Narrator: The designs you see here were all created by young people aged between 11 and 16 from schools and youth organisations across the country. Erin O’Connor, model and V&A Trustee, opened this final exhibition of 6 months of hard work.
Erin O’Connor: It’s really good, it’s exciting.
Narrator: The Design for Life project involves young people working alongside professional designers and as five other regional museums as well as the V&A. Museum collections provided an inspiration for a wide range of inventive designs.
Students from Brighton created trash fashions and organised their own fashion show. They used recycled materials such as video tape, plastic bags and crisp packets.
Exploring, drawing and gathering ideas from museum objects were at the heart of each project.
Here students research linear patterns in ancient Buddhist sculptures. From their drawings the students developed decorative designs and sized them to polypropylene. This formed a distinctive outer shell over a recycled fabric bag.
The brief was set by womenswear designer Polly Coward. She designs highly striking looking bags inspired by architecture. She often visits museums for ideas. Polly guided the students to complete their bags to a professional finish.
Natasha: There was designer called Lisa Helm. She had a suit and it had geometrical sharp designs. It was really funky and cool. That’s why I wanted to use it in my work – the electric kind of patterns on this. Look for ideas for things and actually get out there and search yourself for things. It’s a lot better than just sitting in a classroom just copying things down off a board.
Helen Cross: It’s the second year that we’ve used the museum and designers to influence what students design. This years GCSE results have shown a two-grade improvement on the sort of results that we would have been expecting in previous years.
Narrator: Its not only schools, many youth and community groups have also taken part in Design for Life.
Darren Duncan: It opens up another world to them. They have access to things they haven’t seen before. It gets them curious - they begin to ask a lot of questions and we work with young carers which gives them respite. Also it helps to develop their self-esteem and they are learning new things while attending these activities.