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Making things better: Foundation students collaborate for KE Week

A virtual rendering of an open fronted city shelter. The front is open and we can see 2 cosy furnished floors with a ladder to the top floor.
A virtual rendering of an open fronted city shelter. The front is open and we can see 2 cosy furnished floors with a ladder to the top floor.
Group 18: FAD students concept for Greenwich Peninsula x Shelter
Written by
Cat Cooper
Published date
09 January 2023

From inflatables in unexpected locations, welcoming homeless shelters in public settings and animal figures crisscrossing in commute - a range of styles, ideas and outcomes showcase Foundation students' collaborative spirit in capturing public attention for good causes.

Knowledge Exchange is when we collaborate with partners externally to make positive change. ‘Making Things Better’ was a brief for our Art and Design Foundation Diploma (FAD) students, to practice what it means to work in this way.

In a dedicated Knowledge Exchange Week, our 580 Foundation students teamed up to work together in 74 cross-curriculum groups. Groups were allocated a hypothetical charity partner and given a London location - then came up with ideas for how they could create awareness of the charity’s work in that location.

In their groups, students decided the specific focus of their project. They had to consider the characteristics of their allocated location as space, who goes there and how they could help their charity become more visible to people in that space. Locations included Kings Cross station, Museum of London, The Royal Observatory, The Barbican and Waterlow park.

The week was spent between studio days, time on location at sites across London and self-directed study. Combining across their specialist subject areas, the groups shared approaches, techniques and influences with each other to come up with their final concepts.

Group 56: FAD students concept for Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB) at The Museum of London

Four images in 2 rows of people wearing bird masks and headpieces
Group 56: FAD students concept for RSPB at The Museum of London

FAD students on Knowledge Exchange Week

"I think it is relevant to me because it really brought me out of my comfort zone this week. I am very much an independent thinker, so stepping into group activities is always difficult. I have learnt that exchanging ideas generates multiple and even better ideas."

"Our group was collectively introverted, however we all had to come out our comfort zones to share our ideas and guide each other within the project."

"I often work in the political art and design area and Knowledge Exchange has enabled me to play directly into that and create artwork that I feel enables me to make a social comment on society and issues today."

"We were able to trade skills and ideas in a collaborative way, their ideas pushed me to use methodologies that I would not normally use."

"Knowledge Exchange means people coming together with different skills and assets and working towards achieving the same goal using those skills and assets. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses as well as knowledge, so being in a different group and exploring ways of thinking is beneficial for personal and professional growth."

See more final concepts

  • Group-1-KX-station-x-RSPCA-01.png
    Group 1: FAD students concept for RSPCA at King's Cross station
  • Group-41-The-Barbican-X-The-RSPCA.png
    Group 41: FAD students concept for RSPCA at The Barbican
  • Grouo-29-Horniman-Museum-X-The-ADHD-Foundation-.png
    Group 29: FAD students concept for the ADHD Foundation at the Horniman Museum
  • Group-11-Waterlow-Park-x-St-Johns-Ambulance.jpg
    Group 11: FAD students concept for St. Johns Ambulance at Waterlow Park