About the studio

In semester 1 of 2016, the Communication Design and Media Programs in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University were presented with the opportunity to collaborate with the not-for-profit ‘Uniting Care Lentara’ a community services organisation affiliated to the United Church, Australia. Lentara was looking for new ways to communicate the social service work they do to their volunteers, supporters and the public.

The industry partnership with Lentara was established from a studio model of teaching and learning, which aims to foster interdisciplinary and real-world engagement with industry practices. In this studio titled ‘Nonfiction Design’ there was an opportunity to explore how the two disciplines of Communication Design and Media could work together. The envisioned outcomes from this interdisciplinary collaboration was some prototype ideas that mixed together graphic design, advertising, branding, film, television, radio and new media practices.

The industry partnership with Lentara went through three distinct phases over a 12 week period, which was set around the establishment of six project groups working on: Asylum Seekers’ Community Housing, Women’s Social Service Support, a Men’s Shed, a Shower Bus initiative, Clothing Recycling and Lentara Identity branding. The first phase involved project groups liaising with the client to clarify a creative brief and carrying out global research. In the second phase students worked towards presenting several concepts to Lentara. Feedback from these presentations was then used in the final phase to develop ideas into working prototypes.

This website of the studio acts as an informal archive of the processes that the studio, which named itself the ‘Idea Collective’ went through with each project. Due to much of the content being implemented by Lentara we were unable to present it here publicaly for confidentiality reasons. Therefore, this website provides an overview with some process visuals from each group.

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