Design students at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen have raised concerns following a decision to move their Visual Communication degree course to another building, which they say will mean a lack of easy access to essential facilities.
According to the unhappy undergraduates, represented by visual communication student Hannah Prittie, staff and students have recently learnt that they are to be rehoused in a ‘basement down the road’ in September.
Prittie claims that this will mean they will not have direct access to the studios, facilities, darkrooms, workshops and materials, and will be removed from other art students.
They were advised of the change by incoming head of school Stuart MacDonald, formerly director of The Lighthouse in Glasgow.
‘Everyone is very annoyed, says Prittie. ‘I realise that commercial concerns are placed above academic and creative fulfilment in universities today, but surely by appointing a head of school from The Lighthouse, you expect at least some support for design education.’
However, defending the decision, MacDonald maintains that the course will be located in the School of Architecture building, which is just 100 metres away, so the facilities will be readily available.
‘I think that the students will have a better idea of how the courses work through this experience,’ he says.