Concept Design Masterclass Feedback

Published 31st January 2024

Michael Noonan is a teacher at Queen Elizabeth's School Barnet, renowned for his passion for design and technology education. Recently, Michael participated in the ‘Concept Design Masterclass by Seymourpowell’ in collaboration with The Design & Technology Association. This experience allowed him to glean insights from industry experts and contributed to his innovative teaching approach.

Response to the Masterclass:

The Sketching and Rendering in Concept Design Masterclass offered by Seymourpowell in collaboration with The Design & Technology Association is an excellent resource, thoroughly enriching for the technology team at our school. The course provided a focus on sketching and rendering techniques, which could be used at any stage of the design process from concept to development.

The practical tasks during the workshop were instrumental in swiftly generating design ideas and prototyping; I sketched alongside the example videos where Dick Powell showed his process, finding a happy medium between his and my own skillsets.

The suggestions of equipment were extremely helpful and have been instrumental in allowing us to level up our resourcing for students at all key stages; we now have a “rendering resource kit” containing many of the fine liners, markers and tools suggested here. I appreciated the course's flexibility, especially the on-demand nature of the video content and easy-to-access downloads; I anticipate these will find their way into future lessons during which we will ask our students to refine and develop their sketching and rendering skillsets.

The skills learned in this course are directly applicable to the AQA GSCE Design and Technology and AQA A-Level Product Design courses, specifically looking at the potential of the following:

  • Incorporate sketching and rendering techniques into coursework and KS3 Projects: The skills learned in this course are directly applicable to the AQA GSCE Design and Technology and AQA A-Level Product Design courses. You can incorporate these techniques into your coursework requirements to help your students develop their sketching and rendering skills. I plan to show the videos to my students in year 12 as a refresher of skills during sketching sessions.
  • Use the practical sketching tasks from the workshop as inspiration for student projects: The practical tasks during the workshop (such as rendering shapes in reflective materials) are relevant to the sketching for specific materials during ideation phases of the GSCE and A-Level NEA. You can use these tasks as inspiration for student projects and assignments, particularly those who struggle to visually communicate materiality.
  • Encourage students to watch the on-demand video content: The on-demand nature of the video content allows students to plan their learning around busy schedules. Encourage your students to watch the short and focused videos to improve their sketching and rendering skills, perhaps through logging into the course on a classroom PC and allowing students to access for support.

As I continue to search for the most up-to-date, real-life examples of the skills needed for future designers within our cohort, I will look out for resources like this course.

I would recommend it to anyone who has a cohort in need of refreshing, up-to-date resources which are exciting and use the very best of industry practices to inspire them to improve their skills.

Click here to register for this masterclass.

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