I recently attended design team and photography society’s Pinhole Camera Workshop, which proved to be a fantastic opportunity. Organised in preparation for Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, which takes place on the 26 April, the workshop devoted two hours to crafting our own pinhole cameras from cardboard, a creative venture that I had not experienced before. Intrigued by the event, I decided to find out more about design team, which is an extremely useful, interesting, yet also somewhat underestimated and reserved part of our Student Union. I met this week with design team’s convenor Nathalie Mitchell to learn more of what design team has to offer.

The Saint: Design team is really making a name for itself this year, what have you and the committee been doing that’s different from past committees?

Nathalie Mitchell: I definitely think that having a more structured and standardised schedule has aided in our success. Instead of hosting events sporadically as we have done in the past, we have instead worked out a regular plan of events, which include a workshop every Wednesday, Photoshop and Illustrator classes every Sunday, and regular socials. The redevelopment of the Union has really helped too, as we now have our own design suite! This means that we have a great space for workshops and events, as well as room for new equipment.

Credit: Nathalie Mitchell
Credit: Nathalie Mitchell

TS: I recently attended the Pinhole Camera Workshop, which I thought was great! What other unique workshops you got planned for the near future?

NM: We hosted a book binding workshop last Wednesday, and this Wednesday we have a Screen Printing Workshop organised, which is being made possible by Sarune Savickaite, one of our team members. She previously attended art school and has a vast amount of experience with the craft. It should be very interesting. We will be screen printing on t-shirts, and for those who attended the previous workshop there will be an opportunity for them to screen print their book covers! It’s a class made for beginners, with only a small fee to cover material expenses, and it’s totally inclusive – everyone is welcome.

TS: What about your Photoshop and Illustrator classes, can you tell me more about them?

NM: Like the workshops, these classes are for beginners, and they are on a drop in basis. Each workshop is an independent opportunity, and you can always be sure to learn something new. We cover standard tools, tips and advice in terms of Photoshop, and for Illustrator we can help people learn simple practices in graphic design. We really want to inspire you to be creative and make your own logos and designs. Both classes are only an hour long each, 3-4 pm on Sunday for Photoshop, and 4-5 pm for Illustrator. We also have four computers with all the necessary software for those who do not have access to it, so the classes are completely open to anyone.

Credit: Nathalie Mitchell
Credit: Nathalie Mitchell

TS: What does design team do in terms of publicity for other societies?

NM: We provide publicity for all societies that require it, which is completely free, with the exception of special circumstances. The process is very simple if societies need our help – we are contactable through email, Facebook, and in person, and they submit a design request through these means. The design request essentially involves a basic project overview and any ideas that they have for the publicity, and then we assign them a designer from the committee or the team. They are paired up to create their publicity design.

TS: You’ve been involved with the team for a few years now, can you tell me what being a part of design team has done for you personally?

NM: Oh, a personal question! Well, it’s been a great experience, and I’ll be sad to leave after graduation. However, I’ve met some great people who have the same creative interests as I have, which is invaluable in itself. Design Team has also improved my practical life skills, in terms of organising events, thinking on my feet, and a sense of creatively working with clients. It’s a great opportunity for anyone who is looking to expand themselves out with their studies creatively, and I’d definitely encourage anyone to get involved.

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