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How can businesses work with UAL to find creative solutions?

Two people standing up in front of a poster during an exhibition
Two people standing up in front of a poster during an exhibition
Fashion Means Business '19 at Spitalfields Market | Photography: Katy Davies.
Written by
Annika Loebig
Published date
21 June 2021

If you're a business looking for fresh ideas and solutions, we’re here to help you! By collaborating with University of the Arts London, you'll have access to the expert knowledge of our academics and will gain new insights into the future of the creative industries with our talented students and graduates.

From our ability to find creative solutions for the future, to our experience merging the traditional with the contemporary, find out how our students and expert academics have been responding to business challenges through industry collaborations.

Digital design of black object reminiscent of a crystal
Powerstone, MA Industrial Design x Three

Three UK and MA Industrial Design students from Central Saint Martins explored the potential of router design inspired by the move to 5G technology. The winning concept was Powerstone, a hybrid between a router and streaming game device that floats when activated, with a designed inspired on tokens collected in video games.

James Sutton, Head of Sponsorship & Brand Activation at ‎Three UK, praised the students' creative concept and imaginative approach:

We love that the team was inspired by the growth in the gaming industry and identified a clear target audience, tapping into a whole new market. Their Powerstone design completely smashes the dull, traditional form routers take today – a definite conversation piece within the home.

Microsoft x London College of Fashion

Together with LCF's Fashion Innovation Agency, 6 groups of students got to develop their own concepts in fashion, design, advertising and retail, powered by Microsoft’s software, cloud computing and AI technology.

The Art-Z software proposed by LCF graduate Ashwini Deshpande to reduce fabric wastage in pattern cutting, was amongst the prototypes selected for further development.

Maruschka Loubser, Director of Brand Partnerships and Campaigns at Microsoft, said:

For the second year in a row, we are blown away by the creativity and invention of the students at London College of Fashion.

Mobile phone sitting in a stand shaped like a fan
Ping-en Tsai's final fan design (Credit: Ping-en Tsai)

Worshipful Company of Fan Makers x Chelsea College of Arts

Merging heritage craft with modern design principles, BA Product and Furniture Design students responded to the challenge set up by the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers: how can we modernise the fan and make it relevant in today's lifestyle while honouring its historical essence?

Some students related the use of the fan to present-day concerns around privacy and social distancing, or using organic shapes and flexible materials to challenge the notion of the fan as a fragile, old-fashion object.

As part of this work, the Livery Company has started a new partnership with UAL’s Material and Spatial Practices Programme.

Reana's concept art for Re:act bus stop posters.
Image credit: Reana Kerai.

When Australian creative agency Hard Edge decided to expand their initiative Re:act internationally, they brought the opportunity to LCC. Following the theme of 'Distraction', BA Graphic and Media Design students took on the challenge to develop awareness campaigns around road safety issues for young divers, pedestrians and cyclists.

Student Reana Kerai came up with the wining concept #EyesUpPhoneDown, an eye-catching animation reminding young people to look up from their phones when crossing the road. The campaign was highly celebrated by Hardge Edge and the 2020 project partners, including FIA Foundation, Pepsi, Zurich and Transport for London.

Andrew Hardwick, Re:act Founder and Managing Director of Hard Edge, said:

The commitment of University of the Arts London and our inaugural industry partners was instrumental in Re:act expanding into the UK. The selected campaign, which delivered a simple behaviour change message in a succinct and striking way, reflected the high standard of work produced. With such positive outcomes, and overwhelmingly favourable feedback from university and industry partners, we intend to run Re:act in the UK again in 2021, and further expand the programme internationally.

What does it look like when climate activism and art work together? UAL students from Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges took over the Horniman Museum and Gardens for a night of interactive experiences in response to the global climate crisis.

Merging disciplines from across the 3 Colleges, the installation invited visitors to reflect on how we can move towards more sustainable futures, while also engaging with the museum’s existing displays.

Having worked in collaboration with other cultural institutions for more than 25 years, David Cross, Reader in Art and Design at Chelsea College of Arts, welcomed this partnership with open arms:

I think that offering the museum as a safe space to explore hopes and fears, and to imagine different possibilities is a really intelligent, far-sighted way to help people creatively engage with the greatest challenges facing the world.

Inspired by the latest conversations in sustainability and circularity by Global Fashion Agenda, Nike approached CSM to develop their new Circular Design Guide.

Samuel Ross, A-COLD-WALL*’s founder and creative director, mentored BA and MA Fashion students during the process. They responded to the challenges of circular design using Nike's innovative material Flyleather, coming up with unexpected designs like skin protection streetwear and fossilised sneakers, without compromising function or attractiveness.

About his experience of collaborating with CSM students, Ross said:

When it comes to being a student you’re in this amazing place where you can really dive in and explore progressive ideas…it’s essential and inspirational for global brands and designers and people such as myself to actually spend time with the next generation.

Dazed Digital followed the collaboration for their film A Future World, which featured the selected designs from CSM students.

Leave Luck in the Locker 3
Sir Robert McAlpine x LCC collaboration

Sir Robert McAlpine x London College of Communication

Leading UK building and civil engineering company Sir Robert McAlpine commissioned MA Film students from London College of Communication to produce health and safety films for the firm.

After pitching their ideas, the company selected 3 films, which required students planning their production, writing the scripts, recruiting actors filming across LCC studio at Elephant and Castle and SRM's Broadgate Framework site in central London.

Ted Picken, Head of Continuous Improvement at Sir Robert McAlpine, celebrated the students' hard work and creativity in this project:

The ideas, energy, flexibility and practical approach from the college, course leader and students have all contributed to make this a success. It has been great to work with London Communications College from initial contact, agreement of contract, our briefings, student pitches, and collaboration on site and final delivery of impactful videos.

Cartoon Network x London College of Fashion

Students from London College of Fashion had the chance to reunite with their childhood icons The Powerpuff Girls to design a collection for Cartoon Network. With the guidance of Benoit Montaigne, Creative Director at Warner Bros Entertainment, final-year students created an Autumn/Winter season inspired look by the cartoon characters in a way that embodies female empowerment.

On the first day of London Fashion Week 2019, LCF unveiled the winners of the collaboration that paired LCF's future generation of fashion designers with the iconic crime-fighting superheroes.

Leila Loumi, International Director of Fashion at Cartoon Network, praised the final collections created by the students:

The collections are outstanding! I think the winners we selected have done a beautiful job, they have completely understood the brand of the Powerpuff Girls and the exhibition has been brilliant.

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