New design course hosts exhibition

Bill  Strohacker, principal director, back with course students Alex Jesse, Hannah Fisher, Tom Irving, Salome Guruli and Will Lowe.
Bill Strohacker, principal director, back with course students Alex Jesse, Hannah Fisher, Tom Irving, Salome Guruli and Will Lowe.

A new design school, based at the university campus in Bognor Regis, marked the end of its first course with a private view last night.

Designer Bill Strohacker launched the school in a bid to give students a ‘real life’ experience of the industry.

“The idea was working on a live brief, to professional standards and deadlines. Working 9-to-5 was really important I think, in a studio setting,” he said.

While it is not an accredited course, Bill explained one ‘USP’ is his promise to help students find a job afterwards – using his contacts book – something which has already seen them undertake briefs for the likes of the V&A and Levi in the last three months.

Student Hannah Fisher, an art and design educator with experience at heritage sites and within theatre companies, admitted she saw it as a ‘wildcard’ to sign up for the school’s first run.

“The great thing has been getting feedback from people who are working in the industry,” she said. “We have all come from different backgrounds and we have all learnt from one another.”

Being able to adapt is something Bill believes is key, due to the fast changing industry, and something he is able to do as a result of being independent.

“It means we can adapt the course really quickly. We are trying to make sure it is future proofed, that is the combination of new and traditional skills whereas a lot of other courses do one or the other,” he explained.

Having small classes is also vital for Bill’s ethos and, despite the fast-track nature of the course, he’s worked out the tutor time over the three months equates to a year and a half at degree.

With the first offering proving to have an international appeal, with one student from Detroit and another from New York, plans are already in place for the next course which is due to launch at the end of April.

See more at strohackerdesignschool.co.uk