It was my wife’s Graduation today, it was a very special moment and I felt very proud to be a part of her journey and share in her hopes and aspiration for the years to come. Graduations are very interesting events; I remember graduating last year with a mix of excitement, intrigue but also a fair amount of fear about what lay ahead. It was a very positive showcase about what the University of Salford and their Alumni could achieve. Today we were presented with case studies of success, people who had gone the extra mile and had made a difference; contributed to society. Then the universities pleaded for current graduates to stay in touch and share their stories with the university. How does a graduate progress from university study to being an example of success?
Then I remembered the story of the place in which we were celebrating. The Lowry Theatre, on Salford Quays, was design to elevate the area, provide a place for reflection and an area of cultural significance. Although when the Lowry was planned it felt out of place, why build a theatre and gallery within an old dock yard and next to an outlet mall. The two sat uncomfortably and without vision the story of the Lowry Theatre would have never met the success it has today. The Lowry Theatre is an example of the importance of creativity, arts and culture. The Lowry Theatre created an area of purpose, an area in which to live. The Quays has still not met its full potential but as the area further develops the story of the Lowry Theatre has become an integral part to its success.
Creativity, Arts and Culture are important these subjects can connect people and bring people together. These subjects need to be discussed and considered within all subjects areas. Culture and cultural intelligence may seem out of place in engineering and science degrees like the idea of a theatre in the Quays area. Yet over time these ideas will grow and their relevance will become apparent. This will provide engineers with an understanding of purpose and enable them to connect their Design with the People they are designing for.