We recently held a workshop for year 10 students from St Peter’s Catholic School who were interested in starting a career in design and it was interesting to hear what they knew about the industry.
The workshop was part of a Future Options Day that St Peter’s holds instead of work experience. It gives students the opportunity to visit a number of businesses in Guildford to explore how a business is run, the working environment, employment opportunities and more.
Simon de Kretser started by telling the group of 10 students about his design education, career path, how FdK got started and a little about how the industry has evolved over the last 25 years.
But he was keen to discuss what they knew about design and its impact on their lives, so he asked them a few questions and wrote down their answers:
What skills do designers need? | Can you name something that has been designed?
It took some time to get them contributing, but they quickly understood the sort of skills designers need, giving them an idea of what to learn if they want to become one. They also quickly realised that the second question was a bit of a trick as design is everywhere, for better or for worse, the products, services and brands they encounter every day have had some kind of design input.
What brands / products / services do you like and why? | Can you name any designers?
What brands / products / services don’t you like and why?
The next step was to find out their favourite and least favourite brand, product or service. There were some interesting choices here and we really wanted the students to understand that good design is one of the main reasons why they like the look and feel of products from brands like Apple and Nike. Equally, that the things they dislike are potential problems waiting to be solved! Because that is exactly what all designers do, regardless of their discipline, they solve problems.
With regards to naming designers, the students came up with 7 of the 11 listed (we added Gehry, McCloud, Hadid and Rams) and while there were some interesting choices, from Antoni Gaudi to James Dyson, we are hoping this little workshop will encourage them to learn about some more!
What sort of design would you like to do?
The workshop was a great experience and it is the clear the students have a very diverse interest in our industry (one girl had already honed in on prosthetic design as a potential career path!).
We would love to do this kind of thing with other schools in the area and hope to see plenty of young talent come through in the years to come!