All images by Gabriela Gesheva
The learning programme at Makerversity is an integral part of why we got started in the first place. Central to our thinking has been the drive to improve representation and access to opportunities within creative fields, by affording access to the tools and facilities needed to get a foot in the door.
One of our key partners in this has been the Prince’s Trust, a charity we’ve been working with since 2014, to bring new opportunities to young people who are struggling, for whatever reason, to get into work and specifically, get into creative fields.
Get Started with Product Design
We runGet Started with Product Design a couple of times a year with the Trust. On it, we take 14 young people aged 16-25 and put them through their paces with a week of technical skills sessions, talks and workshops. Following a design brief, we take them through one cycle of iteration to design. prototype and develop a product.
Some join us on the course simply to have a go: to work out whether design is for them at all. Some have the talent and the drive but are stuck, without the network or resources to sign up to a prohibitively expensive course. Others come to us having already completed further study in art , engineering or design, but struggle to find work because they fall into that – unfortunately very familiar – vicious circle of requiring experience in order to gain experience.
In February 2017, we ran our fifth Get Started course with an amazing group of young people from across London. Our members set briefs, lead skills sessions and offer mentoring, passing on their knowledge and experience from across the creative industries and illustrating just a fragment of the breadth of disciplines that could inspire our new designers.
This time, we saw our group design and make solutions for co working spaces. We discussed design thinking and human-centred design, introduced ideation and research methods, learnt sketching and drawing techniques, had a go at some quick and dirty prototyping tools, tried out Autodesk Fusion 360, Adobe Illustrator, and loads more.
We don’t stop there, following each of the courses we run, a selection of our members offer work experience opportunities for our cohort to apply to. This spring, three of our member businesses have taken on young people from the February programme. Check back on Asha, Jen and Dekyong’s progress in our blog.
For the more advanced members of the group, we invite them to apply for our Under 25s Membership Scheme. That’s three months of free space at Makerversity (alongside all it’s many perks) to concentrate on getting a project off the ground.
Our next course is coming up in mid August, so if you’re interested in joining us or know someone who is, get in touch here.