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Posted 26.09.18

Design and Make (Almost) Anything at Plymouth College of Art

By Lauren Taverner Brown


Hidden Talent in Devon is a European-funded project aiming to widen access to higher level skills to support people’s employability, self-employment and further study.

We caught up with Project Coordinator, Beth Pyner, to talk about the success of the recent Design & Make (Almost) Anything course and to find out how to get involved, as they launch bookings for a new course.

What is Design & Make (Almost) Anything and how is it relevant to the creative industries?

The Design & Make (Almost) Anything course is an opportunity for people to learn to use Autodesk’s Fusion 360 software - a really intuitive CAD/CAM package that allows users to design and make products - from conception through to production.  

Held at Fab Lab Plymouth, the course includes learning various software design functions through a tutor-led project, as well as developing a personal project.

It’s relevant to all industries - from manufacturing jewellery in the Fab Lab, to using CAD/CAM in architecture, toys and tech - digital design and manufacturing is adaptable to so many careers and pathways.  

That’s what makes this such a pivotal skill for supporting people’s employability, self-employment or a change of direction professionally.

What sort of projects have participants worked on in the first two cohorts of the course?

We’ve had two hugely diverse groups of people on the course. The most recent group did a tutor-led project designing intricate 3D printed lampshades, featuring symmetrical cut-outs to let the light shine through.

In terms of personal projects, we’ve had a jeweller designing a bespoke jewellery stand, a design student working on air fresheners that transport you via scent to another part of the world, and a participant requiring CAD/CAM skills to help him launch a social enterprise supporting ex-offenders to learn a trade.

I’ve really enjoyed seeing such a variety of people and projects coming through the door, and enabling them to improve their skillset and work towards their goals.

And all of this is free?

Absolutely. Hidden Talent in Devon is funded by the European Social Fund.  

To secure a place on a Hidden Talent workshop or course, participants have to be aged over 16, living in Devon, and eligible to work in the UK. The activity also needs to contribute to the individual’s employability or study goals.

How can people get involved or enrol on a Hidden Talent in Devon course?

We’re running Design & Make (Almost) Anything 3 this autumn.  The course will run for eight weeks on Wednesday evenings at 6-9pm, from 24 October 2018. You can find out more and book a place by clicking here.

But Hidden Talent isn’t just about digital.  We’ll also be running a business school, portfolio development courses and taster days for various audiences until December 2019.

To keep up to date with what’s on offer, you can sign up to the Hidden Talent in Devon newsletter here.