"From Idea to Prototype” National Museum hosts “Intro to Design” workshop

Creativity and innovation are being touted as skills necessary for 21st century work environments and life in general. Future workforces will be required to employ more creative strategies in their outputs, and to be active problem-solvers.  Fortunately, the National Museum and Art Gallery is already on board with this vision and is reimagining Art with innovation. On Saturday 29th June, the National Museum and Art Gallery in collaboration with the Department of Creative and Festival Arts of The University of the West Indies hosted an “Introduction to Design” workshop aimed at showcasing the innovative work of final year design students, whilst instructing participants on design fundamentals.

With the theme “From idea to Prototype”, the one day workshop saw enthusiasts across various disciplines challenge themselves to learn and apply new design principles. Seven final year students facilitated the workshop- each showcasing their respective projects while walking participants through the inherent challenges they encountered. Andrea Gruny opened the session with her model display of a seating area for the Piarco International Airport. Gruny explained how the layout, materials, images and colours can add functionality and a touch of patriotism to this communal space.  Zara Montoute followed with her display of jewellery dubbed “BlueNote”, which featured hundred dollar bills cleverly stored within each design. Tenika Samuel impressed participants with her multi-functional furniture designs, and Jonathon Crevelle displayed the pride of Tobago with fabric designs celebrating the island’s Folklore and Heritage.

Both Sydney de la Rosa and Marina Shareef presented art installations on wire bending and immersive art respectively, with Shareef’s piece depicting maximalist decor through colour, lights and intense imagery. Finally, Ananda Poon’s wave-like light fixture featured the versatility of plastic bottles, whilst raising awareness to the global plastic waste crisis.

Following the demonstrations by each student, participants were briefed on the principles of design. The final year students stressed that designs of today need to be solution-oriented and environmentally friendly. Participants were then challenged to design and create a light fixture using paper only. The results were impressive for first-timers, and participants were keen on delving further into this aspect of the Creative Arts.

Curator (Ag) of the National Museum and Art Gallery Lorraine Johnson says that “the Museum will continue to create avenues to spotlight emerging artists, whilst pushing the boundaries of Art with workshops like these. Artists are not just creatives; they are also required to be critical thinkers and problem solvers. I want persons to understand the thought processes behind a design, thereby nurturing a deeper appreciation for the end product.”

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