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Highlights 16/17 This review highlights just some of the ways CSAD’s research and innovation enables our students to engage with cutting-edge technologies and ideas. Cardiff Met’s EDGE agenda (Ethical, Digital, Global, Entrepreneurial) runs through everything we do, and in a dynamic climate of change, our unique and holistic approach to education, research and innovation creates an environment where students can thrive as individuals. CSAD’s strong partnerships with industry and external organisations prepare our graduates for life beyond university: We have forged links with healthcare, manufacturing, food industries, financial and creative sectors. Many of these partners choose to work with us because of our high quality research portfolio, 75% of which was rated Internationally Excellent or World Leading in the last UK-wide assessment. By actively connecting education, research and innovation, our students experience how, as creative practitioners, they can use their passion for creative enquiry to engage with the world around them and forge sustainable careers in their chosen field.

Prof Olwen Moseley Dean of Cardiff School of Art & Design

Angela Magee, current 3rd year Fine Art student and Venice invigilator



even Fine Art students each spent four weeks invigilating the Wales Pavilion at a major international contemporary art event - the 57th Venice Biennale.

In a first-of-its-kind partnership, CSAD worked closely with the Arts Council of Wales on its Wales in Venice Invigilation Plus programme. Seven of the highly sought after invigilation spots were open exclusively to our students, who experienced work by leading contemporary artists, developed personal projects and cultivated international professional networks. Anna Rogers, a 2017 Fine Art Graduate, explains how the opportunity helped to kick-start her career “I feel educationally, personally and professionally enriched by the experience and it has given me a huge wealth of knowledge, understanding and experience that it already aiding my future career development” and “I had several people say that they were very jealous of my University experience, especially in relation to our employment opportunities and the multidisciplinary approach of the University.”



eramics students Charlotte Manser, Spencer Penn and Meg Beamish raised an impressive £2,500 at the School’s first Ceramics Auction. Some of the UK’s most notable ceramicists contributed work, including Great British Pottery Throw Down presenters Kate Malone and Keith Brymer Jones, ceramicist Walter Keeler, figurative sculptor Christie Brown, potter Alison Hammond MBE and many more. The artists featured in the exhibition also supported the students’ professional practice with studio visits and work experience placements. Speaking of the experience, Charlotte said: “The amazing generosity of artists, locally, and nationally amazed us” and “we have learnt skills in communication, advertising and marketing, […] it shows what exciting opportunities there are to undertake within the university, and is something that will support me in my professional life”.



he Materials Library is an innovative, new resource developed by Artist Designer: Maker students and staff. Students worked alongside members of the FabCre8 research group, Jon Pigott, Ingrid Murphy and Aidan Taylor, to develop a library that provides an in-depth exploration of making processes. Users scan a selection of materials using RFID readers to access films made by the students detailing the potential of that material, from its raw state to finished products. The project stems from Ingrid’s research into learning environments that promote immersive engagement. By focussing on the properties of materials, students were able to gain a deeper understanding of their craft and enhance their making portfolio: “The interaction with the digital content makes you want to explore more, viewing both the material and the process in a new light [...] allowing me to see new avenues for developing my work” (Georgina Allen, Artist Designer: Maker)



ecent Product Design graduate, Sam Moeller, worked with Dr Clara Watkins on the development of a First Responder Pack for the Red Cross.

Building on a collaboration with Prof Judith Hall (Cardiff University’s School of Medicine), the project drew on research methods developed by CSAD’s User-Centred Design team to develop intuitive, life-saving equipment for use in rural Namibia. Sam and Clara visited Namibia to observe clinicians training local police to use the packs, test the pack’s performance and collect data to further refine the design. Sam says: “This is a unique opportunity that has allowed me to get involved with the whole design process, working directly alongside manufacturers and end users. Being part of an international project has enabled me to use the skills developed during my degree and volunteering at FabLab Cardiff, and see the life-changing impact of product design research.”



he Experimental Documentary Field Project saw students from CSAD and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama collaborate on “Circle Line” - an 8-minute experimental film exploring the sources of Cardiff’s industrial wealth. Making the journey from the Victorian Mansion at Insole Court to the Brecon Mountain Railway, students learnt new approaches to creative collaboration. The film was premiered at Insole Court as part of a special event celebrating the House’s recent refurbishment. Strategies developed through collaboration also become incorporated into the students’ approaches to their own practice: “The Circle Line experimental documentary required a different way of thinking […] it became clear that this was something that had been missing from my work – getting out there. This is something that I will look to implement into my design practice […] to fully immerse myself in whatever the brief may be” (Tomas Greenwood, Graphic Communication)



nspired by Olivia Kotsifa’s research on the interaction between digital fabrications and architecture, an innovative community engagement project between CSAD and Cardiff School of Education challenged multidisciplinary teams of students to design an Outdoor Learning area for primary school children. The winning design, Forest of Plinths, brought elements from nearby woodlands to the concreate site at the Cyncoed campus, revitalising the area and the student’s own practice:

“This was such an enriching collaboration between different students and staff […] Being part of a close group of people and working on a live project, from abstract proposal to realisation was tremendously helpful in learning how a real project comes alive” (Marek Liska, Ceramics) Pop up and Play was supported by the Student Experience fund.



