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Where do ideas come from and how do we know if they are good ones?

In Work Out Studio our philosophy is that ideas don’t come through staring at a blank page but through action.  Not thoughtless deeds but thoughtful activity.  To come up with a good idea we need to work out how things function, about their characteristics and how they go together. By informing ourselves about tools, materials and process we are better able to formulate ideas for now or for use in future.

Seeking thought provoking inspiration we started the research stage with visits to the Millinery Works, the Ulm School exhibition, and to the Hitch Mylius workshops to see how things were done, and, how they are being done by designers and crafts people producing top quality furniture and products both historically, and, currently for today’s market.

Our first brief of the year ‘Isolation’ set by Hitch Mylius was concerned with how people achieve privacy in busy public spaces inside and outside. Student responses to the brief ranged from devices for mobile phones, to furniture, to architectural installations.

For our second brief, with the help of local designer maker Joe Pipal, we took on the challenge of wood and metal bending and joining.  Extensive research and experimentation led not only to the productions of samples of all shapes and sizes but also to the production of some attractive and innovative pieces.

Our last project with John Lewis called ‘Not so many Bookshelves’ was devised in response to the trend for smaller sized homes and flats due to growing population numbers, and, the increased use of tablets and laptops for reading. Charlie Fowler from John Lewis design department launched the brief with a fascinating lecture informing us about everything to do with John Lewis from the history of its brand to the attention to detail in the development of every aspect of a product or a range. Charlie will return at the end of the year to see the students’ work and to select a lucky student for a short internship with JL’s design department.