Inspiring the next generation at Creative Quarter

On 23rd November South Kensington welcomed over a thousand students for one of our biggest events of the year – Creative Quarter. The event, for 13-19 year olds, included talks, demonstrations, drop-ins and workshops and aimed to educate and inspire children in creative careers.

Creative Quarter hosted many professionals from creative industries who engaged children in the details of their career. From a producer of immersive theatre to a sculptor, from a VR product design consultant to a midwife, children had the opportunity to learn about a wide range of careers. Sessions were held at the V&A, Imperial College London, Royal College of Music, Royal Albert Hall, Science Museum, Goethe-Institut, Design Museum and the Royal Society of Sculptors. 

The Royal College of Music was overflowing with energy and excitement as Grace Savage, professional beatboxer and noisemaker, took to the stage. She got students as well as teachers on their feet and dancing before 12pm! The College also hosted an exciting and loud introduction to brass instruments.

Creativity is being who you want to be

In the grand setting of the V&A's Raphael room the students were encouraged to think about futuristic fashion and make designs out of coloured card. Also in this drop-in zone, many students we spoke to said their most memorable feature was an interactive green screen. 

We stood with a plastic gun with a green screen behind and then the background was changed on the computer

The students were allowed to strike a pose on it and watch as the game designer transported them to exciting and distant locations of their choosing. Matteo Menapace, the V&A's resident game designer featured a different approach to game design. He believes that designing board games is a great way to unlock creativity.

I went to the video games talk, it was really fun and I think I might want to be a game designer 

The students also heard from Arianna Nicoletti, the Goethe-Institut and V&A's sustainable fashion resident, who made a display on her research in circular fashion. Students could learn about how to get into fashion design and the challenges the industry is facing at the moment as more attention is brought to the culture of wastefulness in the fashion world. Other expertise featured was Alex a producer at Punch Drunk immersive theatre, VR tech designers from Seymourpowell and product designers from Swift Creatives. A paper house building workshop was led by architecture professionals and the creation of a cardboard living room was led by furniture design students from Kingston University.

Creativity is expressing feelings and emotions into something out of the ordinary to show something you love so others can love it too

Across the road in the impressive atrium of Imperial College London researchers ran stalls that demonstrated creativity in the STEM subjects. Students learnt about problem solving and innovation in physics, engineering and robotics. They made origami cranes and brought them to life by attaching them to electrical servos. Students also gathered around a stall run by research midwives to learn about paths into being a midwife or a clinical researcher.

The students were inspired by an intimate talk at the Royal Society of Sculptors about how to get into being a sculptor, what life is like as a sculptor and as an artist in general.

Creativity is reaching for what seems impossible

This year we ran two trails across South Kensington - an engineering trail and a video games trail. On the engineering trail, students were assigned a guide for the day who will took them to different engineering based activities at different institutions. The trail started at Imperial College London where they attended a talk to learn about nanoscale molecular engineering, then over to the V&A to attend a talk by the architecture group Arup and then finally a behind the scenes tour at the Royal Albert Hall.

The video games trail started at the V&A where students joined Ustwo for a talk on video games design to find out more about this growing industry the group, then on to attend a film screening at the Goethe-Institut and finally to Imperial College where they met scientists working in computing.

Creative Quarter was organised by the cultural and educational organisations in South Kensington. As the home of science, arts and inspiration, we hope that students left feeling empowered, informed and with the desire to further explore the possibilities of a career in the creative industries.

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 2019, click here.

Grace Savage performing to a lively audience at the Royal College of Music
Talk on the life of an artist at the Royal Society of Sculptors

What will our clothes look like in the future? 
Kingston University furniture design students facilitating 'thinking through making'
Students learning about circular fashion at the V&A
Researchers and students from Imperial College London demonstrating robots and making origami cranes