4th year design coordinator, Dr. Sing D'Arcy's reflection on grad studio

4th year design coordinator, Dr. Sing D'Arcy's reflection on grad studio

Dr. Sing d'Arcy is the 4th year coordinator for Design Studio, the core BIA subject. Having taught Graduation Studio for the past five years he provides insight into what this course entails:

This is my fifth year in the Graduation Studio, which is a great honour as well as being a big responsibility. Having re-written the course into its present form in 2013 I believe that the two-semester structure of ‘research’ and ‘resolve’ allows students to fully develop as independent research-based designers. What is great about this is that it sets up anyone who completes the degree with life-long learning skills and problem solving abilities – essential attributes to enter the design professions or affiliated industries. In preparing the development of the course the BIA consulted very closely with industry and asked them what they wanted of our graduates. We then fashioned the courses to ensure that all students could demonstrate competency – and excellence – in the areas of: research and communication; spatial planning, documentation; detailed design and furniture/lighting design; presentation skills; and professional entry knowledge such as ‘how design offices work’. This close relationship with industry is further reinforced by our graduate internships we have built with firms such as Geyer, SJB, Hassell and Bates Smart. It is these features that particularly mark out the way that UNSW BIA is conceived as a holistic, research-based, professionally-focussed pathway into the design profession and post-graduate research.

I particularly enjoy teaching design studio, not only to see such interesting design ideas produced week after week, but also having many interesting conversations with such a variety of people. I enjoy all the laughs that can be had when often discussing somewhat serious issues relating to design. For me it’s important that the students feel relaxed and confident and able to discuss whatever the feel is relevant to their processes. Of course, teaching Graduation Studio I’m fortunate enough to see students produce their best work and to see the smiling faces at the Graduation Show exhibition. 

As a staff member that has seen quite a few graduating years pass, each cohort of students can be compared to a vintage of wine. Each vintage has its distinct flavour, structure, and of course after a couple of years of maturation, a full-rounded development. This year’s cohort has really demonstrated a high-level of application to tasks, and a very good level of documentation skills. This I believe was partly responsible from the new Technics stream that the cohort went through. The presentation levels are very impressive with a deft ability to utilise technology for very creative ends. I have no doubt that within this year will emerge some of the future leaders in the design field.

 Dr. Sing d'Arcy - Senior BIA Lecturer & Coordinator