Brunel University presents eight design projects

Dezeen School Shows: a study that explores how rebranding could help the classical music sector appeal to a younger audience and a "digital diary" are included in Dezeen's latest school show by students at Brunel University.

Also included is a project that questions the ethics and transparency in supply chains within the fashion industry and an animation informed by Japanese forests.

Brunel University

Institution: Brunel University
School: Brunel Design School
 MA Design Strategy and Innovation, MA Design and Branding Strategy, Digital Design BSc and Visual Effects and Motion Graphics BSc
Tutors: Youngok Choi, John Boult, Chris Holt and Stephen Cockett

School statement:

"The MA Design Strategy & Innovation (DSI) programme intends to develop designers and other creative disciplines the skills and knowledge to utilise design thinking and leverage design to pursue strategic change and improvement.

"This programme explores how design can catalyse various types of innovation at all levels, for example products, services, design processes and ways of managing creative teams and collaborating with stakeholders. The graduates are employed by major international businesses, prestigious design agencies and government organisations, such as Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Asus, Plan and Seymourpowell. Some establish and run their consultancies successfully.

"The MA Design and Branding Strategy (DBS) programme aims to explore branding from a design perspective. It extensively presents and analyses famous and emerging brands, brand trends and brand models. This course prepares students for a career of leading, designing and managing brands at the highest strategic level.

"Students who graduated from this course work globally for admired major and challenger brands, prestigious brand agencies, and top-level creative consultancies, including Design Bridge, Saffron, Imagination, Interbrand and Ogilvy. They have taken on roles such as brand strategist, brand consultants, brand managers and creative directors. Many also start and run their own successful businesses.

"During the Visual Effects and Motion Graphics BSc, we combine a study of visual effects with motion graphics so students learn a wide range of creative and technical skills required to produce high-quality visual assets and artefacts for film, TV, the Web, games and other creative outlets. Students study VFX acquisition, motion design, CGI, digital graphic design, digital photography and video.

"They will then progress to producing more complex post-production assets and artefacts involving compositing, advanced CGI, 3D animation, media aesthetics, motion graphics and mixed reality. In the final year, students can choose from modules in advanced digital graphics and motion design and advanced 3D animation with additional options in digital experiences and creative technology design. The digital media courses at Brunel are the only ScreenSkills-accredited degree programmes in London and the South East.

"During the Digital Design BSc course, students are introduced to creative technologies and motion design. They learn about UX design and development for the web, digital graphic design and video production. They also study digital photography, 3D design and 3D animation. Students will then progress to skills in the design and development of more complex digital artefacts for current and future mobile, web and IoT applications involving 3D design and animation, media aesthetics, motion graphics and immersive mixed reality.

"In the final year, they can choose from modules in digital experiences and creative technology design with additional options in advanced animation and advanced digital graphics and motion design. The digital media courses at Brunel are the only ScreenSkills-accredited degree programmes in London and the South East."

A picture of a person looking at fashion designs

Fashion Ethics by Elis Sharp

"This project investigates the major issues in the fashion industry and questions the ethics and transparency in the supply chain and how it affects workers.

"The project stands on the belief that immersive technology and a design-based strategy can positively impact the issues in the unethical fashion industry.

"The retail phase influences customer's purchase intentions – if supported by a design-based methodology, it could positively impact the effect of customers' decisions.

"This project's goal is to determine the suitability of interactive and immersive technologies in the retail phase and whether its strategic implementation is plausible in the near future."

Student: Elis Sharp
MA Design Strategy and Innovation

A person sitting besides a lake

Redefining Heartfulness by Gayatri Pachpande

"The Covid-19 pandemic has had a detrimental impact on many people's mental health. With increased awareness and the rise of these new demands for mental wellness, Heartfulness focuses on consumer perception and caters to customer needs.

"The purpose of this research is to investigate possible strategic design opportunities in order to maximise reach and improve the consumer perception of the brand."

Student: Gayatri Pachpande
Course: MA Design Strategy and Innovation
Email: pgayatri02[at]

Notes displayed on a cork board

Strategic Design Framework by Himani Gohil

"Multinational companies and start-ups use techniques like merger and acquisition to become competitive and create financial value.

"However, merged organisations tend to disregard cultural aspects, which are extremely essential and sensitive. Issues often arise with new culture at work and employee positions.

