13 May – 19 June 2010
Designing, drawing, drilling
Engaging, enabling, engineering
Shaping, sawing, sharing
Inventing, individuals, involving
Gluing, giving, getting
Nailing, naming, nurturing
Creating, cutting, connecting
Assembling, adjusting, accelerating
Making, moving, mentoring
Plotting, painting, playing
That’s Scooterkit! A design and technology project by Ben Wilson and 12 enthusiastic teenagers all taking part in Design Camp 2009; a unique design learning experience, developed by architect turned school teacher, David Baker.
Ben Wilson, author of the Chairfix exhibition at The Aram Gallery in 2003, developed the Scooterkit project in response to an invitation by Baker, who saw him give an inspirational vocational lecture to hundreds of school children.
In Scooterkit, Wilson continued his work with open-source design and products that invite participation by the user. In addition, he built on his interest in customising and personalising objects. Wilson’s scooters show an ambitious use of everyday technology and DIY materials. In the Summer of 2009 Wilson worked with pupils from schools in West London as part of Design Camp to design and make scooters from an entry-level kit of parts. This exhibition was a celebration of the result.
Design Camp is the brainchild of David Baker, an architect turned school teacher. Concerned by what he saw as the tendency of schools to ‘cripple individuality, spontaneity, creativity and collective action’ (to quote Ian Lister), he studied a wide range of informal educational settings in search of a solution.
Following a research tour to the USA in 2007 where he visited various innovative projects, he set up Design Camp as a collaboration between Latymer Upper School (where he teaches design & technology) and ReachOutRCA, the schools outreach programme of the Royal College of Art. The aim was to establish a summer holiday activity where pupils on the threshold of their GCSE choices could have a deep, motivational and authentic experience of what it is like to be a designer/maker. Ben’s Scooterkit was one of the four Design Camp 2009 workshops.
Design Camp is generously funded by the Education Departments of the London Boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, and Westminster.
Ben Wilson is a product designer with a passion for human-powered transport, sometimes on four wheels, more usually on two. Ben has designed bikes, both custom-made and mass produced, for companies and organisations as diverse as Swarovski and Transport for London.
Photographers Alan Bloomfield & Shira Klasmer