Sc student, Alex Hirst, collaborated on a winning design at this year’s Yale Healthcare Hackathon. Hosted by CBIT and Yale School of Medicine, the event attracts academics, clinicians, entrepreneurs, engineers, designers and coders. The 300 attendees form competing teams to tackle unmet medical needs. Alex’s team was awarded the ‘Careers, Life and Yale’ prize for their design of a smart bracelet that alerts parents of young asthmatic children to pollution levels in their day-to-day environment. Alex, who was supported by a Santander mobility award, said: “The Healthcare Hackathon was overall a very positive experience where I learnt a lot about the global healthcare market and how my skills are applicable in a wider setting.”



r John Littlewood has developed a test to determine the effectiveness of active and passive fire protection systems. Some of the greatest risks to occupants during a building fire are smoke and toxic gases, but evidence shows there is a ‘safety gap’ where buildings are not being thoroughly inspected to ensure safety measures continue to function year on year. This is particularly important for specialised dwellings where occupants with disabilities and health issues rely on help during an evacuation. Working with Coastal Housing, John has developed a Building Fire Safety and Resistance (BFS&R) protocol™ that uses in-construction testing for new and existing dwellings. Realistic smoke as if from a real building fire is used to compensate for the current, unreliable visual and paper based inspections. Findings are being shared with Community Housing associations, Fire Safety services and the Welsh Government.

Image courtesy of Welsh Government’s ‘Big Ideas Wales Celebrated 2017’



he entreprenuial flare of CSAD students was recognised at this year’s ‘Big Ideas Wales Celebrated’. A student team formed as part of Richard Morris’ Mind Your Own Business Field Project were runners up in the “Best Enterprise Idea” category for their range of origami inspired coffee cups. Textiles student Jenny Evans was also awarded “Best Business Idea” runner up for her textile design business. Jenny said: “It was a fantastic day, meeting so many young entrepreneurs was so inspiring.” Jenny’s scientifically accurate wildlife designs will also be further developed during a research trip to Borneo, where she will assist Dr Keireine Canavan in undertaking a comparative study of historical weaving techniques. Jenny’s involvement in the trip is supported by The Lord Mayor’s 800th Anniversary Awards Trust and Santander. Student entries to ‘Big Ideas Wales Celebrated‘ were supported by the University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship.



SAD encourages its students to travel the world. In just one year, CSAD students had the fantastic opportunity to experience a broad range of cultures, meet other students and makers, and explore traditional and new making techniques from France, Germany, The Netherlands, India, Morocco, South Korea and more. These experiences help our students to grow as makers and view themselves citizens of the world. Speaking of his visit to South Korea, Toni de Jesus writes: “[the trips] are all about going beyond the boundaries of our discipline (for me it’s ceramics) and taking us outside of our usual environment to inspire us and give us a new perspective … It was all about questioning, comparing and contrasting; thinking and acting on cultural differences and similarities. It has opened up all sorts of opportunities and ideas for me within my subject area of ceramics”.



upported by a prestigious Wellcome Trust Seed Award, Prof Robert Pepperell and his team investigated if Fovography™ can improve the medical imaging devices used in surgery and diagnostics. Based on Robert’s research on representing the way we see, Fovography combines art practice, history, psychology and computer science to form a new kind of media that emulates natural human perception by overcoming the limitations of linear perspective. Used for centuries to depict 3D space on 2D surfaces, linear perspective represents a fraction of our actual field of view. This can cause substantial problems in real-world situations, such as surgery. In colonoscopy, for example, surgeons can miss cancers because the camera provides distorted views of internal organs. Working with medical, industry and academic experts, the team found that Fovography™, can significantly improve medical imaging devices used for diagnosis and treatment.



