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About Us

Radical and revolutionary, contemporary design has the power to both redefine our everyday lives and solve urgent global issues. Staff and students from the School of Design + Communication are pushing the boundaries of aesthetics to affect real-world change.

Plymouth College of Art is known internationally as home to physical and digital working environments that encompass some of the richest and most diverse ecosystems of materials, technologies, processes and practices available in an art school.

Our academic schools understand that for creative and intellectual curiosity to flourish, this requires the right balance of ingredients; from access to internationally-acclaimed artists and industry professionals, to world class campus-based specialist workshops and studios; from inspirational teaching that reimagines the world we live in, to flexible approaches to learning that encourage participation and heighten creative engagement.

At Plymouth College of Art, we invite and inspire new modes of creative practice that redefine citizenship in the 21st century. Our programmes examine the interconnectedness of the arts and society, exploring distinct disciplines, expanded fields of study, and the spaces emerging between, across and beyond.

To produce meaningful design, whether it be an environment, product, service, or performance, requires a designer to balance and creatively reinvent the social interface between maker and end-user. Never just the work of aesthetics or form, design revolutionises the social relationships we value and cultivate.

Whilst good design shows how form solves problems or conveys complexity in beautiful ways, it simultaneously fosters a way of thinking about our world as a shared experience. In the School of Design + Communication we address the constantly shifting territories of contemporary design, considering the breadth of design thinking alongside material and digital practices in establishing new approaches, forms and possibilities.

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Graduate Fashion Week, BA (Hons) Fashion

The School of Design + Communication acknowledges the rich history of design relative to industry and manufacturing, whilst embracing radical new forms of design as modes of intervention, play and transformation. By utilising new technologies, identifying emerging markets and defining more sustainable methods in their work, we bring purposeful design into everyday lives to solve the most urgent issues we face as a community and society.

Our innovative approach to your learning incorporates our extended creative studio pedagogy – a hybrid of online and on-campus creative practice within our diverse industry-standard studios and workshops. This is supported through regular one-to-one and group teaching in studios and workshops; and live through our digital platforms to include video-streamed guest lectures by internationally-acclaimed designers, digital roundtable discussions with industry pros, online peer-to-peer crits and technical workshops.

Our units of study are designed to deliver a tailored art-school experience that builds your technical skills, nurtures your ideas and develops your conceptual and critical voice, connecting you with real-world projects nationally, internationally and in our local community. Moreover, our curriculum is designed to accelerate the personal and professional attributes needed for a career in the creative industries.

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Degree Shows 2019, BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling

“I’ve been employed in design education since the early 1990s and have worked in some excellent institutions that no longer seemed to know what their purpose was. Plymouth College of Art’s clarity of vision for the future was attractive to me, and speaking to the staff there felt like a meeting of minds."
Peter Barker, Head of School (Design + Communication)