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A community of creatives: Queensland College of Art

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How would you define design; a word that can be interpreted a dozen ways by different people? In simple terms, design can be defined as a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building, garment, or other objects before it is made. It can sometimes be taken lightly by those who do not understand the importance of its function. “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works,” says Steve Jobs. Without design, we’d live in a world devoid of creativity, colour and fun.

It’s often a misconception that design is only meant for artistic, gifted people. But it’s not. If you have an interest in planning, designing, and creating products, then a career in design could be right for you. In the UK, design has become the second-largest sector and the largest design industry in Europe, proving that the field is everlasting. The UK’s Design Council reports that creative industries are contributing almost nine million pounds to the UK economy pretty much every hour.

The creative sector has also gone up by 10 percent, with the design sector growing at double the pace. And with students worrying about what the future holds, this might calm your nerves: from 2011 to 2013, jobs in product, graphic and fashion design has increased by an astonishing 17.7 percent, building on record growth from previous years. And with the rise of technology, just think of all the amazing possibilities with these sectors combined…

So have we piqued your interest? Before you go off to change the world, it’s important to have a solid base and by that, we mean a good education to kick-start your career in design. And what better way to learn than with Australia’s longest running art and design college, offering the widest range of visual art programs in the nation?

graphic designer
Image courtesy of Queensland College of Art

The Queensland College of Art at Griffith University is home to a flourishing family of animators, designers, photographers and artists that are responsible for shaping the local and international art and design scene in Brisbane. Ranked in the top three percent of universities worldwide, Griffith is a young but thriving university that aims to be at the forefront of tertiary education.

Why design at the Queensland College of Art?

The three-year full time Bachelor of Design course is a comprehensive degree that covers the important aspects of design. It prepares graduates for the real world through practical and theoretical learning, so you won’t just be sitting in a lecture hall taking notes. There will be plenty of hands-on work to test your creative skills.

The Bachelor of Creative and Interactive Media is another fresh, three-year, full-time degree from Queensland College of Art, offering two world-class majors – Digital Arts and Design (QCA) and Media Applications (ICT) – in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, both of which allow students to take an additional major or minor. These include:

  • Drawing
  • Graphic and Communication Design
  • Interior Design and Environments
  • Product and 3D Design
  • Visualisation Design
  • Media Applications

film and design student
Image courtesy of Queensland College of Art

What the course entails?

During your first year of BA Design, you’ll focus on the development of manual and technological skills, design thinking, problem defining and solving. The school seeks to ensure students understand that design is constantly changing, and over the course of the following years, students are given the opportunity to work on industry-related and research projects, as well as specialise in selected studio areas.

The four majors that will be covered in the academic course are Graphic and Communication Design, Interior Design and Environments, Product and 3D Design, and Visualisation Design. Students in the second year will have the flexibility to choose a major hey believe will help them achieve their career goals.

The Creative and Interactive Media course is known for being highly-technical and interdisciplinary, incorporating the study of design methods, electronic audio, visual media, computation and critical thinking. The innovative combination of these skills result in graduates who excel at producing imaginative concepts, functioning prototypes and interaction designs used in everyday life.

Both courses offer minors in Creative Entrepreneurship, Digital Arts and Design, Illustration, Marketing, Photo Media and Studio Art. And with an established university such as Griffith, students can study even more subjects within the fields of art and design as it provides a variety of interdisciplinary studies. Both courses are taught by leading industry leaders and experts of the field.

Studying an inclusive academic course will prepare you for work in several sectors of the creative industries, such as graphic design, interior design, product design, digital web design, design management, design education, film and television, theatre, furniture design and digital media. But if you don’t feel ready to take the plunge into the real world just yet, you can start by pursuing work experience to give you the confidence and experience you need.

Griffith also provides excellent facilities for its students such as 3D printing, film and photography studios, work-integrated learning studios for students to work on real-world projects under supervision. In addition, design students on this course get the chance to work on the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018.


Image courtesy of Queensland College of Art

Location, location, location…

Another fantastic aspect about Griffith is that Design is offered across two fantastic locations in Australia; either in vibrant Southbank, Brisbane, or in sunny Gold Coast, meaning students can choose between working in the cultural city or by the coast. For international students who are thrilled with the prospect of either place, you can find out more through the accommodation available on and off campus. Aside from a place to stay, Griffith ensures that the students receive a great student experience with a Residential Life program to help students make new friends, learn new cultures and take advantage of invaluable networking opportunities.

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Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock

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