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KU trio win chance to work with graphic design ‘hero’

By River Reporter Nov 5, 2011

By Daphne Tona-Weyalo

Three Kingston students won the chance to work with a top UK graphic designer when they created Momentum, a “digital dating app for designers”.

The trio created the social networking app which was hand-picked by renowned Graphic designer, Malcolm Garrett, as the winner of the Connect: Design Project 2011.

Michael Azzopard is an MA graphic design student, while Thomas Valente and Andrew Gill each have a post-graduate degree in motion graphics. 

Digital dating for designers

“Our app is about building real connections and collaborations between designers,” 23-year-old Thomas said.

“It’s a portable source of creativity and random inspiration that keeps you in touch with the design community around you, all through the simplicity of your phone. Digital dating for designers if you will.”

Malcolm Garrett, who in 1990 was the first among his peers to make his studio completely digital, mentored the Kingston trio as they developed Momentum which is designed for smartphones and tablet computers.

With a career that spans over 40 years and a portfolio that includes artwork for Duran Duran, Boy George and Peter Gabriel, Malcolm Garrett has inspired the students both professionally and personally.


“Malcolm Garrett is a hero of ours so the chance to work with him was completely amazing and his advice has been invaluable,” Michael, 24, said.

The app, which is still a prototype, will connect designers worldwide allowing them to share their portfolios and ideas as well as keeping them informed on surrounding events, agencies, jobs and design resources.

The trio fought off stiff competition from three other Kingston University teams during an intensive five week competition where contestants had to develop and pitch an idea that would promote and support emerging designers.


Kingston professor Catherine McDermott who is part of the Connect: Design Project team said: “The most critical time for a designer’s career is the 18 months after they graduate.

“That’s the underlying drive of this project, employability and giving our graduates an edge in the market in every way we can.”

As part of the project Kingston University collaborated with one of Korea’s leading design schools Hongik.

The final projects will be exhibited in the London Design festival and in Seoul at Design Korea 2011.

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