D & T Resource of the week 1


Y10 Memphis acrylic clock project

Secondary Design and Technology

  • A fantastic way of introducing the concept of design movements and incorporating it into a product design task.
  • What is it? - The project is just that, a proper project. It consists of a scheme of work laid out week by week, with aims, activities, resources and homework all considered. The SOW is backed up by two well presented PowerPoint’s. I love the use of enlarged quotes throughout the PowerPoint’s, they help to give the project an exciting aesthetic and use a relevant technique widely employed by the media. There is a very clear and systematic approach to this project, one that cleverly captures the essence and thinking behind the Memphis design movement, something I have struggled to teach in the past. The PowerPoint’s provide the teacher with enough background and key examples to stand in front of a class and present the topic. The resource is detailed but not overdone. I liked the focus and extension task at the end of the project, looking at other design movements/companies, in this case Alessi.
  • How could it be used? - The project is so well laid out that it could run itself, irrespective of the teacher’s prior knowledge of the Memphis design movement. This I think is a major strength, two clicks of a mouse and you have a full SOW ready to go. I believe that the project could also be run quite easily with KS3 pupils and the research of the design movement could be done and presented in learning groups of three. Here’s another suggestion, stay with me on this one, incorporate liquorice allsorts into the project, why? Memphis takes its influences from rock and roll and Egyptology, Memphis was a famous citadel in Egypt, liquorice was first used by the Egyptians as a medicinal ingredient and what other product on the planet screams Memphis design movement more than the humble liquorice all-sort? See if you can get the students to find the liquorice link but more importantly, forget sketching your ideas. Get a digital camera and a large bag of liquorice allsorts and start modelling your ideas immediately, trust me it has never been easier to put together classic Memphis clock designs. The students could cut the clock hands out using card and easily stick on, take the photo’s and job done. Was Sottsass really listening to Dylan or was he half way through a pack of Bassett’s? The Alessi extension task could be enriched with a small Alessi handling collection, but try containing the collection, Alessi is too broad and has too many individual designers. I focus on the “family follows fiction” collection, including the “Gino Zucchino” sugar shaker and the “Lilliput” salt and pepper set. These items and the range follow a playful theme and this is evident throughout.
  • How have you used this resource? - I have run a KS3 Memphis Clock project for some time now but used posters and my own explanations to articulate the design movement to the students. I have since employed these PowerPoint images to do this for me; they say a picture is worth a thousand words, my students are much happier now.
  • Uploaded by gbean318


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