Three lockdowns haven’t dampened the creativity of the Class of 2021. This group of 3rd year BA and 4th yr MDes Surface Pattern Design Graduates have proven themselves to be talented, resilient and professional; honing their outlook to embrace opportunities as and when they arise. Boasting an impressive multidisciplinary skillset, the Class of 21 is even more digitally literate than generations previous, whilst still maintaining their love and dedication to the hand, materiality and making. This year’s work is characterised by forward looking themes relating to wellbeing, responsibility through design, escapism and joy – there is something wonderfully upbeat in the air.
During this last year, the Class of 21 have navigated some excellent live briefs – most notably with global textile industry leaders Patternbank, and Swansea’s renowned visual and applied arts gallery, Mission Gallery. In the lead up to the show, opportunities have been flooding in; the creative industries are fighting back, and this group of graduates are a highly desirable commodity to them. They will be at the forefront of a new generation of designers solving the problems of and adapting to a post pandemic world. They have had a ‘heads up,’ they’ve been doing their homework, the programme has been preparing them for the change. These graduates can go to the workplace in the knowledge that they have been able to evolve in preparation for this, and they are ready to make their impact.
We thank the Class of 21 for this journey we have all been on together – it’s been challenging at times, and a blast at others. We shall miss the spaces that we have shared ‘virtually.’ We’ve got to know pets, said hello to housemates, learned where they get the best internet signal, we’ve seen their rooms transform to studios and we’ve watched them flourish. We’ve been moved to see them back on campus, and inspired to see them squeeze every bookable minute out of the socially distanced workshop rotas! At times we’ve been very far apart, and missed our 5th floor studio and workshops dearly, but we have managed to stay together; our creative SPD community has bound us, and seen us through.
Class of 21 you have been amazing!
Georgia McKie - Programme Manager