Ronald Junior McDonald


University of the Arts London
Building Community in a Hybrid World

Hyper Island - Product service design project

creative shift hyper island


Brand Brief


The University of the Arts London’s Creative Shift initiative is dedicated to supporting students from underrepresented backgrounds as they navigate the realms of the creative industries. In a world increasingly dominated by digital platforms and hybrid learning methods, the need for connectivity, community, and representation has never been greater.


Design a product or service that fosters community-building among students from underrepresented backgrounds in a hybrid world as well as ensure a better outreach for SHIFT including a communication strategy and campaign.

Key Insights

• The product/service and campaign need to adhere to and communicate SHIFTS core message and values.

• Speak to students’ needs and resonate with them.

• Take in account all stakeholders’ needs: Students, staff at UAL, Industry partners.

• Value of Lived Experiences: Recognizing the value of diverse lived experiences is integral. Any solution should leverage this diversity to build a more cohesive community.

• Learn By Doing: Creative Shift strongly believes in hands-on learning. The solution should encourage students to participate, experiment, and collaborate actively.

• Building Creative Networks: The initiative aims not just for individual growth but also for interconnected growth. The product/service should facilitate connections, mentorships, and collaborative opportunities.

• Self-led Practical Tools: Emphasize tools or methods that allow students to take the lead in their learning and growth.

• Review the existing tools, methods and communications of Shift. You can be as critical as you like.


Process start

Our recent collaboration with UAL Creative Shift from the University of the Arts London focused on empowering underrepresented students in the arts. Our mission was clear: design a product or service to foster community in this hybrid world and enhance Creative Shift's outreach for an effective solution towards diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and sustainability.

Research and Problem Definition

Combining our research insights on barriers and opportunities with our vision, we sought to redefine the problem. Our diverse team composition played a key role in deepening our understanding of the client's needs, emphasizing how different perspectives contributed to a more inclusive solution that embraced diversity and inclusion.

Ideation Process and Solution Development:

During our ideation process, we engaged in various exercises aimed at uncovering inspirational key points aligned with the project's goals and objectives. Our solution addressed the challenge faced by Creative Shift in attracting participation despite their comprehensive approach to diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and sustainability.

We suggested upgrading their visual communication to enhance online presence and increase participation. Despite limited resources, our proposed strategy seamlessly integrated existing technology and services, making them more effective and efficient.

Execution and Adaptability

As ideas flowed, a pivotal moment urged us to distil efforts into one impactful sentence, embracing simplicity. A rehearsal critique revealed disjointed delivery, and rather than succumbing, we rallied, acknowledged missteps, and turned setbacks into positive change.

With a week left, we refocused channelled energy and transformed a negative experience into a game-changing moment. The harsh critique fueled a unified effort, shaping a presentation that not only met but exceeded expectations.

Communication Plan and Visual Guidelines

Our solution aimed to empower Creative Shift with a communication plan and visual guidelines that strategically position them as an inviting, valuable, and inclusive community. By inspiring UAL students to join and emphasizing program benefits, we encouraged ongoing engagement for personal growth and community sustainability.

Sustainability and Impact

In conclusion, our proposed strategy emerged as the most effective solution, leveraging the resources Creative Shift already possessed to amplify its impact in the realms of diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and sustainability.

Leadership and Reflection

Reflecting on the project, our team's commendable success stemmed from laying the groundwork early on. We prioritized psychological safety, celebrated our differences, and confronted failure collaboratively. Leading the design project required adaptability, resilience, and a commitment to amplifying the voice of a company already dedicated to DEIA. So, how do you assist a company already committed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility? Simple—empower them with the tools to amplify their voice, combining technology and creativity for a lasting impact.



Get hype - products and services 1

Video - Channel prototype

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Video - Channel prototype

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Creative shift UAL