Raptor costumes, trainers & Design Museum competition

Some of you will have been on half term last week and some are off this week. Whatever the date of your half term I hope you got the chance for a good break and a bit of time to relax. Hopefully some of the links in my newsletter have saved you a bit of preparation time and allowed you to get a bit more time to yourself. 

The EBacc And Creativity

It is hard to keep up with all the changes in education as each week seems to bring changes. For D&T in particular the future looks uncertain and it is still not clear what direction things will take in the future. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the future of D&T is negative but it does mean that as D&T teachers we need to be aware of what is happening and try to influence things where we can. In particular there is concern that the introduction of the EBacc will threaten the future of creativity whether it be D&T or other creative subject areas. For more information on this and to sign a petition supporting the inclusion of creative subjects in the EBacc visit http://www.baccforthefuture.com/ 

Design And Make Your Own Jurassic Park Raptor Costume!

I am always keen to encourage students to think beyond the stereotype ‘fashion designer’ career options. Last week I mentioned a new exhibition in the V&A on Hollywood costume which might be of particular interest to students considering a career in this area. The V&A website even has a short video with costume designers talking what it is like to design costumes for characters and films http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/videos/h/hollywood-costume/


This week I also came across a really interesting short video on the making of the raptor dinosaur suit used in Jurassic Park. It is well worth a look to get students thinking about costume design. It is also useful in that it shows how a design develops over time with prototyping. In addition it highlights how good designing and making can transform what is essentially a man in a dinosaur suit into a scary, realistic prehistoric monster. http://wimp.com/raptorsuit/

Design museum

Design Museum Competition

Something else I mentioned last week was the exhibition ‘Designed to Win’ at the Design Museum. To compliment the exhibition the museum also has a great student competition for 14-19 year olds who are currently studying on UK design courses, or who take a keen interest in design.

The competition celebrates innovative, forward-looking design and in particular to the ‘Designed to Win’ exhibition which focuses on celebrating sporting moments, the sense of spectacle and shared celebration and how design influences sport and vice versa. 

The competition encourage young designers to broaden their awareness of issues in design and be inspired by the exciting range of materials, technologies, processes and solutions being developed by designers internationally. There are a four briefs including ones with an RM, graphics and textiles focus with students being encouraged to focus on being innovative. Students have to submit 3 design sheets and they don’t need to make a product (although they can submit photos of prototypes as part of the design sheets if they wish).

For more information visit http://designmuseum.org/media/item/79969/4856/14-19-student-competition-brief-FINAL.pdf

Cut Your Trainers In Half!

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As mentioned above the ‘Designed to Win’ exhibition celebrates the influence of design on sport and vice versa. A textiles item linked to sport that all students can relate to is the humble trainer. Try cutting a trainer in half on a band saw and use it to help students understand design, manufacturing techniques and materials. Extend this idea to other products you can cut in half whether they be textiles ones or made of other materials. Looking at cross sections of products helps students think differently as in most cases this is not a view they have ever seen before. This could lead to useful class / homework activities with students ‘exploding’ product layers to show how items are structured as well as doing cross sections drawings of the hidden bits of products. 

Many students are often just as interested in how the trainer has been cut in half as they are about what it reveals inside and this can lead to an increased understanding of industrial equipment in textiles. Students may for example have used a band saw in RM but not realised it is also used in textiles. The free download image this week shows industrial fabric cutting using a band saw to cut  through a hundred layers of fabric. Note the chain mail safety glove the operator is wearing.

Useful Link 

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Levi’s has introduced a new denim collection made from recycled plastic bottles and food trays, as part of its sustainable design initiative. Find out more about the 'Waste<Less' products at http://www.levistrauss.com/  

Free Photo Download


This week's image shows a band saw being used to cut through a hundred layers of fabric. Note the chain mail safety glove the operator is wearing. 

Click on the image to download it.  

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