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A GREAT day for DMU as the festival in Shanghai reaches its close

Students have described taking part in the UK Government’s GREAT Festival of Creativity in Shanghai as “an incredible experience.”

Eleven students from Footwear Design, Contour Fashion, Game Art, Drama and Photography have been demonstrating their skills in front of a global audience as part of the event, which aims to showcase the best of British innovation.

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The festival was spearheaded by HRH Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge who led a delegation of top businesses to Shanghai for the three-day event.

The Duke met students on the second day of the festival as part of his VVIP tour, and helped Footwear Design student Charlotte Hackett make a children’s shoe.

David Benbow, part-time Footwear Design student said: “It has been such an interesting experience for me, the coming together of a massive influential festival was truly inspiring to myself as a student.

"I can now see the importance of the relationship and understanding between students and staff, and how communication and support is key to making an event like this successful. It has been a very good achievement for all and I am very honoured to have been a part of it.”

Daily demonstrations by staff and students took visitors through every stage of the design process and answering questions from the thousands of visitors to the event.

Megan Rice, recent Game Art graduate, now working for game development company Bossa Studios in London said: “I am really sad that it is the last day of the festival. It has been a wonderful opportunity and experience for me to come to such an amazing event and celebrate the Game Art course at DMU.”

Four academics – Philip Stewart, Michael Powell, Gillian Proctor and Tracey Cruickshank – were able to showcase their pioneering work in the fields of footwear design, game art, drama and contour.

The university’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard said: “DMU is proud to be the education partner for the GREAT Festival of Creativity in Shanghai. The festival has allowed us to showcase some of our key strengths in innovation and creativity – from the invention of the artificial pancreas, to contour, footwear design and our game art provision.

“At the festival’s launch, it was observed that in the future, goods and services will no longer be made in China, they will be created in China.

“It is this creative philosophy that also underpins DMU’s own spirit and we are delighted to have been able to share this with partners and delegates at the festival.”

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Recent DMU Contour Fashion graduate, Emily Roberts, who is now working for Clover Group International in Hong Kong, said: “It was brilliant meeting people from different strands of creativity at the festival and interesting to talk about my experiences at DMU.”

Performing an original Shakespeare-inspired piece in front of a crowd on the final day, with fellow graduates, Performing Arts graduate Laura Evans said: “It has been really interesting having to make something for such a diverse audience, with the language barrier and different cultures.

“It has been a new challenge – I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Ian Blatchford, Director of the National Science Museum and Chair of the DMU Board of Governors accompanied DMU students and staff to the festival.

Ian said: “The most important reason why DMU is so successful is its very special spirit, similar to that in China. It is bold, entrepreneurial, fast-moving and above all, everyone at the university believes that tomorrow will be even better than today.”

The GREAT Festival of Creativity is part of the UK government’s GREAT Britain campaign which aims to generate jobs and growth by promoting Britain as a world-class destination for trade, tourism, investment and education.

It is being delivered in partnership with private sector organisations including HSBC, BBC Worldwide, Jaguar Land Rover, PwC, IHG, British Airways and De Montfort University.

Posted on Wednesday 4th March 2015

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