New Secondary School Workshop – Digital Design:Code

Learning and Interpretation
January 4, 2014

This year the Schools team launched a new digital coding workshop as part of our programme for Secondary Schools. Coding is becoming an increasingly prevalent design tool; it is both a new ‘material’ that artists can use and an inspiration for their subject matter. Programmers who work with code to create computer programmes are a recent addition to the creative arts community and we felt it would be timely to develop a workshop focussed on digital programming that a wide range of students could benefit from. 

The workshop explores the idea of open source coding and uses the Museum’s collections to inspire students’ ideas for their own piece of creative coding.

One of the most significant developments within digital design is the concept of ‘open source’. Designers publish their codes on the internet, creating libraries of creativity free for other designers to borrow, develop or pass on within the design community and beyond. Within the workshop we explore the idea of open source giving the students the opportunity to build on each others designs through online sharing.

The workshop is led by Antonio Fernandes, a Product Designer who uses coding in his own practice. Antonio leads the students through some basic coding using an online platform called SketchPatch before asking them to start writing and sharing their own code online.  Students look at digital artworks in the prints and drawings archive, before visiting the fashion collections to take inspiration for their designs from patterns and textiles.

Margarida Matos, lead Art & Design teacher from St Aloysius RC School has brought her A Level Graphic Design students to the V&A twice for the Code workshop. She explains why she wanted to them to do the session; ‘It’s good to open their minds to what is happening now…I have been trying to introduce digital design, animation and interactive design to the students…I have a student using coding on SketchPatch now to animate his project after our visit to the V&A.

The workshop has a cross disciplinary approach. Antonio talks to the students about how code can be used as a tool across a range of areas such as advertising, digital design, product design, furniture, interactive design, sound design, engineering, animation and more. Students and teachers who have done the workshop have come from a range of subjects including Art, Maths, ICT and Design & Technology. Magarida highlights; ‘I think it is very important, we live in an interactive culture…This is something I have been trying to develop [in school] for a long time’.

To find out how to book or for more information on the Schools programme, please visit our Schools pages:

About the author

Learning and Interpretation
January 4, 2014

I'm Team Leader for Digital Programmes at the V&A and run events, workshops, talks and festivals with artists and designers who use and experiment with digital tools, processes and manufacturing.

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