Came Kirsty, a profit free organisation that helps charities organise things such as events and fundraising. Megan Brown and I went along to interview Anthea Reid who is part of the ACK team. Anthea is such a driven woman who spoke so passionately about her roll in ACK. I would urge everyone to look into Along Came Kirsty and what they do, it is inspiring to say the least. The organisation itself is still relatively new and has such potential, I personally can not wait to see what is next for ACK. I am from a small town with little hope; Peterhead. A recent study has shown that people from Peterhead are ten times more likely to end up in prison than those from Ellon (another town 15 miles away). With a massive drug problem and little creativity in the town, I feel an organisation like ACK is exactly what the town needs. The visit today has inspired me to get involved, volunteer and help where help is needed, and hopefully in the future use the skills learned to help other communities that need it. I look forward to having the chance to volunteer with ACK and take part in their amazing work!

Design is About Knowledge Exchange

Design; a description I’d never really put that much thought into. What is it? I have always thought of it so literally; you design something- an object, a piece of clothing maybe a pattern or print. A short conference yesterday really got me thinking about what it means, the depth in the word. Maria MacLennan gave a talk about her work, she studied jewellery design at DJCAD and is now a forensic jeweller. I should say the only forensic jeweller, she created the job. The way she described design really stuck with me. “Design is about knowledge exchange.” Every field of work you can think of can be enhanced in some way when you combine it with design. I feel I may not even be able to give it the explanation it deserves as I’m only just scratching the surface when it comes to the true meaning of design.

There were two arguments later in the conference, the first by Mike Press. Design isn’t about “making stuff”, It’s about a sharing economy, a way of thinking and changing the way we live so we’re no longer just accumulating things we don’t need. Service design; it’s about people, and not stuff. “The only important thing about design is how it relates to people.”

The next talk was by Frances Stevenson, passionate about craft. “Design is valueless without craft.” A strong believer in making. Their opinions on the matter were quite different. While listening to the arguments I couldn’t help but agree with both. How can we combine the two? Continue making, keeping the craft, yet changing the way we live to a more eco-friendly and sharing community. This is really something I’d like to look more into and discover more, it might just take some creative thinking to solve!

Creative Dundee: Make / Share

Tonight was my first time attending a make / share event held by Creative Dundee. The Theme was collaboration which fit perfectly with my current change by design project, a collaboration will other DCJAD students to produce a magazine about the growing design in Dundee. It was great to see how everyone supported each other with their ideas and projects they’re working on. I find talking out in a group or a class I start fidgeting, get a lump in my throat and sweaty hands before I can even finish a sentence. However, I feel the atmosphere this event is held in is perfect; dimmed lighting, coffee, sofas and friendly faces; everything you need to feel comfortable and talk bout your own ideas and opinions. There were some great talks on tonight from game developing to jewellery. Creative Dundee really is a great little organisation to get your voice heard, make a difference and see what others are doing in Dundee. I never expected  everyone to be so close, friendly and positive. I will definitely be attending the next one!

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City of Design Conference

Today, Mike Press held a conference at DJCAD featuring key partners In Dundee City of Design, starting with Tara Wainwright, head of media at the V&A Dundee, followed up by Gillian Easson, the director of Creative Dundee. Both were fantastic and very inspiring. I was left feeling proud to be living and studying in such an creative little city, wanting to be a part of the community contributing to improve the design in Dundee.

Every time I hear about the V&A Dundee I get more excited about the future of Dundee. The beautiful building, inspired by the cliffs of the North East, was designed by architect Kengo Kumo. Tara had brought in an Oculus head piece which let you experience what Dundee’s waterfront is going to be like in 2 years time, amazing! Animated visual tours are also online which I’d definitely recommend having a look at.

I feel as though I’ve been living under a rock since I’ve moved here as It was only in this conference It was brought to light how many events are going on throughout the city. Creative Dundee holds a quarterly Pecha Kucha (Japanese for chit chat) which looks especially interesting, and a great way to meet other creative minds in the community. I’ll surely be getting a ticket once they’re released before they sell out, the last Pecha Kucha sold out within two days. There’s a link to the website here which will give you a bit more insight on the event:

In the Afternoon we had Anna Marrs talking about Dundee’s UNESCO City of Design. I was amazed by all the other cities awarded the UNESCO City of Design, Beijing and Berlin included. I find Dundee being in the same party really outstanding, especially for such a small city. It’s great to see it getting the recognition it deserves.

We ended with a talk by Ali McGill, Head of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, and Taylor Stille, a Textile student at DJCAD and SIE intern. It was great to see all the opportunities for the students in Dundee and really left me feeling like I want to make the most of my time as a student here by taking up every opportunity I get and going to every event I can. With so much going on in Dundee just now it would be silly not to get involved in such a creative, inspiring and connected community, and be a part of Dundee’s exciting future.

Getting Set up and Started

I’m relatively new to “professional” social networking, so please bear with me! I’m going to try my hardest to keep on this every day with something new and exciting to share with you, but for now all I have is some links to my pinterest, facebook and twitter accounts- they’re quite empty just now (sorry) but they are soon to be filled with interesting discoveries, images, and interviews which I will be documenting in the coming weeks for a project I’m starting at University, all about design in Dundee. With Dundee being the only UNESCO City of Design in the UK, how can you not be intrigued?