Rebecca Topps at Bulletproof Design
The night before, the nerves are kicking in along with the realisation that I had not stepped into the design world for over twelve years. Bulletproof is a design agency who help brands grow through powerful sensory brand worlds, intelligent branding and guardianship, inspiring packaging design and more. They have worked with brands all over the world and have offices in four countries. Would they expect me to be amazing at Photoshop? Or be able to sketch twenty different ideas in minutes? All these thoughts raced through my mind! I hit the tube, armed with pencils and my least teacher style clothes to be greeted by a giant black door in the centre of Covent Garden; a far cry from the fields of Lincolnshire.
Through the door I am met by the Debbie the Talent Manager. She is so lovely, and any nerves just melt away. The studios are buzzing with people, screens full of exciting projects and products everywhere, reminding you of their legacy. I am given my own desk, sandwiched between two designers. The differences between a school and this environment are clear from the start. The studio has large breakaway areas, kitchens full of food and drink and music playing constantly. The atmosphere is addictive. The celebration of creativity is constant. People collaborating with work, sharing ideas, responding to development, and striving for the best for their clients. The walls are decorated with everything, from photos of their tribe, to Damien Hirst prints. Each meeting room is named after famous hip-hop stars. I feel like I am in heaven.
When setting up the placement with the Association originally, I wanted to experience the design world and work in it; however, within the first day, it became clear that this world and way of working is not replicated within the classroom. To get the most out of the week, I decided that I wanted to meet designers with different job roles, understand how they tackled the design process and try to draw connections between our curriculum and their way of working. Each job role presented a different perspective into the world of design. From the boss to the intern, each described how they did not realise this existed when they were at school.
One of the biggest takeaways was understanding the name Bulletproof. The name came from pitching an idea, trying to make it bulletproof. Have you covered every base, researched as much as you can? Is your idea bulletproof? This is exactly what I say to my pupils. I am trying to approach design differently now, creating a more real-world approach when tackling design projects.
This experience has changed how I teach forever. The company was incredible, and I would fully recommend teachers in residence.
Design and Technology (D&T) is the inspiring, rigorous and practical subject which prepares all young people to live and work in the designed and made world.
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