Talking creative industry, design and accessibility


UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art has hosted the first in a series of inspiring talks, workshops and social events for creative professionals and students in the Swansea Bay City Region.

 Gareth Evans, Caroline Thraves, Mal Cansdale, Rachael Wheatley and Siôn Rees are photographed together at the Design Swansea event..

Design Swansea jointly organised by Waters Creative and Hypebound, showcased its ‘Talking creative industry, design and accessibility’ event at the University’s Alex Design Building in Swansea on October 3.

The event featured Siôn Rees, a multi-discipline designer from Swansea and currently working at Pentagon Design where he specialises in branding, web design, print design and video editing and Mal Cansdale, a founder member of Barod CIC, a cooperative of disabled and non-disabled people. Mal’s background is in developing and facilitating user led organisations and he has been producing accessible and Easy Read information for more than 20 years.

Waters Creative was set up in 2004 by UWTSD Graphic Design graduate Rhian East and her business partner, Rachael Wheatley. It began life as an entrepreneurial start up and has now grown to be a major competitor in its field in South Wales, boasting such high profile clients as O2, the Admiral Group and Welsh Government.

Mal Cansdale delivers a talk.

Rhian said: “The education I received at UWTSD during my degree studies gave me an excellent foundation in design and the confidence to run a successful business. To be truly creative means continually keeping up to date with trends and technologies across the entire creative sector. These events are designed to challenge, enlighten and inspire all who attend. We are excited to use the venue and facilities at the Alex Reading Room to help further enhance the Design Swansea experience going forward.”

Caroline Thraves, Academic Director, Art and Media at UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art said: “We are delighted that the Swansea Design will be based at Swansea College of Art (UWTSD) Alex Reading Room this year. These are excellent industry focused events which draw in a wide audience of externals and are open to our students to attend which enhances student experience.”

Caption left to right: Gareth Evans, Designer, Hypebound, Caroline Thraves, Academic Director, Art and Media at UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art, Mal Cansdale, Founding Member, Barod CIC, Rachael Wheatley, Founder and Director, Waters Creative, Siôn Rees, Designer, Pentagon Design.


Mal Cansdale gives a talk on a stage in front of a projector.

Note to Editor

More information on Design Swansea and how to register and can be found at

The event runs on the 1st Thursday of every month, starting at 6.30pm.

It is free to attend and includes the opportunity to meet likeminded creatives, drinks and pizza!

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

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Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

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Corporate Communications and PR

Mobile: 07384 467071