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Design student aspires to bring communities together


Anyone who has made the transition from a small town to the city can empathise with the occasional feeling of loneliness the move can engender.

Gemma MorrisonFor one design student, who grew up in Mintlaw before taking her place at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, it was a desire to bring urban communities together that inspired her final year project, currently on display in the school’s 128th annual degree show.

Former Mintlaw Academy student Gemma Morrison (22) has created a multi-purpose seating and storage product, designed to be placed in communal areas of a city and used as a way of drawing people back towards face-to-face interaction in an increasingly virtual world.

It focuses on notions of lending and borrowing, in that it can be used as a storage space by people to place items in for others to find and potentially reciprocate by leaving something in return.

 “I wanted to look at how to bring people together, through their experience of the product,” Gemma said. “It has a playful nature, as people can move it around and put it together or take it apart, and it is this aspect that I hope will bring communities together.

“I think it can be difficult when you move into a new city and it can be easy to feel lonely at times. It can be hard to meet people in your community in a common environment, harder than it is in the countryside – I wanted to get people out of their houses and into those green spaces in the city that aren’t used enough.”

Following her graduation, Gemma plans to accept a place at Edinburgh University to do a Professional Graduate Diploma in Technological Education.

She said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time at Gray’s. It’s a small school and because of that, all the students are very close. I’m looking forward to doing other things but will continue with my design work.”

Gray’s School of Art Degree Show 2013, sponsored by BP, showcased a huge range of undergraduate talent across a variety of disciplines including 3D and product design, painting, printmaking, sculpture, fashion and textiles, graphics, digital media, visual communication, photography and electronic media.

Gemma will graduate with a BDes (Hons) in Product Design in July.

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Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology