V&A Schools, the Creative Industries and a stained glass car of the future….

The V&A Schools programme gives students and teachers the chance work with professional artists and designers and provides insights into the creative industries. So, at the start of another new term I thought it would be nice to look back at how we’ve been doing this over the last term and look ahead to some of the things we have in store for this one…

Back in September we launched a series of designer-led sessions in the galleries looking at ways to interpret V&A objects through hands-on making. We have a brilliant team of designers leading the sessions, all bringing their own creative individuality to working with school students, museum collections and gallery spaces. Themes include drawing, photography, textiles, performance and inventing.

New Gallery-based drawing session for Secondary

New gallery-based drawing session for secondary students

© Victoria and Albert Museum

In early November, a group of special educational needs students from Coventry came down to take part in a WWI printmaking workshop with artist Josie Molloy. Students visited the V&A’s Prints and Drawings collection to look at a range of different WWI images before trying out different printing techniques back in the Learning Centre. They also took inspiration from the exhibition ‘Russian Avant Garde: War, Revolution and Design’, looking at the bold colours and shapes to inspire their final designs.

The V&A visit was one element of a longer term project with Culture Coventry and part of the ongoing Museums and Schools initiative funded by Arts Council England.

WWI Printmaking session

WWI Printmaking session © Victoria and Albert Museum

At the end of November we hosted our annual careers day for secondary schools and colleges, Creative Quarter. The day brought together leading professionals from across the creative industries including the makers of Oscar-winning film ‘Gravity’ – Framestore, Ivan Harbour, Jonathan Barnbrook, digital coding company Kano, ethical fashion company TRAID, Craftivist Collective and Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio.

Set Design Workshop at Creative Quarter

Set Design Workshop at Creative Quarter © Victoria and Albert Museum

A giant interactive installation by artists Isabel & Helen formed an incredible centrepiece for all the drop-in activities in the Raphael Gallery where students could meet the current designers in residence, chat to university students and graduates, experiment with digital coding and try out some craftivism with the Craftivist Collective.

Isabel & Helen Installation for Creative Quarter

Isabel & Helen Installation for Creative Quarter © Victoria and Albert Museum

To finish off the term, designer Dominic Wilcox led a V&A Sanctuary session – our Friday evening programme for teachers. Dominic works between the worlds of art, design, craft and technology to create innovative and thought provoking objects. His recent projects include a pair of shoes with inbuilt GPS to guide the wearer home and a stained glass driverless car of the future.

Stained Glass Car of the Future © Dominc Wilcox

Stained Glass Car of the Future © Dominic Wilcox

So it was a busy term and we have lots more to look forward to this term, with a new series of V&A Sanctuary kicking off this month, the winner of our annual graphic design competition, Graphic Gathering, announced in early Feb and three in-depth DesignLab projects to come.

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