Friday, 29 August 2014

Museum Discovery Day

Last month Salma and Maya trialled their new Need Make Use workshop for Museum Discovery Day with over 100 Year 8 pupils from Marlborough Schoolorganised into 3 groups.

Need Make Use Workshop © Pitt Rivers Museum

This new workshop aimed to get students thinking about human creativity and ingenuity, and how people design and make what they need from the materials they have around them. 

Object Handling Table © Pitt Rivers Museum
An introduction to the Pitt Rivers followed by discussion and object handling got the students thinking about what needs people have - from the basic need to survive to more complex things like art, culture, communication and identity. 

Students had to consider how to design and make an object so that it would do what it is meant to do. But they also had to think about how the design would be influenced by factors such as materials, environment and identity. Each scenario was created by students choosing an identity, an environment, and a need from three different pots. 

One group selected a chief from a mountainous region who needed to design a mask to use in a ritual that would help the community deal with a difficulty.  If this sounds like a really tall order, Marlborough School rose to the challenge in an ingenious way.  They decided that the problem the community had was making money so they designed a mask made out of goatskin and leaves marked with the symbols and colours of success - red, gold and money signs.  The students felt that this should be a bright cheerful mask used to round up the community to creative positive vibes, get people networking and talking about how to make life and business more prosperous, so they could sell more mountain goat products like cheese, milk and things made out of hide. 

Another group designed a fierce animal mask that a ten-year-old boy could use in the forest to help him prepare for his first hunting trip. They felt that masks help us transform ourselves, so the boy could pretend to be a fierce hunting animal and then feel brave and strong ready to join the men on the hunt. 

Annotated student design © Pitt Rivers Museum
Here is an example of a student design for a specific need, identity and environment.

Having fun and being imaginative and creative was the order of the day.  Well done Marlborough school for coming up with so many fantastic creative designs and standing up in front of everyone to explain them.

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