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SHIFT: Inspiring Design and Technology

SHIFT: Inspiring Design and Technology

Photographed above: "Rattlesnake Saloon" at the Seven Springs Lodge, Tuscumbia Alabama

At the end of the Summer Term, the Design Technology department spoke at a design conference in Alabama. The SHiFT event is an open community of makers, industrial designers and creators.

In his report below Will Matthews, from the Design Technology department, comments on the positive and creative experience at SHiFT outlining his plans to encourage design students at Radley to participate in next year’s event which will bring together design professionals from across the world to a mountain setting in Wales. 

Report by Will Matthews:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived”.  Henry Thoreau’s reasons for spending two years in a forest in Massachusetts ring as true today as they did when he wrote them in 1854.

In June, I found myself under a huge slab of rock at a place called Rattle Snake Saloon in the middle of a 3000 acre former cotton plantation in Alabama.  I had been asked to take part and speak in a Design conference called SHiFT.  SHiFT is an open community of makers, industrial Designers and creators. I found myself sharing campfire conversations with Design Students, Design Teachers and Design professionals from the likes of Google, Reebok, Dell, Magic Leap, Eastman Chemicals, Home Depot and GoPro - all with a different take on what we call - Design.

Each day I was engaged in events, workshops, and discussions focused on an aspect of the Design process. Topics that covered community, reflection, craft and grit were explored through community challenges – all bathed in the intense heat and humidity that the Deep South is famous for.

It was wonderful to meet so many lovely creative people, in such a truly magical setting. A massive thanks must go to the whole SHIFT crew for letting me take part and contribute to such a positive creative experience, crammed full of ideas and inspiration.  

I’m very keen that Radley design students and staff take advantage of this and with this in mind, we are bringing design students and design professionals and educators from all over the world to a stunning mountain setting in Wales from Sunday 9th July 2017 to Saturday 15th July 2017 for next year's event.

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