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Degree show season is here. The Cass at London Metropolitan is attempting something different with its Hothouse collaboration between students and professionals...

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The Cass Hothouse identity, work in progress

Graduating from university to enter the world of work can be like plunging headlong into an ice bath – a cold, hard shock. At The Cass, head of Visual Communications Susanna Edwards is attempting to eliminate the barriers between design education and industry with Cass Hothouse. The hothouse initiative, in its inaugural year, is creating a fertile climate for osmosis of talent between students and practicing designers. Part of the Summer Show 2015, it is a live space for students and professionals to work together, and for students to get a practical taste of a life in design.

The hothouse space has been set up by students and professionals working together, to emulate a functioning design studio. At its heart is a series of workshops. Anyone – students, staff, alumni, general public – can sign up to attend workshops run by design industry figures, including Nous Vous, The Entente, Kin Design, Grafik’s Angharad Lewis, Paul Jenkins, Chloe Regan and Emily Penny. Students man the space, generating new work in response to studio visits, the workshops and input from visitors. Even the visual identity for the Hothouse will be created during the show itself. 

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Cass Hothouse studio visit with The Entente

“Education has to work hard to keep up,” says Edwards. “This initiative enables a mutual learning and interaction between the two worlds. The goal is to create a hub of activity where students and alumni can be employed as project assistants on carefully curated projects and initiatives to work alongside staff and key industry professionals”.

The whole experiment is being documented via a blog and the Cass Hothouse will be open to visitors Friday 12 - Saturday 20 June. Sign up for workshops here.