Five years ago, Sant Bani School art teacher Kristin Jarvis P’23 wanted to do an architecture unit with the eighth grade. The unit began with Kristin and the class researching the process designers use to plan and create a project prior to selecting an architecture project.
In the ensuing years, Kristin expanded the scope of the unit to also include fashion and interior or object design for what has become the annual Eighth Grade Design Project.
This year, eighth grade students began working on their projects in October and completed them in early February. Finalized projects were displayed in the Kent and Karen Bicknell Library.
Kristin presented the class with a list of 20 possible topics for students to choose from. After analyzing the list, students decided whether they wanted to work independently or with a partner before choosing the project they found to be most appealing.
Once they chose a project, students then created a name and logo and began making a design board that included material samples, a color palette if applicable, and reference sketches and photos of what the finished product might look like. As the concept began to take shape, students met with SBS faculty “clients” to introduce themselves and pitch their idea; faculty “clients” then provided feedback about the project proposal. Incorporating feedback from the pitch meeting, students then finalized their design board and created a project prototype.
What are the ultimate goals of the project?
“Our hope is to get students to think about a design process and the various elements that go with it,” Kristin said. “Planning and building a design board, problem solving, combining two-dimensional and three-dimensional elements, and collaboratively working with a partner, for students who opted to do so, are all important skills for our students to practice. And, of course, we wanted them to have fun throughout the project.”
For the final stage of the project, students crafted an artist’s statement in which they outlined the process of their respective project, recounted the challenges they encountered and their solution to those challenges, and so forth.
View photos of the various projects below.