Raw materials Sustainability

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An educational workshop designed to introduce students to the world of design. An experiential learning proposal aimed at stimulating the active elaboration of students’ ideas.

workshops on design for secondary schools

materieunite hosts an educational workshop for middles school students to learn about design.

Introducing students to the world of design. Learning by doing. These are the objectives set by materieunite for the educational workshop with the middle schools San Gemini and Acquasparta.

A project promoted and coordinated by professors Chiara Fantaccione and Alessia de Piccoli as well as by the Councillor for Culture of San Gemini, Federica Montagnoli.

Learn through experience – or learning by doing – is the concept underpinning this initiative. Students had the opportunity to learn about our business first-hand and actively participate in the design and production of design objects and furniture during the workshop.

An experiential learning proposal designed to stimulate the active elaboration of students’ ideas.

didactic workshop on design

The event was structured into four sessions, three of which were held at the school facility and one on our premises, to create the design projects together with the students.

Our endeavour was to walk students through the creative process of a design project, simulating the various stages leading up to its production.

In the first session, which focused on the research stage, we started off by telling the students about our work and the sustainable vision characterising our company, then asked them to fill out an online form, encouraging them to build a project based on the group’s needs. In which spaces do you spend most of your time? What would you like to have inside the school? Where do you spend recreation time? These are just some of the questions the students answered which allowed us to better understand their needs.

Then, during a second session focused on the design stage, we jointly examined their answers and suggested the students draw objects and furniture that could translate their ideas into something more tangible and substantial. From these, we then selected a few concepts to proceed with their actual production.

educational workshop in typography

The third session was held at the Arti Grafiche Celori print shop in Terni, the materieunite headquarters. The middle school students were treated to a guided tour of the company to get a close-up look of the machinery used to produce the furniture, and took part in a hands-on creative workshop to get familiar with the materials and further stimulate their creativity.

The students thus tried their hand at producing a genuine design object: after colouring the white honeycomb cardboard panels, we cut them and made a laptop table and cardboard bag together, both personalised with the students’ own designs.

educational workshop middle schools

Lastly, for the fourth and final appointment, we went to the school to deliver the furniture items which the students themselves had designed during our second encounter.

Specifically, we produced stools in honeycomb cardboard, a bookcase and play baskets – waste bins for recycled paper with a twofold function for both play and to encourage recycling.

Knowing, researching, imagining and creating to then touch first-hand: These are the steps in the creative process that the students were able to experience during the educational workshop.

Promoting a pragmatic rather than purely technical approach, allowed the students to learn by experience and thus acquire genuine notions on the concept of design. The aim of our workshops was in fact to introduce them to the different stages leading up to the production of a design object.

We chose to do so with cardboard, an eco-friendly material perfect for creating different shapes. Discovering alternative uses for this material, for example the production of furniture and accessories, and being able to appreciate its functions, offered new generations a valuable and tangible opportunity to approach a sustainable lifestyle. Once again, experimenting and touching first-hand proves vital in learning new information.

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