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Joey McAleese

London College of Communication
Person Type
Joey  McAleese


Joey is a graduate from MA Design for Social Innovation and Sustainable Futures at London College of Communication.


Why did you decide to study MA Design for Social Innovation and Sustainable Futures and why London College of Communication?
During my undergraduate degree, I realised I had a passion for project that had social and/or environmental problems rather than designing for brands and advertisements.

However, when graduating I didn’t feel I had the expertise or network to be able to further this passion so instead I got an in-house design job. I kept looking for social design master and when UAL launched this course I jumped at the opportunity.

At the time, I knew UAL was a well-known University with a strong alumnus meaning my chances of employability were good (when I got here I realised this even more).

UAL also has strong sustainability agenda, so I knew the course was in line with their own belief. London also has a huge amount happening in regard to social and environmental design and this really strengthened my want for the course.

Can you tell us a little bit about your final major project? 
My final project took me on a whirlwind of a journey exploring how we could better equip the leaders of tomorrow to create a sustainable future. Nodes was a solution to educate people on sustainability so that they can create change in their own community.

More Than Just Sustainability is Nodes’s first online 4 week workshops which developed skills such as system thinking, speculative design and connecting with nature.

The impact the course had on participants was showed that in completing the course they felt more passionate and confident towards sustainability and climate change. Not only did their mindsets change, they created a community of like minded people enabling them to create further change into the future.

Has the course included any involvement with industry?
We regularly had guest lectures from people in industry from specialist in design behaviour to co-design, and we are always encouraged to share people we would like ourselves.

We worked on a live project with Southwark Council and prior to Coronavirus, we often attended exhibitions around social and environmental issues at museums in London.

Why would you recommend studying MA Design for Social Innovation and Sustainable Futures?
This course gives you the skills and knowledge for a change making career. It comes from a wide range of tutors who are specialist in their area.

Being an MA student, you are encouraged to question them and this makes for debates and critical thinking. UAL is an amazing University to go to and is constantly pushing students to think about social and sustainability problems.

This course utilises and thrives on the amazing UAL network which allows students to connect with industry throughout their studies. It’s empowering to have control of your education and the Course Leader, Ella, is always welcoming feedback and collaboration to develop the course and the briefs.

Can you tell us a little bit about what you're currently up to?
I am currently working for Body Shop as Justice Research Coordinator. This is a great role that allows me to learn and analyse brand activism as well as social and environmental justice.

I am still working on my final project nodes and hope to adjust the course for a larger audiences and hopefully this can become a side-hustle in the future.

In the long-term I am interested in developing my academic career and also looking into how we can mainstream change-making within design.

Related area

Visit the MA Design for Social Innovation and Sustainable Futures course page.