EAT, A Collaborative Project

A big part of learning within my degree is based around the ability of being able to critically analyse and interpret information and in doing so, using the outcomes to demonstrate effectively my creative development of ideas into various formats. Unlike the first year, which was predominantly geared towards solo projects, this year seems to be all about collaboration.

The first module of the semester required us to collaborate with the other departments within the school of art, these departments are made up of students specialising in graphics, fine art, filmmaking and fashion. The intention of the exercise was for us to demonstrate our ability to work productively within a team while utilising our own individual skills. The aim was to produce a creative pitch in four days that raised awareness of a charity of our choice and ways in which money could be raised for that cause. Our pitch would then be presented to the other six teams on day four.

Team three, as we were known came up against our first hurdle within the first thirty minutes, which charity would we choose? This was a debate between ourselves, but collectively we agreed that everyone should propose a cause that they felt passionate about and why in one sentence. We would then look at which charities proposed had more to do with the communities we lived in as it affected us. The causes that were not vetoed were to do with health and housing. We agreed that health was the more important of the two and in consequence decided to come up with our own charity. An ambitious venture, considering we had only three days! After brainstorming and then giving consideration of how we could utilise our own talents and apply them to structure a charity and finally a pitch, we came up with a proposal and EAT was born.

On observation within the group it was clear that during our time on this project collaboration, there were several benefits gained to a number of us, such as shared knowledge and a sense of empowerment as students, being able to work through problems together, evaluating each others ideas with a positive critical eye and coming to a consensus. In this alone it was evident that there was room for great potential should this have been not only a four-day project. With the help of pre-structuring each person’s activity within the group we were able to effectively complete tasks to given deadlines.

On reflection the only issue for consideration was the reluctance of a good few within the group to participate in public speaking, this in no way undermines their ability to do so, but I think with encouragement of the whole team and giving a more proactive role, this could have been overcome. Altogether this was a positive learning experience, I feel that the contribution I made in my team helped me to improve relations between departments, which may have not been made otherwise between students. It also helped my skills in team-based activities improve and as a result I am more inclined to seek help by collaborating when needed in the future.

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