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Ms Tao Lin

About

I am a graphic designer and lecturer. 

Following my graphic design study from universities in China and the U.K., I worked in FITCH London –– a retail & brand consultancy –– as a branding designer, and in which I participated in various visual merchandising and rebranding projects, including the Russian Rail pitch for 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, HSBC, Dell, and McClaren. After that, I started freelancing and teaching at GAFA, one of the top Art and Design University in China, and now Kingston University in the U.K.

I enjoy teaching as I feel that my experiences of learning, teaching, and professional practice in both China and the U.K. have given me a broad knowledge and understanding of students' learning development from cross-culture backgrounds and the emotional development of students how to locate themselves being a practitioner and a student. 

Academic responsibilities

Lecturer

Qualifications

  • PGCert in Learning and Teaching in HE (Kingston, UK)
  • MA Communication Design (CSM, UK)
  • BA Graphic and Media Design (LCC, UK)
  • BA Graphic Design (GAFA, China)

Teaching and learning

My philosophy of effective teaching is not about transmitting knowledge but to engage students in active learning and make it constructively aligned with the learning outcomes of modules/projects. The teaching methods and activities I used are more focused on how students learn and where they are in the project process to meet the intended outcomes.

As a design practitioner and educator, I consider teaching to be an act of design as well as a creative process. I enjoy the process of supporting students learning and, most importantly, being able to help them discover their form of creativity and gain external recognition. I value the creative disciplinary ways of thinking and doing to prepare students for real-world practice and collaboration. Therefore, I utilize the design process as a tool for learning. This is particularly beneficial for integrating a learning environment where students come from diverse backgrounds with various design skills and understanding of the professional standard, and for students who work on life/competition projects. As it reflects a convergent and divergent process of thinking and making in producing outcomes to meet professional standards. With this design process approach, students can articulate creativity in stages and think strategically in life brief projects which sometimes can be abstract for them to grasp.

The nature of art and design courses is also about practice-based learning. For the most part, I use lectures, seminars, one-to-one/group tutorials, group projects, workshops, presentations and critiques in my teaching as structured educational spaces. Being a teacher as well as a practitioner, I aim to bring in aspects of professional practice to the learning environment to expand students' understanding of disciplinary knowledge, mirror the context of professional practice, and support individual development on progression personal learning skills for future employment.

Qualifications and expertise

  • PGCert Learning and Teaching in HE (UK)
  • HE Teaching Qualification (P.R.China)

Undergraduate courses taught

Postgraduate courses taught

Research

My research interests include analysis and description of everyday life communication, with a particular interest in how people understand and use things in their daily lives in which can provide creative approaches and visual patterns in graphic language. Through the use of user research and visual research as methods in design experimentation and investigation, I aim to explore how visual data can be used as an indicator to explore the forms of communication and abstract theoretical ideas. I have undertaken research in the use of emotive language in packaging design aiming to discover the relationship between language description, people's understanding of the product/service and product selling. My research project also includes cultural factors to explore the cultural differences in daily life, such as 'The Dinners of the Year' project explored the cultural differences in diet between British and Chinese who live in the UK, and 'Text Messaging' a project investigating the boundary between digital-mediated word and spoken word.

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