University of Westminster reveals portfolio site encouraging young designers to “share” ideas

Design studio Start has created Folio, an online platform where the university’s 20,000 art and design students can upload their own work, and like and share other people’s.

The University of Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design has a new portfolio site for its students, which aims to enable them to share ideas and critique each other’s work.

Folio is a new website that removes the need for the school’s 20,000 students to have their own individual, online portfolios.

“Encourage” students to upload work

It has been created by design consultancy Start, with the aim of “encouraging” students to upload and share their work, and hopes to “celebrate their talent”.

Students build profiles on the site, upload their work, and can add tags so that their projects are easily searchable. They can also “like” each other’s work, which aims to allow them to crowd-source feedback on projects.

It includes a simple top navigation bar, with options of “profile”, “notifications”, “add work” and “search”, with a top carousel banner of blogs, articles and news under it.

A “latest work” scroll features underneath this, and visitors to the site can scroll through to see the most recently uploaded projects. “Latest curations” is under this, which is a scroll of project compilations or collections, followed by “tutor and guest curations”, which features tutors’ picks of work.

The site uses a monochrome colour palette with an all-caps, sans-serif logo in the top left corner, allowing the bright colours of students’ work to be the centre-piece.

Anyone can browse

The Folio site, which is yet to go live, will be open for non-students to view too, such as tutors at the University of Westminster, or any guests who wish to browse junior designers’ work.

It aims to be a “supportive” platform for students and junior designers, says Darren Whittingham, chief creative officer at Start, where they can upload their work, gain feedback and make improvements to projects.

“Improve” and “better” work

He says: “Folio is about giving a new wave of designers a platform to share their passion, talent and creativity in a supportive digital environment.”

“It also lets students undertake a continuous process of improvement, betterment and refinement to create work that solves real-world problems,” he adds.

Jonathan Stockdale, associate dean at the University of Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design, adds that the platform aims to “help prepare students for their future careers in the industry”, by allowing those from different courses, modules and design disciplines to “connect”.

The site will launch in the coming weeks.

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