York St John University

Warren Fearn, Course leader in Design

I went to school in Doncaster, where I studied Art and Psychology to A-level and was advised by my careers master to be a banker. So I went and did a Foundation in Art and Design at Doncaster College, followed by a degree in Design and Technology at St John. I’ve no regrets, who’d be a banker now?

I then did my Master’s in Furniture Design at Buckinghamshire University, where I got involved in computer rendering and ended up designing shoes. Furniture and shoes may seem unrelated but they are both at the interface between the human body and its environment. They both involve haptics and ergonomics, manufacturing technology, design innovation and a knowledge of human anatomy gained, in my case, from endless hours of painstaking drawing in life class.

My work in digital design led me to a job at the BBC Virtual studios where I designed for adults programmes (Tomorrow’s World) but also for children’s programmes (Bomzooki), and this finally led me back to my alma mater, where I am concerned with designing educational software programs for use in schools.

We have now moved into augmented reality, and children of the future will be able to cope with a world in which the real and the virtual appear simultaneously before their eyes, but if they are to be effective designers they will still have to deal first with the real. That is why I have chosen this bridge at the university as my place. The most popular project in technology lessons is the bridge project, in which children test to destruction the bridges they have designed and built in light materials. School workshops must never be replaced by computer suites – only augmented by them.

My Place is a section where people share places that are significant in their livesIf you would like to take part in My Place, simply email your photo and a text of up to 250 words to johnbrucemullin@hotmail.com

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