David and Becky collaborated with pupils and staff at Witton Park School, Blackburn, to explore how digital processes, manufacture and creative technology might be incorporated within an education environment. Together we explored everything from laser cutting to film making, Arduino coding to Adobe Photoshop.
The project was firmly established in the school by the installation of The Shed - a huge outline that defined a space and slotted together like a jigsaw during our first workshops. The shed was located in the foyer of the school where it was embellished and augmented throughout the project, initially with our input and latterly without.
Additions were varied and dramatic - all were done collaboratively with pupils and developed specific skills. An early addition was the creation of tiles for the roof. Pupils took digital photographs through trees which they subsequently processed in Adobe Illustrator so that they could be manufactured on the school's laser cutter.
Other additions included a wall which responds to the light level and temperature of the school that emerged from a series of workshops focusing on electronics and Arduino programming, a short film projected onto the roof and made from clips shot by the young people, and a wall of tiles created as part of coursework looking at Hundertwasser.
A highlight of the programme was being able to offer technical advice to pupils submitting portfolios for GCSE. Together we were able to tackle some really ambitious works including the manufacture of a geodesic dome that projected shadows based on traditional Islamic designs, and a Japanese triptych containing a photo of the artist herself laser etched into acrylic.
The project was one of several run concurrently in schools throughout Blackburn. The programme culminated in a joint show at the Blackburn Is Open gallery in Blackburn town center.