Designing for Changing Relations by Elitsa Atanasova

Partnering with Lancaster University has provided our team at Changing Relations with skilled individuals to aid our work, whilst offering students the opportunity to experience work within the creative industry and third sector. Recent Design Intern, Elitsa, writes about her work with us.

My name is Elitsa Atanasova, and I began my internship with Changing Relations at the end of July 2021. I had recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Design at Lancaster University and I am happy to have had the opportunity to work as an intern with Changing Relations.

Throughout my studies, I got to work on numerous design projects addressing topics that are relevant today. Some of these projects focused on environmental issues and sustainability, gender equality, and feminism. The aim of these projects was to provoke, inform people, and challenge their pre-existing ideas on these topics using creativity and originality. That is how my passion to use design as a tool to bring awareness began. I like to help people through my passion.

I was very pleased when I was given the opportunity to work with Changing Relations on their new e-learning programme – Demystifying Domestic Abuse as a workplace issue. My role was to design the layout of the Personal Learning Journal booklet to support the digital e-learning programme. I was working closely with the director Lisa Davis, who guided me though the topic and the materials for the Learning Journal. I started off by watching their film – Make Do and Mend and listening to the digital soundscape – Us Too, which I found deeply touching and it made me expand my knowledge of further issues related to domestic abuse. Then, in collaboration with Lisa, the Artistic Director Polly, and the Digital Media Coordinator Alice, we came up with ideas to unify the two projects (Make Do and Mend and Us Too) and make the final outcome consistent and visually appealing.

I got the chance to design posts for Changing Relation’s social media platforms. I had a lot of fun coming up with different versions of the original design for booklet, to create diversity for the social media assets. I also helped the web developers Lee and Andreea from Foresight eLearning and Creative Limited, for the creation of backdrops for the digital e-learning programme. We experimented with different ideas until we found an appealing visual style that worked well with the design of the Personal Learning Journal.

This internship was a perfect blend between individual and collaborative work. I was mainly working independently on the design for the Personal Learning Journal, and I was strongly encouraged to express my own creative point of view. However, I never lacked support and guidance throughout the process. The whole team of Changing Relations was extremely welcoming, and their positive attitude I found really inspiring. I gained so much new knowledge from this hand-on experience not only in terms of designing, but also about my own future interests. I couldn’t have wished for a better opportunity.