Designer for a day
In the ‘Designer for a Day’ program, developed by QUT Precincts and QUT alumnus Leighann Ness Wilson, students explore a variety of careers in design and put their problem-solving skills to the test.
The program begins with a tour of the current QUT Art Museum exhibit, including opportunities for students learn about how a gallery works, and the types of jobs available within the visual art and design industry.
The second part of the program is a workshop exploring the idea of prototyping within various roles in the design industry. Students are randomly assigned their job for the day – either architect, interior designer, landscape architect, fashion designer or industrial designer.
As Pia Robinson from QUT Precincts explains, this role-playing approach has proved to be very successful. ‘It helps demystify these occupations for students and their teachers,’ says Pia. ‘Students may have preconceptions about the roles, or may not have even heard of them before. We disrupt their social groups, challenging them to work with others. We also disrupt their ideas of what roles they might like, by having them explore an avenue that they might not have actively chosen themselves.’
Each design role is provided with a problem to solve at their own school. For example, the landscape architects might be asked to design an outdoor space at their school that promotes health and wellbeing.
After students explore their ideas around how to solve their challenge, they are tasked with creating a prototype. They are given a limited amount of everyday materials, inspiring them to use their imaginations. Each group then presents their challenge and how they propose to solve it.
The fast-paced and physical nature of the workshop, the stimuli of being in a new environment, and exposure to new people, including current QUT students, leads to a high level of engagement. Below are some of the responses from students when asked ‘what did you learn today’:
My experience today deepened my knowledge towards different compartments of 'design'.
Today I learnt that there are heaps of different careers that come out of design and art. I also learnt that prototyping helps develop the idea even more.
I learnt that design can lead to many different jobs and that each job can rely on others in design. I learnt a multitude of jobs in design and what each of them do.
That every day at school is important to get a job and that when I grow up I want to come to QUT to study Architecture.