The Exchange Blog

News and updates from the Teaching, Learning and Employability Exchange at University of the Arts London

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Modual Catalyst: UAL staff pitching their ideas [part two]

Read the first post about Modual Catalyst for a refresher about the beginning of our process.

The second half of Modual Catalyst consisted of two days (24-25 April) where all the teams came back together at the Design Museum to work on their videos, posters and finalising their ideas to prepare for the pitch day that occurred on 1 May.

During those two days, each team had two crits with external advisors. The first, with Dave Cormier, Acting Manager at Western University, joining digitally from Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He listened to each group’s proposal and provided a fresh perspective for each group to strengthen their pitch with.

The second with Paul Wyatt, a filmmaker and frequent Modual adviser, who viewed each group’s first draft of their film and offered critique on how to propel them forward in telling the story of each idea.

After one last week to finalise pitches, proposals and videos, we returned to the Design Museum for our final day – pitch day. Each team showed a short video, explained their project in a presentation and answered questions from a panel of guests including Sheldon Chow, Head of Digital Learning at LCF, Anita Israel, Education Officer with Arts Student Union, and Dave White, Head of Digital Learning for UAL.

The Pitches

There were six groups in total, ranging from 3-6 members per group, all but one a mixture of students, staff, alumni and guests. Each group produced a short video to promote their concept alongside giving a longer pitch to the panel and the audience of UAL students, staff and visitors.

The panel was Sheldon Chow, Head of Digital Learning at LCF, Anita Israel, Education Officer with Arts Student Union, and David White, Head of Digital Learning for UAL. They asked each group questions about various aspects of their projects and gave constructive feedback on how each group could take their project further.


Pronounced ‘you, al fresco,’ this proposal was for a residential arts workshop in the ‘great outdoors,’ where staff and students explore and expand their creative process outside the city.

The ual:fresco logo

Art Bus

Art Bus an actual bus and a symbol for exchange, acting as a vehicle for a creative process between students and diverse London communities. This roaming bus brings workshops and discussions to wherever the bus stops: community centres, UAL colleges, schools, parks or on the bus itself.

The Art Bus poster, with a rainbow background and a bus outline.

The Restore

The Restore aims to educate students and staff at UAL to transform perceptions of waste and recognize a second life in used and disregarded materials.

The restore logo.

Canvas APP

The Canvas APP allows users to add illustrations to their UAL surroundings, all through their phone. Whether they want to draw patterns on a wall in the canteen or add animations to the staircases, they can bring their visions of what UAL could look like to life.

The Canvas APP logo.

UAL Creative Unblock

Creative Unblock is a peer to peer creative consulting service that allows students to drop-in to a workshop to connect with students on other courses and in other colleges to provide a fresh pair of eyes for their work to help them move beyond any perceived blocks to their success.

The Creative Unblock logo.

MA Design for Social Activism

This proposed one-year postgraduate course offers an alternative to government funded higher education. This course would partner with businesses who a Green Star status who sponsor the program. This would allow students to study and work giving back to the community through placements while not entering into traditional student loan debt.

The MA Design for Social Activism logo.


Dominique L’Olive, Associate Lecturer in Fashion Textiles at CSM praised the flat hierarchy structure of Modual. There were ‘no egos, no grandstanding, no preening…everyone was so friendly.’

She said that through working and collaborating with our group, Creative Unblock, she was challenged to explore and evaluate ideas that weren’t her own. She said that ‘as a Tutor it’s always about ‘you’ and that was what pushed me out of comfort zone…in a good way!’

She said she feels ‘invigorated’ after the Modual process. ‘I was kind of stuck in a rut and this has started several conversations with other participants and its made me look at my ‘process’…will definitely be tweaking that…I knew it needed a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ [lol] but I didn’t know how to implement that?’

The impact it will have on her teaching will be to ‘fess up to [her] ‘fails’.

Too often, I do practical demonstrations in my lessons and they are pretty much perfect, but it’s because I have practiced them repeatedly, so I conceal [any mistakes] from my students…Maybe I will ease up on myself. I think recently I have become a bit stiff in my the way I deliver my classes. Collaborating and attending the workshop made me more agile.’

What’s next?

Four projects have recently applied for funding from the Teaching and Learning Exchange. Watch this blog to keep up to date the progress of each project.

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