Students tackle airport brief in Cardiff Design Festival

Students will work on designs for Cardiff International Airport as part of this year’s Cardiff Design Festival, which is to be held in October.

The airport has set students from Cardiff School of Art & Design a brief to improve its visitor experience. The winning idea could potentially be commissioned.

Elmwood is leading the project, which will include nine competing groups of students and nine Welsh design groups acting as professional mentors. Elmwood design director Michael Smith, who is Welsh but based in the consultancy’s London office, sets students a design brief every year as part of the festival, but says that this is the first time a client has agreed to potentially take on one of the designs, which could include a ’digital or static graphic solution to improve the airport’s brand experience’, according to Smith.

The University of Wales Institute, Cardiff’s enterprise co-ordinator Angela Dutton, who coorganises the festival, says, ’The festival really seems to have caught fire this year. People in the design community – and beyond – have come up with lots of suggestions without us having to do much cajoling’.

National Museum Wales, which runs several of the city’s museums and galleries, is organising a day of design talks at its venues. The social design forum Think Ark, which launched at last year’s festival, is also planning to host an event.

The festival, which promotes work by Welshbased or Welsh-born designers, launched its website – designed by Cardiff Bay-based Hoffi – and awards on Friday. The awards will be judged by Lloyd Northover Group chairman David Worthington and Seymour Powell’s Richard Seymour, among others.

Dutton is expecting about 50 Welsh design groups to enter work into the showcase, with about 33 projects making it through to the exhibition and about nine or ten awards being won. The awards categories include graphics, packaging, branding, product, furniture, interiors, Web and new media, TV graphics, information and environmental design.

This year’s festival, which will be the sixth, opens on 1 October at the Senedd, hosted by the National Assembly for Wales’ deputy presiding officer Lord Dafydd Thomas. The showcase of design consultancies’ work will run at the Wales Millennium Centre from 12 October to the end of that month.

A physical showcase of examples of Welsh design will be on show at the New Cardiff Central Library in October and November. The Cardiff Design Festival will run from 1-16 October.

More highlights of Cardiff Design Festival 2010

Portfolio clinic, where about 25 designers will advise 50 students from local design colleges and universities

Design Wales business seminar on colour trends

A new award category for design thinking Grand Recycled Ball

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