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Meet designer and social entrepreneur Eilish McArthur.

Tacit Tacit is delighted to welcome Eilish McArthur to our creative team on a 6 month Kickstarter placement. Eilish, who has a degree in Product Design from Glasgow School of Art, shares her thoughts on graduating during a global pandemic and the power of design.

Tell us about your approach to design?

I studied Product Design at The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) for four years, where I developed a passion for creating projects that add genuine value to the lives of people facing complex challenges.

I am interested in the interplay between people and populations, and how design can change the societal norm of deprivation. I aim to use my design skills to improve communities for everyone, now and into the future.

I’m a curious person and I love people watching, which makes the research phase of design particularly interesting for me. Hearing people’s stories and creating compelling narratives from these form the backbone of my practice. Telling these stories well is what excites me most about being a designer.

Why do you think design is important?

Design helps us create better solutions to complex problems. The design process helps us see and understand some of the hidden challenges that people encounter daily. By understanding the problem on an emotional and human level, we can then create products and services that help people overcome those challenges more effectively and this is powerful in today’s society.

How has it felt to graduate in 2020?

Graduating last year was very overwhelming and unpredictable. I think because it was something no one had experienced before, no one knew how to advise you on what to do graduating in a pandemic.

Networking was hard, there were not really any summer placements in industry and there were very few jobs being posted last year, as businesses didn’t know what the future had in store for them. Everything was changing and trying to get my head around the situation was daunting.

I think looking back, I’m actually grateful for a number of things about graduating in 2020. It enabled me to have the opportunity to decompress after university. I spent a lot of time reflecting on what aspects of design I love; what I intend to do with what I’ve learned at GSA, and what made me truly happy again. I think sometimes the mayhem of uni life didn’t leave me much time to think about this.

Making jewellery has always been a passion of mine which I carried on with through my time at GSA with model making. The free-time I was presented with during lockdown allowed me to purse my hobby into a business venture and I started my own little jewellery business. I don’t imagine I would have done this had it not been for the pandemic.

This last year has been anything but ideal and not at all the plan I had imagined for myself, but I think what I’ve gained is a lot richer than what I have lost in terms of my practice.

What do you hope to get out of working with Tacit Tacit over the next 6 months?

Over the next 6 months, I would like to gain more experience and awareness about community development projects, specifically within small towns. I have lived in Gourock most of my life and I’ve become interested in how to create impact in a micro environment compared to large, urban areas. I am hoping to learn a bit more about how to boost communities social and local impact through design. I’m also keen to expand on my digital marketing knowledge which is something I developed during lockdown.

Can you give us a good idea that contributes to #postivegrowth?

A brand I really like is Brewgooder. They are a Scottish craft beer label which donates 100% of their profits to clean water projects around the world. The founder, Alan Mahon, believes that even the act of drinking beer can be a force for social good and the purpose of his company is to create a wave of people-positive change. I love their message, their aesthetic and of course like the drink itself.


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