I really enjoyed hearing from Dougie Kinnear (a recent DJCAD jewellery and metalwork graduate who is currently in the Masters programme) on Friday, in our Change by Design lecture. I saw Dougie’s work at DJCAD’s last degree show, and it was great to actually hear him talk about it, and about himself. I really appreciated what he said about being very blinkered in his approach to his course – he was very focussed on jewellery, and making, so much so that he felt his design studies lectures were a bit pointless, or at least he found it difficult to apply them to his specialism and way of working. He said he felt like the lectures were designed to turn him into a product designer, which I suppose is understandable.
I have really enjoyed Change by Design so far, and I have enjoyed having the opportunity to step away from sketchbooks and textiles, and to think differently. I sometimes do find it a bit difficult, though, to relate these “think big” lectures to myself – when you spend the majority of your week with your nose in a sketchbook, concentrating on just drawing or making things that look pretty, sometimes that message can get lost. I think so, anyway!
I really enjoyed Mike Press’s lecture, I think, because of this. He spoke about Josiah Wedgwood who, it turns out, was an incredibly influential man, not just when it comes to pottery, but also in terms of mass production, industrialisation, transport innovation, and the abolition of slavery! “He just wanted to make cups and saucers,” Mike told us, but rather than just “being a potter”, Wedgwood worked to change many areas of society. In order to just make cups and saucers, he had to create a way to mass produce them efficiently, introducing “division of labour” into his factories, and building a village for his workers. He had to find an efficient way to transport his raw materials and finished goods, so he became influential in the building of the Trent & Mersey canal. I think it’s safe to say that Josiah Wedgwood had his “design thinking” hat on!
Words to live by: Stay hungry, stay foolish; don’t be a horse, be a sponge; put the “ing” in “thing”!