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Risky Business 2: discourse of the (un)real

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Head Post Office (SIA) and ROCO

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Risky Business 2: discourse of the (un)real

Art and Design Learning, Teaching and Employability Staff Conference, Sheffield Hallam University

This year’s conference will examine notions of ‘the real.' Prompted by the University's new strategic vision to make SHU ‘The University for the real world’ we would like to develop a department-wide conversation about ‘(un)realness’ in/through/about our teaching, learning, and employability practices. Running over two days Risky Business 2 is comprised of guest speakers, workshops, discussions, great food, and papers.

DAY ONE / Monday 26 June
/ Head Post Office Building 16.2.01 (Graphics level 5 studio)
Risky Business 2: Learning, Teaching and the Real

9:30. Registration
Tea and coffee served on arrival

10:00. Welcome
Claire Lockwood and James Corazzo

10:15. Keynote

Risk and the Real World
Dr. Cathy Gale / (Kingston University / Alternative Art School)
Framed by the Alternative Art School (radical pedagogy) research project Dr. Cathy Gale unpicks the mythical stability of design in the ‘real world’ – an increasingly precarious neoliberal landscape – to reveal how risk and ambiguity are core conceptual tools and skills for our discipline now (NESTA). Risk invokes innovative approaches by students given more agency in their learning, while ambiguity requires agile thinking though which to formulate greater critical engagement with the possibilities of the discipline.

11:15. Parallel Sessions*
(abstracts will be provided on the day)

12:30. Lunch by Greek Deli Direct, HPO Courtyard

13:30. Keynote
Really, what is ‘academic freedom’?
Dr. Mary Anne Francis / (University of Brighton)
‘Academic Freedom’ is greatly valued in Higher Education - sometimes seen as a kind of professional privilege, conferring significant benefits on teaching, learning, and research. This presentation looks at the ‘real’ of Higher Education’s discourse in terms of what can and can’t be said, seeking to distinguish between necessary and unnecessary constraint. It concludes by asking ‘what might be done?’ in the face of an HE scene increasingly determined from the outside

14:15. Tea and Coffee

14:30. Parallel Sessions*
(abstracts will be provided on the day)

15:45. Closing remarks

16:00. End and on to the Tap for (un)real discourse

*Discussions, workshops and papers by SHU staff: Eve Stirling, Roger Bateman, Mel Levick-Parkin, James Titterton, Julie Westerman, Hester Reeve, Chloe Brown, Becky Shaw, Penny McCarthy, James Corazzo, Jerome Harrington, Natalie McCreesh and Jo Lee. (Full programme and abstracts will be circulated soon)

- - -

DAY TWO / Tuesday 27 June / ROCO
Risky Business 2: Journey into the (Un)Known

This year's conference questions the (reality) of our graduates learning and their journey, after University into the 'real' world. How do we prepare our students within their programmes of learning, and could we do more to get them in shape? How can industry support national demand and how can we build better structures and communities within our University to support artists and designers to become ‘successful’ when faced with ‘real world’ challenges.

Download: Programme Day 02
Click Here

On Entry, Free Stuff.
Free! Intern Magazine x SIA tote bag + LTD EDT Zine.

Title (TBC), is a Limited Edition Risograph Zine, designed and illustrated by MMU Graduate (2016/17), Saffa Khan documenting her experience as a young designer living in the North of England. Saffa is a Pakistani visual artist and zine maker, based in Manchester. Creating work surrounding identity, sexuality, mental health and culture, through illustration, print and mark making. Using Illustration ‘as a form of documentation in journals”, [...] “is something I’ve always done”. “Not only because I desperately want to capture what I see, but also to make sense of my surroundings and feelings in general”.

Saffa declined to speak at this event but offers us a contribution of her story through print and keepsake.
(SIA Sponsored Feature)

9:00 —10:00. Welcome (Collect Conference Pack)
Tea and coffee served on arrival
Sign in and collect your Tote Bag, Zine and Programme.

10:00 —10:15. Intro / Welcome
Paul Heys (Art and Design Employability Lead)

10:20—12:00. Staff Workshops
Workshop (A) Conference Space. 10:20-11:05
Workshop (B) Makerspace. 10:20-11:05
Workshop (B) Conference Space. 11:15-12:00
Workshop (A) Makerspace. 11:15-12:00

Workshop (A)
Alec Dudson, Freelance writer and founder and editor-in-chief of Intern Magazine. Methods to support student employability and ways to understand the Intern’s role.

