#11 The Creative Generalist

For the last 20 years Tash has been leading BA and MA courses in Graphic Design. She recently left academia to come and work at Hyper Island.  She is the Programme Leader for Digital Media Management MA here, the course that runs parallel to Digital Experience Design MA. This means we work really closely together and the new students coming in April will spend lots of time with her. Her energy and imagination inspires me and she makes me laugh. A lot.

Besides her day job Tash is also part of a new exhibition with Wonderhaus in April involving the Northern Quarter cafes and skateboards- called Meals on Wheels and Generic Greetings 4th Birthday at Takk. Generic Greeting are an art collective who create illustration, music, film, design and photography. She’s proud to be a part of this collective, she calls herself the gran of the bunch but they are a talented gang who get involved with all manner of crazy antics. Here’s what she has to say…

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1. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the last year?

WOW- so this year has been a roller coaster as after 18years designing & lecturing on BA and MA level within universities, I moved to Hyper Island, since joining I have learnt so much about ways of working, teams and a lot about myself. I won’t go to deep as I will write an emotional essay, but I think take risks… I told/tell the students to so much and I used to, but somewhere along the way I stopped taking them so much (never completely)…. But now I plan to grow older n bolder.

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2. What’s your burning question of the moment?

Why I/we cannot control our consumerism. I’m in a continual battle- I love the idea of minimalist living, with little waste. I went to a talk with Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus and they really summed up what I aspired to in minimalist living, then read this article . The family are inspiring – they produce one bag of rubbish a year?? Incredible – think how world changing it would be if we all did this? I want to be fitted with a gadget that gives me an electric shock when I attempt to buy something I don’t NEED, to make me think “do I NEED this – or am I just wooed by its fancy unnecessary packaging?”. Or a block on my bank card…thats another thing that constantly ticks through my mind- what will be the next money? I remember when they changed pound notes to coins and on Tomorrows World ( an old TV programme ) they talked about cards being used in the future in place of cash – blew my mind??? and now we pay in so many different ways and take it for granted as it eases our path… which brings me back to consuming, its been made too easy, we are blind to it, we “tap” and it’s ours. Can we create something slower that makes us have to consider what we are buying… Banks, shops, cafes and the entire of the consumerist community are never going to buy it…. sorry that was a bit of a brain dump…

3. What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen/ heard/ read in the last year?

I was doing a talk a few weeks ago at She Says Manchester and the speaker before me said that her mentor when younger had asked her “What do you want to be known for?” and it really resonated with me, I think it’s a really great question that we should all continually ask ourselves.

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Another I doodled out as again it made me think YES come back and start again tomorrow – but harder, better, faster, stronger.

4. What would be your one piece of advice to students on Hyper Island’s new MA in Digital Experience Design?

Bring an open heart and mind, embrace everything and enjoy the ride. I can’t wait to meet you…

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