Design amp; technology - Let's study designers

2nd March 2012 at 00:00

What it's all about

We teach design and technology to children of all ages, but do they know who designers are or what they do? I want us to put the designers back into design, writes James Playford.

Other subjects study their most successful proponents. Can you imagine English, music, art or drama ignoring their luminaries? So where do we begin?

I believe the study of design history enriches Damp;T and is both easy and fun to do. The majority of product design, resistant materials, graphic products and textiles technology syllabuses require the study of design history. The majority of exam boards require students to know about Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, ModernismInternationalism and Post- Modernism.

A better handle on history

I bet you know more about design history than you think. Can you name five designers? Do you know who designed the 1959 Morris Mini Minro or the iPhone? Do you know who designed the London Underground map?

You could start by comparing and contrasting the work of multiple designers, focusing on an engineer, chef, architect, product designer or crafts person. You do not have to change the whole curriculum. Start slowly, maybe with a research task. You can focus on a classic or contemporary designer, a local designer or one you know your students will like. It may be a designer whose work you can easily access. So there you are. Get creative and get designing.

And there's more

From Tube maps to kettles, juicers to the London Olympics and Paralympics logo, ascorer's presentation introduces designs and designers past and present.

For a study of fashion designers through the ages, look at June21's PowerPoint.

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