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Product design students inspire local people

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UEL students inspire east London residents to become makers and entrepreneurs

Every One Every Day, a large-scale demonstration project which works to build participatory culture in the borough set up Rock Paper Scissors and the shop will be run by participants in the collaborative business programme focused on retail products, called Design-Make-Sell. The shop is located at 496 Gale Street, Dagenham RM9 4NU. 

The aim is to help the borough's residents, regardless of skills and experience, to develop a product, learn new making skills, and produce authentic items using the latest techniques and equipment in one of the largest public-access maker-spaces in London. 

In March 2019, residents participating in the programme brought their product ideas to a "Design-A-Thon" and worked with student designers from the University of East London and other colleges to refine their ideas and create prototypes.

Katherine Michonski, programmes director at Participatory City, which is behind Every One Every Day said, "It was fantastic to have so many talented students share their design skills and product knowledge with participants in the Design-Make-Sell collaborative business programme.

"The design students helped us explore traditional and digital fabrication methods and used their illustration, digital software, and 3-D modelling skills to help us visualise and refine our product ideas.

"Not only did the students help us bring our product ideas to life during our design sessions, but some also participated in the subsequent weeks to teach us new skills in digital design and making.

"We're incredibly grateful for the University of East London's support and hope that we can continue to build on this partnership to increase the number of people in the borough designing and making their own products!"

Since March the participants have been hard at work learning new skills, like sewing, laser cutting and woodworking, to make enough of their products to sell. They have now set up the shop, which will sell a range of modern and locally-made homewares, from clothing and ceramics to jewellery and gifts.

Programme programme participants Liliana Hristova and Irina Goncherenko, who are also children's books authors at Books By MILE said, "It was an amazing experience working with talented student designers, having fantastic support and guidance by the Every One Every Day team, and being inspired and encouraged by the other participants.

"We are very proud of the games and children's activities we created based on our first book "Arty's Portrait. We look forward to welcoming everyone in the pop up shop, and we believe there is a product made with love and care for everyone."

Matthew Brown, product design lecturer at the University of East London said, "Our students really enjoyed working with the residents and were quite excited by the ideas being formulated. 

"The University of East London is focused on helping students to work closely with the local community and this has been a great opportunity for them to contribute to a wonderful project."

Rock Paper Scissors is open for sales until 27 July, 11:00am to 6:00pm Saturdays and 11:00am to 7:00pm Tuesday to Friday.