Talent spotters: National College of Art and Design, Dublin

As part of our Talent Spotters series of degree show reviews, designer Sara O’Dea picks out her three favourite projects from the visual communications exhibition at The National College of Art and Design in Dublin…

As part of our Talent Spotters series of degree show reviews, designer Sara O’Dea picks out her three favourite projects from the visual communications exhibition at The National College of Art and Design in Dublin…

The National College of Art and Design is a reservoir of creative talent. The show was missing the polish of some of the others I attended [O’Dea also reviewed IADT’s show in Dun Laoghaire] but personally, I was much more interested in seeing the rougher elements that showed me the thought process behind a project than well-crafted business cards and portfolio websites.

Rather than having one obvious theme, the show featured many concepts and a wide variety of skills and media. The very talented Steve Simpson is a guest lecturer at the college, and his influence could be seen throughout the illustration work. Strong typography skills and tangible craft work also shone through.

The first project that caught my eye was Mica Warren‘s Make Yourself Comfortable. The project deals with why, as a designer, it is so important to break out of the unproductive, unfulfilling online world and experience life in the real world to its fullest.

Through collaboration and participation, Warren tried to gain a greater understanding of himself and others around him by breaking out of his comfort zone [he sets himself a series of challenges to overcome, which are documented in the magazine below]. It’s a really interesting project for those who feel stuck in an online rut and fear losing the connection with our tangible skills.

 

 

 

Julianna Szaabo‘s Bin Your Gum (top and below) was another project that caught my eye. Szaabo created an integrated campaign to raise awareness of the impact of improperly discarded gum and and promote throwing it in the bin. The project featured a stop motion animation, an interactive display that was triggered when gum was dropped in the bin, and a beautifully crafted paper replica of Grafton Street in Dublin.

 

 

 

Michael Sloane‘s branding for Design Gym also stood out. Design Gym is a concept for an institute where creative, innovative and imaginative thinking is encouraged in children aged 8 to 12 through problem solving and exploring ideas. I felt the illustration for this really brought the idea to life:

 

 

This is just a taster of what the NCAD graduate show had to offer – outside of the visual communication exhibition, there was a great display of talent from the industrial design and fine art students, too.

 

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