MCAST Institute for the Creative Arts hosts Becoming a Designer in Europe mobility
MCAST’s Institute for the Creative Arts in Mosta has recently hosted a number of international lecturers and students from various other European educational institutions as part of an Erasmus+ project entitled Becoming a Designer in Europe. This mobility was the second in a series of similar exchanges aimed at broadening students’ professional horizons and making them more aware of what a creative career in Europe entails.
This particular mobility focused on local design trends and influences, allowing students to gain significant insights into each participating country’s diverse cultural heritage. Participants from Germany, Italy, Malta, Poland and the United Kingdom all presented a variety of visual research pertaining to both historically significant and contemporary design.
MCAST students participating in this project Matthea De Bono, George Lewis, Scott Schembri and Sarah Schembri Warr focused their research on traditional Maltese crafts, which are currently enjoying a revival among both the local design community and general public at large. Customary crafts like tberfil, decorative floor tiles and other forms of distinctive Maltese iconography have all been featured prominently in local brands, illustrations and fashion items over recent years.
Speakers for the event were chosen in order to reflect this resurgence of traditional Maltese crafts and motifs; graphic and surface pattern designer Stephanie Borg and fashion designer Ritianne Zammit both delivered presentations describing how these elements have been a driving influence behind their work. These presentations were preceded by a tberfil workshop by Joseph Farrugia, who has been practising this particular local craft and hand-lettering public buses, trucks and other forms of transportation for the better part of 40 years.
Students also had the opportunity to hear how such elements are incorporated in commercial contexts such as branding and advertisements during a visit to BRND WGN, a strategic creative power- house with a rich portfolio full of local influences. During this visit BRND WGN’s creatives discussed how Maltese decorative motifs and architecture played a central role in numerous prestigious projects.
Throughout the exchange students used this newfound understanding in order to produce a tangible outcome. Working in art direction, functionality, content and social media teams, participants compiled their findings into a single digital blog, which shall eventually form part of an online platform intended to facilitate the mobility of young creative professionals across Europe.
Becoming a Designer in Europe was coordinated by Darren Duncan and Matthew Mamo, both graphic design lecturers, together with the support of Tyrone Grima, director of MCAST Institute for the Creative Arts. The entire mobility was documented by the students themselves using equipment that was kindly supplied by Avantech Ltd.