SAD’s Graduate Incubation Space (Inc) provides an opportunity for our graduates to spend a year with the School to launch their own business or career. During their 12 month residency, Inc members receive academic and business mentoring, support from the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship, and have access to the School’s workshops and facilities. This year’s departing Inc members kick-started their careers in style: Clojo Bedingham was selected from 3,000 graduates at New Designers to show work at the Embroiderers’ Guild Graduate Showcase; the Wonky Chair Company’s “Christmas Reindeers” were used by retailers Ted Baker as part of their in-line Christmas campaign; Furniture designer Jennifer Finnegan received commissions for her mid-century modern inspired pieces inlaid with a range of metal wires marquetry maker; and Illustrator Ian Cooke Tapia has developed a new graphic novel and found premises to transform into an artists’ and makers’ studio complex.

Bill and Elaine’s blanket. Courtesy of the LAUGH Project



orld-leading research into the wellbeing of people with late stage dementia continues to change the lives of care home residents and inspire the next generation of designers. For the AHRC funded LAUGH Project, Prof Cathy Treadaway and Dr Jac Fennell have developed bespoke smart textile artefacts for care home residents with dementia. Their use has led to improved interaction with residents who were previously uncommunicative. Sharing their research with Artist Designer: Maker student Alice Croot, led Alice to work with a group of older Sheltered Living residents for her final project. Alice incorporated individual textiles pieces made by the residents into a tablecloth that used touch sensitive sound triggers for music and conversation. Alice describes how this work also had a powerful effect on residents, explaining “I believe the link between the visual and the sound is very effective in creating conversation movement and stimulation for them as a collective.”



SAD Graphic Communication students had the fantasic opportunity to develop a St David’s Day station identifier for S4C. The Welsh-language chanel asked students to develop an ident that would present a snapshot of Wales in the 21st Century for use alongside continuity announcements between programmes, on social media, websites and adverts. Following presentations, S4C chose the image of a daffodil made out of thumb prints. Robert Lange explained: “We thought that thumbprints symbolised individual identity. Working with S4C on creating the image has been an eye opening experience for me. It’s exciting because it’s something that’s going to be on my portfolio when I look for a job, after graduating. It’ll definitely help me when I finish university, because it’s something that I’ll definitely talk about, and something to be proud of.”



abLab Cardiff gives students the opportunity to use cutting-edge technologies to produce novel pieces that cannot be made using traditional techniques alone.

CSAD graduate Evan Moore used Fablab to design co-ordinating sculptures for his degree show. “I enjoy working with complex making processes that combine the traditional and the digital to create undulating, organic forms based on the characteristic of the planets in our solar system. I worked with FabLab Manager Martin Lane learning to use the CNC machine to create the forms in blue foam that were then cast into bronze, ceramic and concrete using traditional techniques.” Evan is continuing his practice as a designer to develop his forms into a lighting range in CSAD’s Inc. Space. He has also been appointed as a Fablab Cardiff Technical Specialist and passing on his knowledge to current undergraduates.



ounded on the School’s User-Centered Design and Fovography research, CSAD’s Perceptual Experience Laboratory (PEL) creates ‘real world’ environments for academic and commercial research. In collaboration with Cardiff Met’s Food Industries Centre, two CSAD research student are using the PEL facility to work with Welsh Food Industries. Abbie Lawrence, who joined CSAD as Graphic Communication student, is investigating how perceptual technology can help develop branding and packaging for Welsh Food Companies. Large, multi-national companies often use this type of technology, but cost prohibits SMEs accessing the same resources and opportunities for R&D. Abbie says: “This is a once in a life-time opportunity to have a real impact on the Welsh food industry and allow SMEs to compete with large organisations”. Fellow research student, Alice Gilmore is working with Puffin Produce to design packaging that will encourage healthier eating habits amongst Wales’s younger generations.



iree Tech Wave is a hands-on making workshop held on the Scottish island of Tiree. Students worked alongside Art & Design researchers from CSAD and across the UK to put into practice their academic knowledge and problem solving skills. This year, MSc Product Designers were challenged to design and construct automated sandwich maker using only the available materials and the mobile FabLab equipment. A second group led by Ingrid Murphy and the FabCre8 research group, explored potential uses for the Island’s 11 abandoned red telephone boxes.

“Working on collaborative projects with multi-disciplinary academic and technical staff in a creative, motivating environment, I was able to formulate new ideas and rapidly prototype initial solutions […] Tiree also encouraged me to build a wider network within the university, which led to collaboration with University Hospital of Wales (UHW), Cardiff, and subsequently an internship at various departments there” (Alex Hirst, MSc Product Design).

Profile for Cardiff School of Art & Design

Research and Enterprise Highlights  

This review highlights just some of the ways CSAD’s research and innovation enables our students to engage with cutting-edge technologies an...

Research and Enterprise Highlights  

This review highlights just some of the ways CSAD’s research and innovation enables our students to engage with cutting-edge technologies an...

Profile for csad