Designing the next chapter for QCA

A student working on lettering at the Queensland College of Art and Design

Griffith University’s Queensland College of Art (QCA) is proudly recognising its largest cohort by including them in its new name — Queensland College of Art and Design (QCAD).

Bachelor of Design students account for 58 per cent of enrolments at the College.

It’s one of Australia’s oldest and most esteemed art and design institutions, offering a wide range of creative and innovative programs including Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art, Visual Arts and Design.

QCAD Director Professor Elisabeth Findlay said that while there is a perception the College has been called QCA for its entire 140-year history, it has always adapted and moved with the times in its branding and naming.

QCAD Director, Professor Elisabeth Findlay
QCAD Director, Professor Elisabeth Findlay

“Carrying a legacy spanning 140 years, the Queensland College of Art and Design will continue to nurture and inspire the next generation of artists and designers, providing a dynamic and supportive learning environment,” she said.

“The new name will reflect our commitment to providing a creative and speculative dimension to Design education.

“One of the key differentiators of Design at Griffith is that it is offered from within an art and design school rather than through Engineering or Architecture as with other institutions, and therefore has a more creative and vibrant studio culture and sense of social purpose.

“This change will enhance our identity and reinforce our position as a leading institution in the field of arts and design education.”

Established in 1881, the College was originally known as the Brisbane School of Arts.

Since then, it has undergone a series of name changes including being known as the Technical School of Visual Arts before becoming the ‘Art Branch’ within the Central Technical College, Seven Hills College of Art in 1974, and only being renamed Queensland College of Art in 1983.

The decision to refresh the name was made after extensive feedback and consultation with various stakeholders, including students, staff, and the Industry Advisory Board.

An internal staff survey revealed overwhelming support for the name change with 82 per cent of respondents being in favour of the new name.

Similarly, the majority of surveyed Design students expressed strong support for the change, reaffirming the significance of the decision.

While the change will officially come into effect on 1 January 2024, it will soon be noticed at upcoming events, on the College website, in collateral and advertising and on-campus signage.

“Queensland College of Art and Design looks forward to an exciting future, embracing its rich heritage while embracing the opportunities the new name brings to further enhance its standing as a premier art and design institution in Australia,” Professor Findlay said.

“If you’re passionate about contemporary design and designing for a sustainable future, our courses can help develop and showcase your creativity and technical skills, tackling real design challenges and devising leading-edge strategies and solutions.”