MCAST In­sti­tute for the Cre­ative Arts hosts Be­com­ing a De­signer in Europe mo­bil­ity

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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