Manchester School of Art
Under the leadership of Professor David Crow, the Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University underwent a radical repositioning, reverting back to its original name and founding ethos of ‘supporting the creative economy of the region’.
This fundamental rethink has been translated into a £34m programme to create an entirely new building and refurbish those existing sites that have fallen into disrepair. These carefully thought out facilities will reinforce the school’s plans to enhance multidisciplinary and collaborative working through curriculum innovation.
A major part of this process was the establishment of the Manchester Design Lab, a multi-tiered project linked to professionals working in the region, design studios, city galleries, regional councillors and researchers. The department now includes Contemporary Crafts Practice and has been augmented with a Media Lab, with these Labs now linked across the University to colleagues in Science, Engineering and Humanities.
Another innovative scheme being introduced into the curriculum by Professor Crow and his colleagues is the experimental ‘Unit X’ programme. Implemented across the entire undergraduate curriculum, ‘Unit X’ broadens perceptions and applications of design theory by ensuring every art student takes part in an external facing, multidisciplinary team project in each year of their study.
Staff teams have been assembled to support this collaborative work both inside and outside the School of Art, with plans afoot to link the staff and students at Manchester School of Art with other major institutions along what is now known as The Corridor, which extends along Oxford Road and includes Manchester Central Library at one end and The Whitworth at the other.