When the new year of teaching starts – I always find it is good to do a design spotlight with students to get their brains thinking about the world of design again after a great winter break. Normally I pick one of my favourite areas of design either socially aware or environmental design ideas – often loosely based around the syllabus but hopefully gets them thinking about what design can lead to – and the infinite possibilities it presents. Here are some of my links that I will be sharing with students :-
- We have all heard of solar panel rooftiles (Elon Musk is at the forefront) and solar power in general but development does seem very slow. So great to see these actual projects off the ground for a solar panel roadway in France. Great to get students thinking about the reasons that this idea may have taken so long, and may not in the end take off?
- Almost the opposite to the above technologically based idea – is this low-tech water collection tower – what a superb design and one that is so aesthetically pleasing aswell. Great to get students to compare both of these designs and how they may succeed or fail.
- As always sometimes the most powerful ideas to show students are those created by students – as they show what is possible right now! This is an interesting prize / competition which each year awards young people that are innovative in many areas – however I particularly like this one – “Hannah invented a device that converts the kinetic energy of ocean tides or any moving body of water into usable electricity. She dubbed her invention BEACON — Bringing Electricity Access to Countries through Ocean eNergy.” Great protype model too!
- Finally the great design for a low cost wheelchair for third world countries – what I love about this is it has a great design aesthetic that it does not compromise on but still can deliver on cost. A really interesting one to talk with students about and the manufacturing processes needed and why this may have reduced the costs compared to normal wheelchair designs?
I hope you and your students enjoy discussing the designs at the beginning of a new and rewarding term.