Using and integrating technology to support learning is at the heart of what Bradford College does and planning for our new building has expanded the reach of what is possible. To celebrate this and share knowledge and enthusiasm, A Carnival of Technologies is being held on 24th April (with a preview day for staff and students opening at 11am on Monday 23rd). First year students from Bradford School of Arts & Media’s BA (Hons) Graphic Design, Illustration & Digital Media course were charged with creating publicity material to advertise the event, with an iPad promised for the best design.
Communicating the combination of ‘technology’ and ‘carnival’ presented a conceptual challenge initially. But once Chris Clayton, Bradford College’s IT Customer Service Manager, was able to explain his vision, it came to life for the students. During the nineteenth century travelling carnivals entertained the public with the wonders of the latest inventions as well as curiosities, performances, fun and frolics. So when Chris wanted to encourage staff to embrace technology and make them excited about the future in an event that promised all the fun of the fairground, he was bringing an old idea up to date. Chris said, “Initially my concept was to showcase all the current technologies available to enhance teaching to promote their take up by staff but since the College is beginning to build a new campus the idea has grown to include potential technologies. The new building will incorporate lots of new technologies and this gives people a taster of things to come. But it is not also a chance to gain their feedback and discover what staff and students want from technology. It is not just gizmos and gadgets; there will be chances to discuss the issues plus lots of surprises and fun.”
The idea was taken up by teams from IT Services, Learner Services and staff working on the new build. They have all worked with suppliers to create an innovative event which has such broad appeal that invitations have been extended to other professionals working in education, strategic planning, construction design and IT. Such is the importance of this event that a great deal of preparation has gone into ensuring that promotional material was perfect. Lecturer Brian Hindmarch explained “Thirty students took part in the poster design exercise, which formed part of their degree course assessment on block colour and use of technology, as well as being a live brief. Lecturer John Stainton and I then trimmed the entries to a shortlist of eight.”
Jackie Robertshaw, Application Developer and IT Trainer said, “Over the course of time Chris Clayton and I met with the students on three separate occasions; to deliver the brief, critique the first drafts of work and then for the final selection. This involvement means we can really appreciate the effort made. Some of the designs were only hand drawn when we first saw them and the detail of all the elements in the final versions was impressive. Students came up with some amazing straplines that we have included in the dedicated website. Slogans like ‘Live in your world, learn in ours’ and the word ‘Fun’ctional captured what the event is all about. The poster brief was integrated into coursework so Brian came up with three points for us to score the finalists: technical level, use of colour and use of typography. As well as the winner we had originally planned to use six designs on the website but the standard was so high we used all eight.” The winning poster will be displayed around College and all the finalists’ work can be seen on the Carnival of Technologies website, on exhibition stands and badges.
The clear winner was Ashley Jenkins’ design of a strongman holding up a cocktail won universal approval among the judges. Ashley said, “At first carnival and technology seemed to be very different themes. I discarded a lot of my original designs based on illustration and decided to use hand drawn typography to see if I could incorporate the title into the theme. Once I did this, the ideas flowed and it only took about eight hours to complete. It is quite humorous as the event is meant to be enjoyable and I like to have fun with my work.”
The finalists were all presented with a £20 voucher to spend in the Yorkshire Craft Centre Art shop and Ashley is delighted with his iPad.