Arts and Design

Australia’s newest design school has big ambitions

After nearly 40 years of producing Australia’s top art graduates, The Australian National University (ANU) School of Art has officially recognised its expansion into the field of design with the announcement of a new school name.

From 2017 the school will now be called the ANU School of Art and Design (SOAD), to reflect the introduction of suite of design programs for students.

The design programs will include a range of courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students, including Bachelor and Masters degrees in Design as well as research degrees at Masters and PhD levels.

Head of the ANU School of Art and Design, Associate Professor Denise Ferris, said the name change underlined the school’s ambition be become the top design school in Australia.

“Design is a growing area of the arts, and one that offers a wide variety of career prospects and opportunities for graduates,” Associate Professor Ferris said.

“On top of being the best art school in Australia, we want to become the best design school. We have put together a program to attract the country’s best design students.”

The ANU Design program will be headed by Dr Geoff Hinchcliffe and Associate Professor Mitchell Whitelaw, who have been pioneers of new forms of digital and web design.

Dr Hinchcliffe, a School of Art alumnus, has had a career spanning print, TV, web and interactive media, and his research focuses on new practices in digital design and innovative web-based forms.

Associate Professor Whitelaw has a strong focus on new media art and culture, especially generative systems, data-aesthetics, and digital cultural collections.

Since 2010 he has worked with partners including the Asia Art Archive, Canberra Museum and Gallery, the State Library of Queensland, the State Library of New South Wales, the National Archives of Australia, and the National Gallery of Australia.

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