eibe design specialist, Lauren McDougall, headed to the South Coast and the offices of IntoUniversity recently, to offer local underprivileged children the inside track on a future career in the bright and beautiful world of creative design.
Operating from 22 different locations across the whole of England, IntoUniversity deliver award-winning programmes from local learning centres established in the heart of communities where students live.
Alice Bennett from the centre in Brighton invited Lauren down to give the group of children an insight into what a play designer does, describing a typical working day and some of the challenges she faces in an increasingly demanding work environment.
Beginning with a presentation on her schooldays, as well as her teenage hopes and dreams, Lauren expressed her passion for all things CGI, explaining her love of cinematography and visual effects. She outlined the path she took to from ‘A’ levels to a degree in Computer Animations Art at Bournemouth University, from which she graduated in 2016.
Lauren went on to talk about her first year of being a Playspace Designer, presenting some of the amazing client schemes that she has concocted from the comfort of her desktop. Utilising modern, hi-tech software such as 3ds Max, Photoshop, InDesign, AutoCAD, Google Earth and Lumion, she demonstrated how to build vivid, pictorial examples with stunning renders that showcase the potential of a playground. She then unveiled some follow up images of completed projects which highlighted the journey from conception to reality, demonstrating how life-like the original design actually was.
After a lively question and answer session, Lauren gave the children some group tasks, anagrammatising pieces of play equipment (even I worked out that WINGS was SWING!), with a final creative exercise to end the morning with. After looking at the eibe website for ideas and inspiration, Lauren got the class to design their own play unit, suggesting a themed approach, such as Jungle, Space or Dinosaurs.
“They were genuinely engrossed in the task, “enthused Lauren, “I hope that my own energy and enterprise gave them inspiration and encouragement to explore a career in design. Certainly their drawn up prototypes of future play products gave me some personal food for thought. I might even present them at the next eibe management meeting!”
For Alice and IntoUniversity, the day was extremely worthwhile and very rewarding:
“It was lovely to see how the kids related to Lauren and the passion she portrays for her work. Hopefully we’ve set the wheels in motion for some new designers in 2027…”