Life on MA: Communication Design
At Norwich University of the Arts, students on the MA Communication Design explore all aspects of print and digital design and take part in professional collaborations.
Part time student Richard Wood discusses his transition from medicine to design and his experience so far of life at NUA.
What brought you to NUA?
Before I started my MA Communication Design I was working for a bespoke sportswear company. I designed custom sports kits for teams and schools of various sizes, from grassroots to highly recognised teams, as well as marketing materials for the company. Prior to this I studied medicine in Norwich, though I did not go on to work in the NHS.
I felt that in order to get a real grasp of the opportunities that are present within the creative industries my best bet would be to return to education where I could draw on the advice and expertise of a brilliant faculty, as well as my peers, some of whom have experience of working in the creative industries themselves. I was impressed with the links that NUA has to industry and the emphasis that is put on preparing students for life after graduation.
Can you tell us a bit about your practice?
My main area of interest is design for print, though the Communication Design course allows you to explore all aspects of design. I am currently exploring Chinese typography and working on a flip book to inspire an interest in learning Mandarin Chinese, where I am exploring new techniques such as blind embossing and binding – easy to do at NUA where we have a wide variety of facilities and the expert advice of the workshop technicians.
Other projects that I am working on at the moment include a submission to the Bolivian Poster Biennial, as well as starting to organise a graphic design exhibition for students on undergraduate and postgraduate courses, due to be held in 2020.
How do you find the creative community in Norwich?
Overall, the community is friendly, welcoming and supportive. It’s been great meeting such a diverse group of peers who have travelled from all over the world to study at NUA. There is a real feeling of community among the students and staff, as well as in the city as a whole.
We are lucky in Norwich to have a thriving creative community spanning music, performance and events, as well as art and design. There are a number of local studios producing high quality work, and we also have the opportunity to meet locally practicing creatives through the university’s regular networking events.
"For me it was important to work in an industry that I was passionate about and that I found exciting and inspiring every day."
How did you get involved in interning for East GalleryNUA?
I originally applied for a job at East GalleryNUA on the advice of a friend and am now working as a Gallery Intern. It’s a fantastic job to have while studying; the hours are sensible and it’s always rewarding to be able to interact with the public to promote an interest in the arts, as well as the university, among local residents and visitors to the city. I’m really proud of the space, both as an employee, a student and a resident of Norwich.
Do you have any advice for someone thinking of changing careers?
I think that it can be quite daunting to change career direction, especially as you get older, however in my case it was the best decision that I’ve made. Having some experience of the field beforehand helped me to make an informed decision when I left medicine and I would suggest that anyone looking to make a similar move should do their research and think about it carefully. For me it was important to work in an industry that I was passionate about and that I found exciting and inspiring every day- and luckily that is something that I’ve now found!