A Humanities Startup Workshop has assisted in the creation of a design service and research studio within the School of Creative Industries.

Humanities workshop kicks off design start-up

Tuesday, 18 July 2017


A Humanities Startup Workshop run by the University of Newcastle’s Centre for 21st Century Humanities in conjunction with Slingshot has assisted in the creation of a design service and research studio within the School of Creative Industries.

The idea for the project became a reality when Dr Simone O’Callaghan pitched the project at the Humanities Startup Workshop in late 2016 and was awarded funding to get the plan off the ground.

“For quite some time the design team within the School of Creative Industries has been fielding queries from people both internally and externally to the university who are in need of design services,” Dr O’Callaghan said.

“The team, comprised of Dr Caelli Brooker, Bettina Hodgeson, Jane Shadbolt, Ralph Kenke and myself, had the idea to formally create a dedicated design service and research studio operating from the university. The design studio will meet the current demand from the market whilst also creating opportunities for students to gain work experience.”

“The design service will provide students with relevant industry appropriate experience so that when they graduate they are more prepared for their careers in visual communication. For those who wish to undertake postgraduate studies in design, the design research consultancy can provide a studio environment and community of practice for design research that will facilitate their learning journey,” Dr O’Callaghan said. “The project will also streamline the process around bidding for design research work, allowing us to be more responsive to tenders and keep up with industry timeframes.”

Program Convenor for Visual Communication Design, Dr Callaghan attended the startup workshop with a pitch for the project and was awarded $5000 funding to bring the idea to fruition.

Deputy Director for the Centre for 21st Century Humanities, Associate Professor Ros Smith was one of the judges at the workshop and says the design service and research studio idea was a standout.

“During the 2 day workshop participants had the chance to hear from industry experts on how to ensure their startup succeeds. We thought the design service and consultancy was a viable option and could see the need for it within the university. It’s also great that the project will give students the opportunity to hone their skills on the job while being mentored by senior designers,” Associate Professor Smith said.

“We can see the design service being able to help UoN researchers create great conference posters and other collateral to increase the impact of and accessibility to their research.”

The design service and design research consultancy is proposed to be operational by late semester two 2017.