Posted Thursday 14 February 2013
Students and staff from the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture are showcasing unique made-to-measure fixes for everyday problems in an exhibition at the Stanley Picker Gallery. They are members of Fixperts, a group of creative designers dedicated to improving the way things work for members of the public – their 'Fix Partners' – and providing clever solutions to life's niggles.
Kingston University's course director for Foundation Studies in Art and Design, Rebecca Davies, is running the project with Fixperts' founders, designer James Carrigan and curator and writer Daniel Charny. Mr Charny, who has recently joined Kingston University as a Professor of Design, explains more about Fixperts in this film.
Kingston students have been solving problems for their own Fix Partners as part of an official pilot of Fixperts working within universities. These have included designing a device to thread needles for a visually impaired retired architect and developing a way to fix medical equipment to a mobile paramedic's bicycle. Participating students were given plenty of autonomy on the project, including responsibility for finding their Fix Partners and resources. They also shot mini documentary films to record every stage of the design process. These are now on display at the University's Stanley Picker Gallery.
"On every level the trio of relationships, between the designer, the film maker, and the person we are hoping to assist, is mutually beneficial and that's the key to it," Ms Davies said. "It's not about being worthy and saying, 'Oh look, we are helping someone in need.' The designer gets as much out of this as the person we're helping. They get an insight into a group of people and a type of designing which they don't always get, within education. And that's why I'm very passionate about this project. I want education to reflect what's going on in the industry and how industry is changing to suit the current climate."
"The show at the Stanley Picker Gallery is very much the story of the process," Ms Davies added. "So yes, we are showcasing the final films but what's actually on the walls is the making of the films. So it's not about showcasing final products. It's about unpicking and showing every part of the design process."