Ceramics, furniture and jewellery design share rich cultural histories and traditions of practice, and are concerned with what could be described as 'intimate architecture' - a physical relationship of the artefact with the body.
The role of design practitioners is changing with the impact of emergent technologies, global marketing, the internationalisation of production, and a rising interest in a 'bespoke approach' or 'craft content' within design. They need to be able to think creatively and strategically about the identity of products and their cultural background(s) and support their ideas with innovation, economic thinking and ethical questioning. MA Ceramics, Furniture or Jewellery develops your creative abilities, imagination and expertise in relation to real design world demands by linking formal design approaches and practice led research.
MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture or Jewellery (by Project) is achieved in the context of students’ own personal projects which they explore and develop through an individual pathway in a stimulating, supportive, creative and collaborative environment.
Alongside teaching experience, all staff have professional careers and strong links with commercial, artistic, craft and industrial bodies nationally and internationally. Over the duration of the MA, meetings with practitioners, industry professionals, and participants in the wider design community will enable you to learn to communicate effectively across a range of different environments.
The framework for the course is dictated by an independent study route defined by your chosen project. The project becomes a vehicle for the development of your creative abilities, problem solving and analytical skills, and for locating your work within the professional world. You will be encouraged to re-focus your skills intellectually, contextually and practically; to extend and exploit design strategies from your own and other disciplines; and to question and test your ideas through teamwork and group critiques. On applying to the course you will be asked to produce a comprehensive project proposal which you will refine during Stage 1 of the programme. In Stage 2, this proposal will become an Action Agreement and will form the blueprint for the MA project submission at the end of the course.
A Critical Context lecture programme with postgraduate students from other disciplines aims to inform and enrich your design thinking. As you assume responsibility for directing the project, the diverse experience of the student group will contribute to the 'partnership in learning’ that is a potent and vital part of the course.
During Unit 1 of the course you will develop and amend your project proposal in response to your changing aspirations and as a result of input from the design process. Although key project themes should change little, it may be necessary to review markets, methodology, and proposed outcomes.
Subject to satisfactory progression on to Unit 2, your proposal will change its role from a development tool to a firm commitment in terms of concepts, methodologies, production, outcomes, and objectives. This Action Agreement will be the basis of your final MA project submission.
The Action Agreement is designed to assist three groups of people:
-Yourself: in defining the scope, methods, and objectives of the project in detailed terms, and by relating the project to the overall objectives of the MA Design by Project.
-Tutors: in guiding and evaluating your work.
-External examiners: in evaluating your work.
Aims and outcomes
The course will deepen your understanding of ceramic, furniture or jewellery design. It will focus your practice in relation to a professional sector and enhance employment and research opportunities. On completion you will have produced work to a professional standard and set it in the context of the profession and/or the market.
You will be able to evaluate your work through research, practice, and critical reflection by applying relevant methodologies and processes. You will also have the ability to work independently or collaboratively, and the ability to define and resolve design problems using appropriate skills and bodies of knowledge, within both professional and cultural contexts.
Course Length 2 years