Workshop (B)
Rachel Firth, Careers and Employability Consultant, (ACES, SHU). Sharing good practice from working with the department 2016/17, Rachel will work with staff to discuss the development of student employability and how the student perceives a career and their future ambition.

Part 01: Helping Level 4 students develop their employability this session will look at the example of how Rachel and the team worked alongside Fashion Design to embed employability activities within a Level 4 module and discuss how this could be developed further?

Part 02:
Would a “brand” for employability within Art and Design courses be a good idea? Some other institutions have used these methods to highlight the employability-related activities on their courses. What do you think – is this a good idea?

* 11:05—11:15 Mid Morning Break: Tea, coffee and biscuits

12:00 —13:00.
ROCO kitchen. A sample of ROCO’s new Menu will be on offer. Vegetarian and Vegan options are available

13:00 —13:45. Guest Speakers
Andy Peel: Director, Young Creative Council (YCC)

YCC are a collective who are spread throughout the creative industries in the UK, Europe and in the US. At the core is the council and on the fringes are a wider network of hundreds. Since 2007 their core focus is to help motivate, educate and support anyone wanting to make a go of it in the creative industries. YCC hold national workshops, talks, portfolio events, classes and socials and have openly collaborated with some inspirational partners including D&AD, It's Nice That, Mother, Pentagram, Diesel, Wieden+Kennedy, Google, Anomaly and Poke.

Andy’s presentation will focus on his own personal experience at University and the unique position he found himself in, during his placement year (not to be missed). He will also be introducing YCC and the services they can provide our students with as well as; and possibly more importantly; outlining YCC’s ever-evolving global campaign; the Placement Poverty Pledge 'working with leading agencies to treat the placement student not as they were treated back in the day, but as if they're - wait for it - real human beings with real human needs; and, as such, paying them the living wage’.

Young Creative Council

Placement Poverty Pledge


14:00 —14:45.
Jeffery Bowman, Co-editor of The Outsiders + The Great Wide Open (Gestalten) & Creative Director at Millican.

After becoming an award-winning designer, Illustrator, artist, art director before leaving University, he was fully prepared for the ‘real’ word. After spending a decade working in the industry, working globally for both the commercial and educational sector, and soon after his two-year sabbatical in Norway where he authored two books for Gestalten, Bowman returned to the UK. Instead of heading to the bright lights, he headed back to his roots, the Lake District; and it is here where he found his home. Full circle, new career and new adventures. Now Creative Director of Millican, making sustainable bags for the conscious traveller, the deep-thinker, and for personal journeys across the globe; he himself has become a global spokesperson on contemporary outdoor culture, creating a career that responds to a life-style and driving entrepreneurship through passion and slow, purpose-led design.


15:00 — 15:45.
Tom Tobia, Co-Founder of Makerversity

Tom Tobia is a designer and co-founder of Makerversity, Europe’s largest industrial co-working space for emerging maker businesses, also home to a pioneering education programme. Tom's Makerversity is an affordable and accessible making and learning space in the heart of London for a community of cutting-edge businesses and the next generation of creative and practical minds. Through the workspace, cutting-edge tools and kit, networks and events, Makerversity support emerging ideas within the design and digital manufacturing: from pioneering new technologies to traditional practice powered by an experimental business model.

He is a mentor and advisor to various business support programmes including Hub Launchpad, Design Council Challenges and Bethnal Green Ventures.

Tom is also an advisor to the UK Government for education, on the Mayor of London’s advisory board for workspace, is a TED speaker and an RSA Design Award winner. His work has been exhibited at the Design Museum, Barbican and the V&A. He was recently selected as one of the World’s 17 most disruptive cultural innovators by the British Council.

He is also a .5 member of staff here at SHU within the Visual Communication subject area.
Drawing from personal experience, Tom’s brief is to detach himself from his peers here in the department and talk honestly and openly about the future of design, education and the people we educate.


Breakout & Bar (staff get-together and networking opportunity).

ROCO and its kitchen are kindly staying open until 9 pm for SHU staff. There will be a variety of street food style tapas available from 16:00 onwards. *

* this is not subsidised by the department - you’ve had enough you lucky people.

Audio & Visual support from Lumen
Lumen are an artistic audio-visual collective based in Leeds, UK.

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