Launch of NCAD + UCD Collaborative Academic Venture Highlights Importance of Design

Monday, 26th January 2015

Today, (26.01.15) marks the launch of ‘NCAD + UCD’, a HEA-funded project to develop the institutional relationship between University College Dublin (UCD) and the National College of Art and Design (NCAD).

Background to the Project
In October 2013, UCD and NCAD received funding under the HEA Strategic Innovation and Development Fund (SIDF) 2013.  From the funding allocated, a project was established, as well as an associated project team who produced a detailed strategy plan for the future relationship.

NCAD + UCD draws on existing and previous planning processes, on models of best practice internationally, and on HEA and government policy. Work to date has centred primarily on creating and developing collaborative opportunities, with a focus on fostering and creating collaborative academic initiatives as well as operational synergies in the area of international student recruitment.

Project Strands
At present, there are three individual academic initiatives to the NCAD + UCD project, which inform one another in a variety of ways. One area linking each of the initiatives is the opportunity for studio- and practise-based learning offered to prospective students.

1) MA Interaction Design: Led by Emma Creighton, the new programme is a one-year taught Masters delivered at NCAD in conjunction with UCD. Covering both the theoretical and practical aspects of interaction design, the course encourages students to design from both a pragmatic and speculative perspective in the creation of experiences, products, services, environments, and systems. Bringing together students from a range of fields including design, art, computer science, social science, and business, the MA prepares graduates to play a leading role in the development of emerging technology in society.

2) The Centre for Creative Arts & Critical Cultures: The centre will promote, initiate and coordinate academic activity in the domain of creative arts and critical cultures. It seeks to support a cross-institutional, creative academic community whose work bears an affinity of interest in the arts, culture and critical studies—amplifying the impact and reach of this work across both institutions, and beyond to wider society. It will achieve these aims by developing and supporting new teaching and research initiatives, promoting the activities of its affiliated members, and facilitating collaborations between the two institutions.

3) In Situ: Urban: The NCAD + UCD project nurtures joint activity which will expand and enhance pedagogic, research and outreach capacities of each institution. The In Situ proposition is that opportunities presented by working ‘in situ’ – specifically in Dublin 8 – and engaging with issues of urbanism, urban ecologies and sustainable communities, will involve engaged creativities and situated learning, in ‘real world’ socio-economic/cultural settings, combining ‘software’ and ‘hardware’ innovation. This will involve joint practise based activities, leading to the development of joint programmes and partnerships with a range of relevant statutory bodies and local non-statutory agencies and organisations.

In addition, in July 2015, UCD and NCAD will join forces to offer a unique summer school programme giving students the opportunity to pursue their disciplinary and scholarly interests through a creative and critical engagement with the city.

A number of cross-institutional programmes and events will run throughout 2015, encompassing a series of talks and exhibitions.

Visit www.ncad-ucd.ie for more information, or follow the hashtag on Twitter #ncaducd.

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