After ten sessions of hard work the ladies from St Ambrose Barlow, two Manchester School of Art student mentors, their Design Technology teacher and myself (Anna) finished our zine! If you’ve not been following along, this issue of Vapid Kitten has been taken over by an Ideas Foundation funded Digital Designer in Residence project. I have spent the last ten weeks in and out of St Ambrose Barlow working with a group of 14 year old girls to encourage them to consider taking Design Technology at GCSE level.
Along the way we have worked as a collective to up-skill in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign whilst also learning and writing about careers in Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math. It was important to me from a pedagogical perspective that the project was run as a collective. This meant that all of the people working on the zine contributed equally, and things like the title and cover art were all voted on.
As part of this we agreed on what publishing platform we would use for our zine In Another World. Working in teams the ladies explored Kindle, ISSUU and blogging as possible formats. After a vote, we settled on ISSUU as a platform offering us a free and accessible way for others to see our work. In fact, you can check out our finished product here.
This project formed part of a wider research project at St Ambrose Barlow about the low uptake of Design Technology at GCSE by girls. By running these sessions Nathalie and I sought to encourage the girls to try out some design technology skills and to find out more about technology related careers. The key finding we had been that the most important element to the project was giving the girls some time and attention. This helped to raise their confidence, and gave them a project to be proud of. The project has had a lasting legacy at the school as Nathalie now runs and annual zine project.