Senior students connect with iconic designers

26 March 2020

Year 11 Design and Technology students have had the opportunity to speak directly to iconic Australian fashion designers Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson about the practicalities of working in a creative industry. The girls participated in a video conference with the industry greats as part of a seminar run by the Powerhouse Museum in lieu of an on-site excursion.

Prior to the teleconference, the students workshopped questions they would most like to ask the designers and Patrice Aravanis and Jacaranda Zhu were selected as spokespeople for the class.

“We were grateful for the opportunity to speak to such successful and experienced Australian designers; technology allowed us to communicate with them in a unique way,” Patrice said.

“As a class, we were interested in how Ms Kee and Ms Jackson get inspired when they hit roadblocks, whether that’s in terms of generating new ideas or complications with the design they’re developing. The designers said it was important to keep developing and recording new ideas all the time and to get used to finding inspiration in all areas of life. They also said it could be helpful to keep reviewing existing designs and think about how they could be improved.”

Ms Kee and Ms Jackson highlighted the importance of perseverance and lateral thinking when confronted with design challenges. The advice was timely for the Meriden girls, who are currently undertaking a module titled Designers at Work, in which they learn about the design process from concept to production in the context of investigating one Australian and one international designer of their choice.

Patrice said the designers were inspirational in both their attitudes and work processes and their advice would carry over into the students’ next practical project – designing an eco-cabin for a specifically-selected client.

“Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson are famous for the way their designs incorporate elements of the Australian landscape and culture,” she said.

“This is something that we need to consider in the design of our eco-cabins, which should use sustainable local materials, incorporate features designed for comfort in the Australian climate and present a pleasing aesthetic that looks at home in the landscape. Getting an insight into professional designers’ work processes in relation to these considerations was really helpful.”