Circle Square collaborates with Manchester School of Art Students

Initiative giving budding designers and artists the opportunity to work in a business environment

Circle Square, Manchester’s newest city centre neighbourhood based at the former BBC site on Oxford Road, has joined forces with Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Circle Square and lecturers at MSA teamed up and created a design brief for year one students, tasking them with the design of large-scale creative hoardings.

The artwork was unveiled this week and is displayed on the site hoardings that surround the 2.4 million sq. ft. plot based at the heart of Corridor Manchester.

The campaign with MSA features the core values of Circle Square, a joint venture between Bruntwood and Select Property Group, which includes architecture, greenery, community and collaboration.

Ten groups of students from the interdisciplinary Unit X initiative were invited to present their proposals to Circle Square’s senior project team at their offices.

Unit X is an assessed part of each student’s course enabling them to improve their professional aspirations by working in teams with students from other subjects on projects with industry professionals.

The winning group, brought together students from Graphic Design and Illustration with Animation disciplines, who worked collaboratively on the opposing themes of deconstruction and growth for their proposal; Jack Ramsay (BA(Hons) Graphic Design), Aine Curley (BA(Hons) Graphic Design), and Amy Needham (BA(Hons) Illustration with Animation) (pictured).

The project is part of the university’s focus on employability and has given rising stars of the art and design world the chance to work on a real client project, learn how to work collaboratively and experience first hand how real design and media teams operate. Amy was invited to work with Select’s creative team at their offices and Aine and Jack worked alongside Bruntwood’s Marketing team.

Ana Vieitez, marketing manager at Circle Square, says: “Our vision, as the city centre’s new neighbourhood, is to bring communities of forward-thinking people, creatives, businesses and students together. Our fantastic location at the heart of Corridor Manchester presents us with the opportunity to collaborate with a huge range of people and launch exciting projects that would not otherwise be possible.

“We were thrilled when Manchester School of Art approached us about this partnership, and we were overwhelmed by the quality of the work presented to us by the students.”

Ian Whadcock, Senior Lecturer on the BA(Hons) Illustration with Animation course at MSA adds: “This open, experimental brief has encouraged the students to work together with the other artistic disciplines at the faculty, as well as teaching them how to conduct research, work with budgets and pitch to clients.

“Merging the academic and professional world in this way will help prepare the students for a life outside of university, and we’re proud to be offering them such an exciting opportunity.”

“A microsite featuring the work presented by each group will launch early next year and will display a selection of our past collaborations, including our work with Manchester Literature Festival 2016 and Hubbub, along with future partnerships.

We’re inviting the people and businesses of Manchester to submit their ideas on potential partnership initiatives,” adds Ana.