From education to employment

Milton Keynes College Student designs adopted by top professional manufacturer

Students from @MKCollege have had their designs included in the professional catalogue of a top acoustic panel maker. The collaboration with AgileAcoustics from West Yorkshire could see the student designs appearing in office and homes all over the country.

The company traditionally makes panels which reduce the noise in busy offices. The recent explosion in home working could lead to that demand being switched to homes as people sit in dining rooms or at the kitchen table to make their business video calls. Now the company has got together with the College to produce attractive designs for that market.

Course Team Leader at the College for Fashion and Textiles, Gemma Hudson-Findley, says,

“Having the opportunity to collaborate with businesses is a wonderful experience for everyone involved. It enables the students to put into practice the skills we teach them in real life scenarios which helps to embed practical knowledge and expose them to career paths they didn’t know were open to them. Working with AgileAcoustics has opened myriad options for the students who now understand the skills learned on this course are truly transferable. I’m so proud of all of my students who have taken part and the professional results they have achieved.”

AgileAcoustics boss, Stuart Jones says,

“What struck me was how commercially-minded Gemma and her colleagues are. The designs are genuinely worthy of their place in our catalogue. You can see the amount of thought, effort and time which has gone into them. I love the fact that every design has a story of the individual student behind them and that adds to the appeal for people who might buy the prints.”

The catalogue the designs are in is already attracting interest from a number of clients including a Global TV production company and a very large property company. Stuart says, “Nobody really knows how many people will go back to offices once this crisis is over and how much working from home is here to stay. Either way we now have a product which could be used in both and that’s really exciting.”

College Head of School for Arts and Media, Kate Bashford says,

“The Group Head of Estates came to me with this opportunity through her contacts so this isn’t just an example of collaboration with an outside business but between College departments too. I could immediately see its potential. It’s impossible to overestimate the importance that work like this is for our students – not just in terms of providing designs for a professional client, but also because it will really help their CVs stand out when they go looking for work. With thousands of students acquiring the same or similar qualifications, opportunities like these help our students to stand out in what is a very competitive jobs market.”

Student Leah Benn says,

“As someone who wants to go into surface and textile design this was a real opportunity to experience what it’s like to design for a client. To see my work being used commercially is amazing.”

Another student, Tommy Cross, added,

“I learned many new skills problem solving my final design and I feel a massive confidence boost knowing my designs are being sold commercially. It’s also strengthened my CV allowing me to explore different pathways which may have not been offered to me before”

A further bonus for the students is that when any of their designs are ordered they will receive a royalty fee as part of the deal. 

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