London Met helps Design students kick-start their careers

London Metropolitan University is piloting a new initiative to help design students launch their careers and provide support to students beyond graduation.

Date: 15 November 2016

Cass Starters is an innovative project to support recent graduates from the Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design in setting up crowdfunding campaigns, including assisting in creating promotional videos, developing websites and helping to publicise the campaigns. Accelerator, London Met’s business incubator, has also lent its support to the pilot initiative.

The campaigns featured in the trial project have proven to be extremely successful, with all four graduates reaching their fundraising targets within 4 days of launching.

It is hoped that the use of crowdfunding as a progressive business model, alongside the University’s guidance and promotion, will create a new opportunity for future generations of students.

Andy Stone, Head of The Cass, said: “The Cass Starters pilot is one of several initiatives at The Cass emerging from an institution-wide focus on student employability and entrepreneurship and which saw the school score 96% in the most recent DLHE survey. While most activities - from the studio model, through to work placements and live project briefs - are delivered during study, Cass Starters extends that attention and support beyond graduation, in this case literally helping to kick-start careers.”

The programme was initiated by four graduates from The Cass; Isabel Farchy, Nicholas Marschner, Ray Gonzalez Brown and Tim Summers, under the direction of 3D design studio leader and renowned designer Peter Marigold.

The four campaigns in the project are:

  • Test Cups: a series of coat hooks and handles by Isabel Farchy
  • Cardboard Ceramics: corrugated ceramic cups by Ray Gonzalez Brown
  • Hooked: a coat hook by Nicholas Marschner
  • Wobbly Peyote: a simple slot-together game of balance and skill by Tim Summers, who won a ‘Heal’s Discovers 2016’ award

Peter Marigold said: “Crowdfunding is an open door to young designers right on their doorsteps right now. I’m happy and proud that these four great designers are taking a risk in showing the entire world their work in this way and hopefully establishing a platform for future generations of graduates working in collaboration with the University.”

Andy Stone continued: “Student engagement in higher education is increasingly focused on students actively collaborating with their degree programmes. A degree is more than just a product and Cass Starters is an excellent example of the meaningful and reciprocal partnership that is emerging between students and universities. At The Cass we are constantly reviewing how this partnership can be developed to support our students' success and this year our 'Making a Living' event, a two-week festival of employability, will offer opportunities for this at all levels of study."