At the end of February we were proud to partner with The Design Museum for our first Design Change Makers event, focussing on creative solutions for Mental Health issues. We were joined by Creative Conscience alumni Scott Carrol, Lucy Cripps, Jess Jenkins and Ashley Schofield, and also by Helena Jennison from Movember and Ben Akers from Made With. The snowy weather still didn’t prevent the event from selling out, with the theatre being packed out with students and tutors from universities and colleges from across the country: Arts University Bournemouth, University of Central Lancashire, Leeds Arts University, Ravensbourne, Kingston School of Art and University Centre Somerset to name a few.
The event kicked off with a quick interactive survey asking audience members to anonymously respond to some questions, through their phones, regarding their mental wellbeing. At the end of the event, the same questions were posed to them again. We saw an exciting set of results appear live on screen, showing how our talk had (hopefully) inspired the students and tutors in the audience to feel positive and inspired to use their creative skills to design for good.
When given the prompt “I am feeling positive about what I can do to improve mental health”, 41% of the audience before the talk either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, compared to 90% of the audience at the end of the event.
The event also saw Helena Jennison speaking about how Movember was creating a positive impact in the world of men’s mental health, showcasing some of their campaigns and events, including partnership projects they have made with Creative Conscience alumni.
Helena was followed by Creative Conscience Founder, Chrissy Levett, who went on to showcase mental health related work created by Creative Conscience alumni, such as those by the four panelists that joined her on stage, who later took questions from the audience.
Ben Akers wrapped up the event, talking about his career in advertising and his shift towards creating work for social good, such as his upcoming film Steve.
Ashley Schofield – Creative Conscience Award winner and graduate panelist, had this to say:
“The Design Change Makers event was an inspiring experience, it was great to get the opportunity to talk through my project to an audience of like-minded people who are all interested in using creativity for good, seeing people positively react and engage with mine and the rest of the panel’s work was a unique opportunity especially being so soon after graduating university. Before the event I felt quite nervous and unsure of how people would react to my project and whether the way I had articulated what I wanted to say came across in a clear & confident manner, I was unsure of how my work could be relevant or how it could make a difference. Thanks to the Design Change Makers event and talking to various people after the talk, I now understand the importance of creativity to inspire positive change around mental health. Everyone I spoke to came to me with positive feedback which in turn has inspired me to continue to develop my work and take on any more projects which can use creativity for good.”
Audience member, Sara Lopez, studying MA Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins felt motivated by the event:
“I was gladly surprised to see so many great projects challenging mental health stigma and encouraging open conversations and support to keep us well. It was also quite emotional at times. Before the event I was less motivated about theproject and by the end I felt inspired to carry on my work and pushing for positive impact.”
Thank-you to all those who came along to the event, to Rebecca Dixon and all at The Design Museum (including Paul Mills for his tech mastery), for their belief and support with Design Change Makers concept, and to Charlotte Allen for being photographer on the day.