Final Adventures in Design by New Ross Students
Posted by admin, February 20, 2014


Week 7

The students were given their design challenge last week. The aim was to come up with concepts and designs for an internal courtyard space in the school. To inspire the students with their designs, this week we looked at some examples of design in everyday objects. These objects have become so ingrained in our lives that people often overlook how innovative their designs were originally. Some of the products such as the Sony Walkman have become old technology but its design went on to inspire other products such as the iPod. The Arne Jacobsen Ant Chair is another prime example. A simple design featuring a single piece of laminated veneer forming the seat and tubular steel legs. It was lightweight and easily stackable and although only 300 were originally made the design became an icon of design and was mass produced and versions can be found in most offices and schools today.



Image 1

Figure 1: Design in the everyday.


Good Counsel has in the past held a design competition for ideas for the courtyard. Below is the competition design, a simple landscaped space with some planting, terraced seating and feature metal flower sculptures. I challenged students to come up with alternative design
with different functions.


Image 2

Figure 2: – Previous courtyard design.


The class had development some ideas in their Design Journals. We fleshed out the concepts on the white board in class. There were some very interesting ideas ranging fromvery adventurous (Ferris Wheels, Aquariums, Diving Boards and Zip Lines) to very practical requirements in the school (dining areas, study space, chill-out areas and an outdoor


Image 3

Figure 3: Students exploring their courtyard space designs in class.


Week 8

Week 8 was my last week with TY3 at the Good Counsel College, New Ross. During the week I took their sketched designs ideas and concepts and turned them into 3D images and drawings for the final presentations. In class we recalled our early discussion on presentation and translating ideas to drawings and imagery. I asked the students how important they thought 3D image like those below were in expressing ideas. A couple of students mentioned the appeal of animated 3D presentations such as those features on ‘Grand Designs’ and ‘Room to Improve’ that illustrate the building design from ground up. I spoke about some of the simple to use and free tools that are available to students to begin designing such as SketchUp.



Image 4

Figure 4: 3D render verses reality



Image 5

Figure 5: Concept 1 – Outdoor Cinema



Image 6

Figure 6: Concept 2 – Play area



Image 7

Figure 7: Concept 3 – School shop & covered dining area.



Image 8

Figure 8: Concept 4 – Students split level lounge.



We had hoped we would get round to exploring the possibility of constructing some part of one of the concepts temporarily in recycled materials but we have run out of time. Hopefully the design ideas and concepts will inspire the next TY class under taking the National Architects in Schools Initiative. I would like to thank the students of Transition Year 3 for their participation on the course and the teachers and staff of the Good Counsel College, New Ross for their assistance and support.




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