Conor Mayling's Portfolio

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What I get up to creatively and professionally 

Berlin Erasmus Year Abroad Review & Reflection

So, with my third year of university successfully completed, I was able to gather new knowledge, experiences and global networks with professionals and friends whilst residing in the wonderful, vibrant city of Berlin. I really loved and enjoyed this opportunity at Berlin, and I am so glad that I took the painstaking time with paperwork to have it completed and ready to go and experience living in Berlin for the year. At some point in my life, I've always wanted to live and study/work abroad, and this opportunity was the right time to take that. 

My first reactions to Berlin was the range of diverse communities of different races, especially with the Turks and Asians, almost the same at home in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Although seeing and experiencing these new communities and culture, I was easily able to adapt to the new lifestyle, as I am partly in the Asian community myself, being a mixed race as British Thai. The food and drinks were excellent, as Germany has a massive beer culture, obviously I had to get my hands on the good stuff, and of course, the beer was great. The food, on the other hand, I was not expecting it to be so good, however, it surprised me well, as the German cuisine is pretty tasty. Especially with gulasch and currywurst, German dishes that I had to try in Berlin. 

The university I attended in Berlin was called, BAU International Berlin - Applied Sciences, and I was participating in the Graphic Design & Visual Communication BA course with the first and final year students. So I got a mix of learning and mentoring, which was good for me to experience, as I got the chance to help and show the new students' design skills technically and conceptually. As well as mentoring the first year students, I was able to learn German and possibly continental European standard design procedures with other designers outside of graphic design and visual communication, such as interior and product designers. 

My portfolio has been updated with the projects that I have completed at BAU International, and I especially enjoyed the Word & Image project, as I was able to participate in a book-binding project again. My first venture into a book-binding project was not that good, as I didn't particularly enjoy it that much because of the limits of the brief. The brief was basically to design and bind a book on haute couture fashion as the content, with using Comic Sans as the only typeface throughout the book design. The project at BAU was limitless in comparison, as the brief was to design and bind a book on Mark Twain's The Chicago of Europe text. So, I was able to choose my own fonts and typefaces and chose how to lay out my spreads, as I was not limited to the obscure subject of haute couture fashion. 

Overall, my study abroad year out was positive and well spent, as I made good global friends, professional network relations, and most importantly, a good happy time. I also completed a WordPress blog of my experience during the year too, found here.