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John Kelly - The Open College of the Arts
To find out more details about the transfer to The Open University see A New Chapter for OCA.

John Kelly

Graduating from Leeds Beckett University with a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design and MA in Graphic Art & Design. I have established several successful graphic design and digital media businesses, whilst working in higher education. This fusion of working across the industry and university sectors has enabled me to develop added value strategies for students, which generate a deeper understanding of commercial practice and develop industry related student initiatives. I firmly believe in empowering students with ownership of curriculum and critical live decision-making.

Whilst working with students in higher education I established After Hours the first student led commercial design studio in the country at Bradford College and later Canalside Media at the University of Huddersfield. Both studios encouraged student centred learning and inclusive curriculum development. Final year students would take on the roles and responsibilities associated with a  design agency, whilst second year students would act as assistants working and learning with final year students. Students who did not have the confidence or time to commit to roles associated with the studio could work on individual projects within the studio to give them real time experience of industry. This practise-based experience gave students a deeper understanding of the industry and was directly responsible for employment for many graduates prior to graduation.

My current research explores the manifestations of data shadows and visual residues contained within artefacts and archives to evaluate their potential role in the generation of graphic outcomes. The role of narrative is explored in the design process as a mode of graphic design communication, narrative is pivotal in establishing the contexts of events, including historical and personal experiences. Techniques of deconstruction and reconstruction are embedded within storytelling practices. Storytelling and narrative development can facilitate a deeper and more meaningful experience for the designer and ultimately a more engaging visual encounter for an audience. In the creative industries, holding conversations with the target audience is commonplace to gain insights and generate content. In this respect, auto-ethnographic research has and is used centrally in the development of design strategies without being labelled as such. Rather than being called auto-ethnography, it is often referred to as ‘co-create’ or ‘my story.’ The student experience is also improved and enhanced by using narrative as a teaching method. It encourages students to contextualise and measure design outcomes.


John Kelly