Creative talents of Swansea College of Art graduates highlight Trash Isles campaign


The creative talents of two UWTSD Swansea College of Art Alumni are featured in an advertising campaign by AMV BBDO to highlight a huge, swirling pile of trash in the Pacific Ocean that is growing faster than expected and is now three times the size of France.

Mike Hughes is from Mumbles and together with Dalatando Almeida from Portugal, graduated from UWTSD’s Advertising Brand Design course. Both have enjoyed successful careers and are now at AMV BBDO.

UWTSD’s Professor Andy Penaluna was the Programme Director for ‘Design for Advertising’ at Swansea College of Art at the time. He is now Director of the International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship at UWTSD (IICED) and said: “These past students have done amazingly well! Mike and Dal were in the first cohort – joining us in 2004. I designed the course because past students who had shared their career trajectories had made it clear that there was a huge demand for creatives who could work with and within business environments.”

He added: “There was nothing quite like it and there was a clear gap to be filled. Much of the success of IICED has been based on what past students have taught me, and Mike and Dal have never been shy in feeding back their experiences.”

UWTSD’s Martin Bush, Programme Director, Graphic Communication added: “Our position on the Advertising and Brand Design course remains faithful to its founding principles. Our intention is to nurture students to have an innovative approach to problem-solving through creative bravery and independent thinking. As methods of communication diversify at an exponential rate, having the right mind-set is critical. It is the amazing success of many of our alumni, like Mike and Dal that are a testimony to this approach.”

Mike said:  "We had a great time in Swansea and a great time on the course. We learned a lot from some very lovely people and were always encouraged to push the boundaries."

According to a three-year study, the mass known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is about 1.6 million square kilometers in size — up to 16 times bigger than previous estimates. That makes it more than double the size of Texas.

The patch is so big that environmentalists have called on the United Nations to declare the Great Pacific Garbage Patch a country, called “The Trash Isles,” complete with its own passport and currency, and called debris.

They even solicited 200,000 people to become citizens, including celebrities Sir David Attenborough, Chris Hemsworth and Gal Gadot. Their first citizen was “former US vice president and environmentalist Al Gore.

The Trash Isles was created by AMV BBDO and The Plastic Oceans Foundation. It has the support of more citizens than 27 other countries and has been described as “An innovative way to raise awareness of a problem that is often not seen” by the spokesmen for the secretary general of United Nations.

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Rebecca Davies

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