The Design and Technology Associations’ flagship Teachers in Residence program went international with a placement in Singapore. This program has been devised to help bridge the gap between industry and education by providing teachers with firsthand experience in the creative fields and arming them with tools and technologies relevant in industry to take back to the classroom. It also offers unrivalled networking opportunities between the education sector and industry. This case study explores Kathryn Hall’s participation in the program and the impact it had on her teaching practices as the Director of Visual Art and Design & Technology at Dulwich College in Singapore. She was placed at Bulletproof Design Studio also based in Singapore although they also have offices in London, New York, Amsterdam, Sydney, Shanghai, and Melbourne. Bulletproof are members of our Blueprint 1000 initiative to tackle the skills gap and forge meaningful networks between the worlds of industry and education.
Background and opportunity
Kathryn Hall is an experienced educator with a passion for Design & Technology, she sought to check that she was still stay up-to-date with the latest innovations, approach and tools utilised in industry. She came across an article in Practice magazine that highlighted the Teacher in Residence program as a valuable opportunity to connect with the industry and was subsequently contacted to be offered a placement.
Bulletproof specialises in brand strategy, client services, and creative design. They work with a diverse range of clients to develop brand identities, user experiences, and design solutions. Bulletproof collaborates with businesses to create impactful and engaging designs that align with clients’ goals and values. Bulletproof have successfully hosted previous teachers in residence at their London studio.
Starting the Placement
Kathryn participated in a three-day placement during the final term of the academic year. Although initially intimidating as the new person, Kathryn found the Bulletproof office welcoming, warm, and trendy. The office manager had organised sessions with various departments, allowing Kathryn to gain insights into the different facets of a design agency. This experience emphasized the importance of cohesive and engaging brand development, including product, packaging, and purchasing experiences.
Kathryn discovered that her teaching practices at Dulwich College were aligned with industry trends, emphasising creativity, concept development, and addressing important issues such as diversity, sustainability, and well-being. This included teaching the same software that is being used in the studio. She learned how even small tweaks, like reducing paper packaging size, can have a positive impact on the environmental footprint of global brands.
Taking Lessons to the Classroom
Inspired by her experience, Kathryn resolved to incorporate more authentic client requirements and contexts in her projects. She recognised the significance of soliciting client feedback throughout the design process and aimed to cultivate creative thinkers with conceptual understandings.
The placement highlighted the industry’s demand for “creative technologists” who go beyond traditional graphic design. Kathryn found the prospect of exploring creative technologies, such as immersive experiences and 4-dimensional installations, particularly exciting.
Kathryn established valuable connections during her Teacher in Residence placement, fostering possibilities for future collaborations with Bulletproof. These opportunities included potential internships for students, portfolio reviews, and keynote talks at Dulwich College.
This connection enables Bulletproof to liaise with educators and gain access to a pool of talented students who are in the early stages of their design education. Building relationships with educational institutions provides studios with skilled and motivated designers of the future.
Collaborating with educational institutions demonstrates a commitment to supporting the growth and development of the design community and shows a commitment to help foster growth and learning.
This active engagement with education can also ensure that top talent is attracted to the company as students are more likely to be drawn to studios with a strong connection to their educational institution.
Kathryn encourages other educators to seek similar partnerships through the program or their own connections to provide meaningful experiences for students and prepare them for the future of design.
The Teachers in Residence Program in Singapore offered Kathryn Hall an invaluable opportunity to bridge the gap between industry and education. Through her experience at Bulletproof, she gained confirmation in the relevance of her teaching practices and built networking links. The program reinforced the importance of staying updated with industry trends, cultivating critical thinking skills, and nurturing students’ conceptual understandings.
This placement was mutually beneficial for Bulletproof. Connecting with educational institutions offers design studios numerous advantages, including access to emerging talent, collaborative opportunities, real-world relevance, professional development, and enhanced brand awareness. These connections contribute to the overall growth and success of design studios by fostering innovation, talent acquisition, and staying current with industry trends.
Find out more about Bulletproof here: https://www.wearebulletproof.com/
The field of brand and design continues to evolve, particularly with the onset of new tech. Currently, AI is bringing change to design but it relies on creatively minded people open to thinking across problems. Kathryn embraced this and the bigger idea of experience and how to open students to this approach. It was a pleasure having Kathryn here.
The team at Bulletproof were fantastic and passionate about what they do. I talked to a few people about the possibility of future work internships for our students, potential portfolio reviews or keynote talks at the College.