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Creative Quarter 2019 - inspiring students into creative careers

On 22nd November students from around the UK attended our annual Creative Quarter day. The event for 13-19 year olds aimed to inspire students to explore creative industries and find out about creative careers through a series of talks, workshops and tours in the cultural and educational venues of South Kensington.

The creative industries are the fastest growing part of the UK economy. The sector now generates 5.5% of the UK economy and there are more than 2 million jobs in the creative industries (an increase of 30.6% since 2011).The creative economy accounts for 1 in 10 jobs across the UK. In 2018, over 3.2 million people worked in the creative economy and yet there's been a dramatic decline in the uptake of creative subjects by GCSE students in recent years. In 2017, GSCE entries for creative subjects fell by 47,000, the lowest in a decade.

South Kensington, London's home of arts and science hosted Creative Quarter to inspire young people to think about and be inspired by creative careers in this growing sector. Experts in different creative fields engaged with students and encouraged them to think about the possibilities of the arts, including thinking creatively in STEM focused fields. 

Professionals from fields such as fashion photographers, scientists, transport designers, product designers, architects, and more led workshops, talks, Q & A’s, and interactive sessions. These sessions were held at the V&A, Imperial College London, Royal College of Music, Royal Albert Hall, Science Museum, Goethe-Institut, Design Museum, Leighton House Museum, Natural History Museum and the Royal Society of Sculptors.

At the Royal College of Music, students experienced a collision of music and science which explored the science of sound and brass instruments through the interactive use of laser sound-wave projection, vacuum chambers and more with a little help from our friends at Imperial College London. The Royal Society of Sculptors invited students in to meet a professional sculptor and to hear about a career in arts, from getting your own art studio, selling your art work and hot to exhibit in galleries.

At Imperial College London, students learnt the ways in which science needs the humanities and creativity. Dr. Michael Weatherburn discussed how historians are paramount to how we approach technology in the future, and the importance of the humanities perspective in this field.

“ I didn’t realise I could be an expert in history and apply it to my interest in science”

Imperial College London, ranked among one of the top 10 universities in the world, held a series of career insight sessions and workshops offering students the chance to meet scientists and to hear what it is like to be a science professional. There were also plenty of hands-on workshops and science activities around the campus, including a pop-up planetarium. Crawling through the tunnel students could observe our solar system. The experience included a fully interactive discussion of the planets and stars.

 Across the road at the V&A, students listened to talks from professionals in transport design, performing arts, engineering, architecture, graphic design, product design, and other creative fields. Gisela Torres, a fashion photographer who has worked for Vogue, National Portrait Gallery, and The Sunday Times, talked to students about the field. Students were captivated by her adventures and her exquisite photos.

One teacher commented,  "Excellent opportunity for students to find out about creative industries"

Elsewhere in the museum, students were taking part in drop-in sessions in the Raphael Gallery, as well as hands-on workshops in areas such as fashion design, graphic design, product design and ceramics. 

 “A brilliant and fun, creative experience”

 Over at the Goethe-Institut, students attended the Native Scientist Workshops which promote the concept of STEM teaching combined with German. Seperated into small groups, similar to speed-dating principles, they learnt about new experiments and studying the German language from a number of scientists.

The Design Museum hosted face-to-face talks with practising designers to learn about their work and their educational path, before students were able to find out more through their own questions.There were also workshops covering everything from lighting to chairs and seating and a live drama performance. The Museum also offered free access to their current exhibitions, Beazley Designs of the Year and Moving to Mars.

Taking advantage of their current Wildlife Photography exhibition, the Natural History Museum provided a spotlight on photography. Students learnt about the challenges and incredible payoffs of being a wildlife photographer, and the time and effort it takes to get the perfect shot.

"Today's event was enriching and inspiring, from the deeply interesting design tasks to the well-informed V&A tour."

At the Leighton House Museum students enjoyed talks on fine art, calligraphy, textile art, and entrepreneurship in the arts where students could learn how to monetise their creative pursuits.   

Designers and exhibition creators at the Science Museum, provided a series of tours around their mathematics, medicine and science city galleries and while providing an insight into how to craft beautiful, fascinating exhibitions.

A popular experience was the 'A Day in the life' tour going behind the scenes at the Royal Albert Hall with an insider perspective as to how they run one of London's most iconic and versatile venues.

Creative Quarter saw over a thousand students visiting South Kensington and we hope students left feeling inspired to explore careers in creative industries. The event was organised in partnership with Discover South Kensington and the cultural and educational organisations in South Kensington.

To see more details about the experts came to talk check out our Twitter moment here.

To sign up to find out about Creative Quarter 2020, click here.

Students in the V&A drop-in session

Science meets music at the Royal College of Music

An insight talk by Gisela Torres, a fashion photographer at the V&A
Asking students how designers can make a difference (V&A)
The Native Scientist Workshop (Goethe-Institut)
Mathematics: The Winton Gallery, Science Museum