One of Makerversity’s key aims is to introduce young people to new skills and careers in creative industries, and with a space full of creative maker businesses like ours, we have an amazing resource to tap into and inspire young people with new ideas about the new and exciting kinds of work that they could be doing.
We do this in a few ways: through our learning programme, Makerversity DIY, which brings making into the classroom; and through talks, events and workshops. One of these workshops is through our partnership with the Prince’s Trust, with whom Makerversity have now run two ‘Get Started with Product Design’ programmes.
The Trust work with 13-30 year olds across the UK who are not in education, employment or training and they run a wide range of programmes – including the ‘Get Started’ series – to support young people and build their confidence and skills.
At the end of May we ran our second ‘Get Started with Product Design’ programme, generously supported by ARM, with a new cohort of twelve aspiring young people from across London. We played with pattern, we built furniture, made sensors and laser cut plant stands, all around the theme of a Digital Allotment.
Starting with a Taster Day lead by the exceptional Melanie Bowles from the People’s Print, the group took part in a Smörgåsboard workshop and learnt about new digital textile processes and how they are impacting fashion and textile design. The workshop, developed with the TED (Textile Environmental Design Research Group), ‘encourages analogue play and participatory design’ where users can build their own unique patterns using a selection of rainbow laser cut shapes.
The result was a really beautiful selection of patterns that they would later have printed into their own aprons in time for their return for the main programme. A huge thanks to Bags of Love for printing our pieces for us, we were really impressed with the results!
A week later, we invited the group back for a full week of product design sessions offering the group the opportunity to try out as many manual and digital manufacturing processes that we could squeeze into a week. We had a fantastic selection of activities from CAD modelling to carpentry, and electronics to graphic design and introduced our group to as many Makerversity members as we could in the fields they were interested in.
We invited along Tech Will Save Us, who came in to run their Thirsty Plant session – complete, no less, with an ‘auto-watering balloon bomb‘ session using Arduino! And we tried out some of our own Makerversity DIY sessions too..
We had a great week and had some lovely feedback from the group.
A massive thanks to the help of some of our lovely members and friends of Makerversity, including Autodesk for their brilliant Fusion 360 sessions – we might yet have a few 3D modellers from the group; to Tech Will Save Us for their brilliant session, a lot of mess and a lot of fun; to the wonderful Chris Jarratt for his exceptional knowledge of all things woodwork; and finally to our members for showing their support, talking to the group about their work and offering their advice, expertise and work experience opportunities.
“I really enjoyed my week here, as it has enabled me to think what I want to pursue a career in. I feel the Prince’s Trust can help me towards my goals. I’m feeling more confident with myself.”
“The course gave me the opportunity to learn more about the process of making and printing objects in 3D. I would definitely recommend this programme.”