As the academic year draws towards the end, we can reflect on 3 full years of Co.LAB – both in terms of the success of the individual projects in addition to the contribution and impact it has generated to the region. Attempting to record this impact is difficult. However, with one of the main ambitions of our work to develop design pedagogies through collaboration, we have attempted to record all the projects in terms of these collaborative partners.
The following info-graphics illustrate the different forms of collaborations:
- the larger circles represent the recognisable disciplines we work within; the blue/green being the school and University respectively; the three red/orange circles being industry, cultural and community organisations.
- each circle acts as a sphere of influence. Each circle contains the individual organisations that falls within that particular discipline.
- the curves illustrate the collaborative links between the disciplines in three forms; standard links to enable a project for the students/staff, cross links that connect organisations from one discipline to another, inner links establishing connections between two institutions/organisations in the same discipline.
Top left: cross discipline links :: Top right: standard links :: Bottom left: inner discipline links :: Bottom right: influences of each discipline circle
At first glance there is a high quantity of links that connect to the various programmes of the school (standard links) which is logical as a basic format for setting up a Co.LAB project does require such a collaboration in the first place. The inner discipline and cross discipline links are of more interest and illustrate the success (or limitation) of these collaborations – but also indicate that we should develop more inner discipline connections. Essentially to develop a concentration of activity and strengthen that discipline with shared knowledge , design approaches and new partnerships. The strongest influence, at this moment in time, comes from the cultural organisations with a higher intensity of connections. Not surprising if you consider our proximity to Digbeth with its concentration of creative industries. It has also benefited from the tighter network within the creative sector that allows opportunities to arise relatively easily and quickly.
The info-graphic is only a conceptual analytical piece of research, as in it is still work in progress. However, whilst the criteria of categorising the links may not have been the most scientific, it does help visualise one of our core aims. From this, we hope to build upon the impact as well as foster connections between organisations – on the back of creating these first links with Co.LAB.
Note: if you notice any errors or omissions, please let us know and we will be happy to update it!
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