critical making – the beginning – group task day one

Interior Environmental Designers (IED), Jewellery and Metal Designers (JMD)  and Textiles Designers (TD) all met Thursday morning for our first introductory talk and brief.  The aims of the course are to

a. help up to develop a clear understanding of critical thinking and making.

b.To develop an understanding of materials, construction and fabrication.

c.To explore historical context and contemporary making.

We’ll be looking at;

traditional techniques using traditional materials.

Traditional techniques using new materials.

Technological innovation and traditional materials.

Technological innovations and new materials.

The course is bought to us by

Dr Sandra Wilson Jason Nelson Andrew Pelc and Fraser Bruce, quite an impressive range of knowledge.

During the introduction we were shown videos of  incredible work.  A Day made of Glass showed technology we’re using now but applied in a huge way in the future – have a look it really is incredible

We were also shown work by recent graduates whose work in textiles, jewellery and IED won them prizes and recognition because of their use of smart or “out of the ordinary” materials. Here are three textiles designer I was fortunate to meet whilst they were in their final year





The brief was then disclosed to us!!! and because we are working together across the three disciplines we were shown an  IDEO video which showed how to work in a teams brainstorming ideas – 

It was then just a case of getting to know each other here are three of the team plus me!

From left to right –  Cara from Interior and Environmental Design, Ros from Textile Design and Zoe from Jewellery and Metalwork.  We had a great afternoon brainstorming and coming up with brilliant solutions to answer our brief – ” Health – this could be a response to the current focus on healthy eating and obsession with monitoring our body functions,  Blood Pressure, weight etc”

There’ll be much more on this over the next two weeks, so watch this blog:)

T shaped practitioner – New challenges New Learning Opportunities

Duncan of Jordanstone is changing.  In September 2011 as new third years we are the first to have a choice of modules which will transform us from ‘I’ shaped practitioners to ‘T’ shaped practitioners.  As Textile Designers, we will be sharing our learning with the departments of Jewellery and Interior and Environmental Design, we will still learn our trade, with me printing dyeing and designing but we will also share ideas with the other disciplines using the Expansive Learning Modules.  To quote Prof Mike Press, Programme Director of Design and Craft at DJCAD  “we will have the depth of learning from our chosen discipline and with the Partnerships, Networks and Connections and  the Expansive Learning Modules we will learn to work across the creative industries, work as a team and be business aware, giving us a breadth of knowledge too. This will help to make us more employable and be able to thrive in the new world which awaits us on graduating”.  With an interest in surface – textiles designers will be able to understand and also learn about artifacts and the space around us, we will connect with social issues and following on from Jonathan Baldwin’s Design Studies in year 2 we will learn more about service design, help with social challenges and the needs of industry.

Dissertation has become a word of the past. In semester two we will start our work towards 4th year – I made the decision to choose Design in the Market Place – with this I will learn what is exactly involved with setting up in business and will have access to the University Alumni and the staff who not only teach but are successful in business.  Exciting stuff indeed.

Research and Creative Practise is a module  for those who still wish to research and they will be a buddied with an academic to support them through their research. For those who are interested in International Business the Made in China module is there to learn more about the country which is becoming the most dominant in design culture and manufacturing –  a trip to China is also a possibility.

Over summer the lecturers looked at how things could improve for students by looking at what worked in other places. We can expect clearer assessment criteria, clearer system of feedback, written feedback, and forward looking feedback.


Yesterday I found out more about the ELM Critical Making, Function and Fabrication – I will be learning  laser cutting, sublimation printing, mould making, vacumn forming, electroforming and embedding electrical components. And that’s just for starters and tomorrow we have a visitor from the RSA to talk about our Partnerships Networks and Connections Module more about that tomorrow!