Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Inspiring the next generation

In the last six weeks we've had over 200 visitors pass through the study room, the majority of whom are first year Middlesex University Art and Design students. It will continue to be a busy time for MoDA in the lead up to Christmas but we thought today we'd take a breather and fill you in on what's been happening here in Beaufort Park. .

BA (Hons) Fashion, Design, Styling and Photography students (FDSP) were some of the first visitors this term. They made their way down from Hendon campus in groups of 16 to look through a selection of objects in our collection and gather ideas for a still-life composition project.

Hot on their heels were Fashion students who were given a brief introduction to the collection and set to work analysing a specific object. In groups of twos or threes they had to interrogate their object and find out key facts. What is it? Who made it? When was it made? Where was it made and what was it used for? The task drew out some interesting ideas and was an fascinating exploration of the assumptions, speculations and analytical skills we employ to make sense of objects.

MA/MSC Creative Technologies students paid a visit last month and were introduced to some of the highlights of the collection by our curator, Zoe Hendon. The students have been given a brief to develop a site-specific 'digital intervention', enabling users at Hendon campus to gain access to and engage with MoDA's collection. It's not often that we get the opportunity to work with science and technology students. We look forward to sharing some of their ideas with you at a later date.

Second and third year Illustration students have been visiting the study room each Friday in groups of five. They are working on a specific project to study one box selected at random and develop a creative piece inspired from its contents. This work will form the basis of their Arthur Silver Award entries for 2013.

It hasn't all been group visits. Individual researchers, students and design professionals have continued to book in to see the collection (and are welcome to do so, please contact us to make an appointment).

Nearly all the visitors to MoDA's study room, be they students or professional researchers, come armed with cameras. They snap away, gathering images of objects to use as reference for their work later on. This month it was a delight to have one student arrive with their (make-shift) pencil box, pull out a range of coloured pencils and start sketching from sight. Subsequently we have noticed some Illustration students doing the same. I'm sure there are benefits to drawing directly from the source. What do you think? 

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