Deputy Course Director
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Engaging and Inspiring Teacher of the Year
David Osbaldestin is Deputy Course Director for the BA (Hons) Visual Communication in the School of Visual Communication. He joined the University nine years ago.
A Creative Director with a passion for typography, David Osbaldestin is using his fine art and design skills to teach the complex art form of the printed letter. He has a wide ranging role at Birmingham City University, teaching within Graphic Communication, Researching and Project Management.
When he arrived at Birmingham City University, he set up a graphics communication practice, working with clients such as the Ikon, Fierce!, Birmingham Artists and Warm Circuit Records. His commercial work helps to inform the way he delivers his teaching.
“As I learn through practice, I bring back ideas as case studies. It helps to widen our networks in the creative sector and increases opportunities for students to complete practice-based work. For the client, they can come back and learn from what we are doing.”
David is also involved with a Knowledge Transfer Project, called Kerning, set up with funding from Advantage West Midlands, Business Link and Birmingham City University.
Its aim is to foster employer engagement through academic consultancy and graduate internships and was born out of the University’s Service by Design programme, in which David was an Innovation Mentor.
Devised as a bridge to the KTP model, Kerning’s emphasis will be working with creative companies such as design agencies, brand consultancies, internet businesses and public organisations, encouraging them to introduce reflective practice into their business model.
“It is encouraging them to take risks creatively and look at being intuitive rather than employing literal thinking. Having this two-way dialogue with business is very important to us as academics and to the students. It brings enormous benefits all round, feeding back into the courses and developing new business.”
His most ambitious project since joining the University is The Baskerville Project, an animated movie that celebrates the life and work of Birmingham’s John Baskerville, who revolutionised printing technology and typographical design in the 18th century. http://www.baskervilleproject.com/
This important heritage project comprises a movie, which has been developed in collaboration with alumni, undergraduates and outside agencies.
“Typography is a complex art form and rather than the students learn about it passively, they are actively engaging in it. They have many opportunities to increase their professional development by working on a live brief.”
It has received plaudits from across the UK and abroad and David is hoping to build on the work achieved so far by developing a series of new projects, including a feature length documentary film, as well as collaborating with heritage and business supporters to create a significant memorial for Baskerville at Warstone Lane catacombs, where he lies in an unmarked grave.