"If cultural synergies are carefully developed, it can help with innovation and brand value creation in the market. The study focuses on a strategic framework for cultural shifts, employee engagement and a set of integrating toolkits to support the merger and acquisition process.

"The research includes a case study on a communication strategy for successful integration."

Student: Himani Gohil
Course: MA Design Strategy and Innovation
Email: himanikgohil[at]

A photograph of the Royal Opera House lit up at night

Design: Future of Arts by Nirali Marfatia

"Market research shows that attendance at symphony orchestras in the UK has been, for years, in significant decline, which is attributed to the sector's relative failure to engage younger audiences.

"To counter these challenges every major symphony orchestra has rebranded themselves – an exercise that involves a shift in brand identity and visuals to attract the younger more savvy crowd into the seats.

"This study aims to investigate the impact of rebranding through the cultural backdrop of classical music. In addition, proposing an innovative and experience-led rebranding strategy that uses new age technology and engagement platforms to inform and involve younger audiences."

Student: Nirali Marfatia
MA Design & Branding Strategy
[email protected]

Yournal by Nilaya Durafe

"Yournal is an all-in-one digital diary platform where users looking to track their thoughts, reflections and experiences can collate this data individually and collaboratively. It aims to help build stronger connections within communities, unbound by geographical location.

"It is a platform that takes mental health seriously. With social media space growing, research shows a correlation between the frequency of social media use and a variety of psychosocial outcomes including depression – most common among young adults.

"Social pressure has increased, having a significant impact on a person's perception of themselves, their thoughts and feelings. With journaling being a proven tool to help users manage stress, Yournal goes one step further.

"It encourages people to focus on their wellbeing whilst also reducing the stigma of 'growth being a personal journey'. Its unique capability lies in its shared diaries. Hence, the USP is engrained and encapsulated by the brand essence and tagline –making journals social.

"Having found the transition to university difficult, I wanted to create an application that would have served me to the capacity I needed it to. By utilising my UX/UI design skills, I am proud to have created this brand."

Student: Nilaya Durafe
Course: Digital Design BSc

Aquanaut VR by James Wilson

"For my dissertation, I wanted to focus on virtual reality and see what I could create in Unity and other programs. Due to my previous experience working with B2B and B2C brands, I focused on VR training rather than entertainment, so that I could create a tangible product for businesses to use.

"After picking an industry I was interested in – commercial diving – I decided to create a VR application for trainee divers to use alongside real-life training.

"Partnered with this, I added a tablet that would allow trainers to change the scenario in real-time so that it could be more realistic and present a challenge for the users."

Student: James Wilson
BSc Digital Design

Views from Above by Chloe Seabrook

"My final year project consists of my personal interest in Japanese culture. It involves the architecture and forestry style of the country. I chose to do a 3D-animated short film, as it's my strongest skill since I’ve started learning visual effects. Techniques in creation involve key animation, motion capture and fluid fx.

"The story of the short film is Aiya's journey home. She climbs a hill to reach her wooden hut that sits by a cherry blossom tree, overlooking the Honshu Forest. I based the scene in north-west Japan where the tallest trees are found, this would indicate the height of the mountain Aiya would have to climb.

"With selected camera angles and movement, it feels as if the viewer is taken on the same journey as her as if they were walking behind her.

"Throughout the animation, the lighting slowly changes from a bright daytime to a sun-setting night and ends with Aiya taking in the view that she gets to see below her every day. Created using Maya and Motionbuilder."

Student: Chloe Seabrook
Course: BSc Visual Effects & Motion Graphics
[email protected]

A picture of a group of students sitting together at Brunel University

Using Placemaking for the Integration of a University with its Neighbourhood and Community by Asawari Bora

"Universities are key urban institutions with local direct and indirect impacts on employment, environment, innovation and society.

"A university and its neighbourhood's relationship is multi-faceted and mutually beneficial if well-connected. This research considers Brunel University(BU) where campus life is disconnected from its host town Uxbridge and plans to use a placemaking approach to improve this town-gown interface.

"The aim is to work towards common goals, involve people in the process and create a strategy for BU to collaborate with Uxbridge to build a strong identity based on the characteristics and needs of the university and its surrounding communities."

Student: Asawari Bora
MA Design Strategy and Innovation

Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and Brunel University. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.