20 July 2012

Taking Ideas for a Walk – a D&AD Workout

Senior Designer Zamira attends a Design and Art Direction course – here’s how it went.

This promised an ‘out-of-character creativity’ experience where I was to spend the day working as an imaginator! In a basement studio in Covent Garden I was greeted by our session leader – a designer and inventor, Malcolm Kennard, known as one of the industries most unconventional designers. I brought an open mind and spent the day transforming things you might find in your garden shed!

The day was based on carrying out tasks to explore alternative ways of thinking. It started with a warm up exercise to modify a paper plate into an egg cup. The first brief was to work with the word ‘measurement’ and I created objects such as an ‘Olympic necklace’, made out of cable ties that matched the colours of the five rings, to a ‘minute plate’ which took exactly 60 seconds to secure 24 clothes pegs around the perimeter.

The tasks continued! Catering to Malcolm’s passion for cardboard boxes… using the theme ‘inside out’ I played with positive and negative space to tell stories.

Last task of day was to explore ideas around ‘work or play’ using a dust pan and brush, resulting in a noughts and crosses brush set, which lets you play in the dust before brushing away.

The workout satisfied my need to dream, make and play – well, at least for the day! It was fantastic to meet Malcolm and some fun and talented fellow designers. I’ve certainly become more comfortable with not knowing and have learnt new ways to generate ideas through the process of doing and making.

Here are a few things I’ve taken away with me:

  • Be comfortable with not knowing – It’s the things we do not know that inspire creativity.
  • Research, research, research – Find the inspiration by going out there and experiencing what you are working with.
  • Re think. re write, re invent – Look at a problem as an opportunity.
  • Make mistakes – They become your prototypes and you may learn something from them.

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