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Sixth Form DT students attend 'Product Design in Action' lectures

The Product Design in Action event, hosted at the Emmanuel Centre in London, is an eye-opening event for young people interested in product design, engineering and related careers.

Sienna in Year 12 provides an overview of the event: 

We were hosted by Pascal Anson, an influential designer who works across many disciplines in art, and who currently teaches post-graduate design in London. We heard from five incredible speakers at the event, and I will overview the three that stood out for me. 

We were introduced to Ben Wilson, who has combined skills with his London-based brothers to build shop floors and bespoke furniture for huge international brands including: Levi’s, Nike, Puma, Stussy and Supreme, just to name a few. He has also worked in schools, building wooden scooters to give children who may not yet have used or seen certain equipment a chance to get involved. He explained how he focuses on three steps when designing; what it needs to do, how he is going to do it, and how it can talk to a consumer. This last stage is particularly important to Ben. When designing centerpieces and shop floors, he pushes boundaries and regulations with the aim of creating an immersive experience for shoppers rather than simply a platform for sales. He showed this through his giant sculptures and neon lighting, which bring the environment alive. 

We also heard from Anna Plosajski, for the first talk of the day. She based her presentation on her changing experience in Material Engineering, exploring the idea that the journey of a career in design, and the awareness it leads to, can be equally as important as the work itself. To illustrate this idea, she used a graph of her age in years, plotted against her love for material engineering. I enjoyed this approach because it showed a clear upward trajectory, which was also evident through her passion for the topic, yet also explained the ups and downs that are part of the learning process. Her work with a nearly 300 mph car and invention of a game-changing magnetic medical cast was truly inspiring, especially as very few people in the audience, including myself, had heard of Material Engineering prior to the talk. Now Anna uses her knowledge of the industry to spread her understanding of the environment and share how self-awareness can be found through making and design. 

Daniel Charny MBE is an inspirational social designer, founder and director of Fixperts.  Fixperts is a creative learning programme concerned with inspiring and equipping creative, ingenious, and generous problem-solvers around the world. He explored how we can look at the bigger picture, and at wider global issues through focused designs. In his talk he remarked that it is always the relationship between Fixpert and client that is the most inspiring, the process of creating the product. The focus of designing and making products should not necessarily be the end result, but rather the motivation. Daniel gave the example of the half house to explain this; the motivation is that the house needs to be affordable, and this is achieved by leaving a platform for extension once it can be afforded. His selfless and purposeful approach was motivating and is incredibly important in his current project on zero waste schools.  

Tagged  Sixth Form