Those summer holiday months are dwindling away – and it is a great time to collect and archive some great insiprational links and design news ready for teaching in the new academic year. It is always great to keep these as lesson starters, discussion points that can link to any part of the syllabus and if nothing else as a great way to inspire students ready for their own design projects. Below are some of my favourites over the last few months :-

  • As usual at this time of year the Stirling Architecture prize nominess are announced – which is an architecture competition in the UK (link to site which has all past winners) and highlights what is considered the best. Architecture I always find infleunces and inspires students and this is a great starting point. (Who is going to win – ‘Maggies’ design of course which emulates some classic designs such as Mies van de Rohe’s Farnsworth house.)
  • As you all know I am an ehnthusiast of 3D printing – especially in schools as it links well with the new syllabus but also is the future for our students walking into the world of design. I also love simplicity and believe this idea for 3D printing simple furniture joints enabling anyone to construct and design their own furniture pieces out of ply is inspirational. Great to show students that the simplest ideas can often be the best! Really interesting to see this designers website on this project as it shows a number of his protoypes an excellent example of the design process for students.
  • Design Museum of the year – 2015 design award has been announced somethign which really shows how ‘technology push’ will lead to innovation with the “organ on a chip’ set of designs. Why not have an initial discussion with your students all choosing their favourite from the nominations and that presenting – why including details related to materials, manufacture and design insipration?
  • Ever heard of a tritensel? Well another simple but interesting design to flag up ‘sustainable design’ and discussions around whether a throway fork/spoon/knife can actually be sustainable? Can it?
  • Finally any student that has been taught design by me – will know that in some ways I am tradiotional in that I often think the best design projects I have seen from students come in the form of furniture based projects. I know often a little big – but great projects and this simple children’s chair made from plywood is a great inspirational example for students.

I hope these links are some good starters for your students to discuss and get inspired! Enjoy those final few weeks over your summer holidays!