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Falinge Park School

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The Fixperts workshop gave family members and students the opportunity to research, design and make solutions to genuine problems. The aim was to let the students be creative and use their own problem solving skills to explore their capabilities as engineers.

Students had to simulate a disability, for example a missing limb or arthritis and then, having experienced the difficulties some people face, make a prototype that would assist with a task eg washing up or fastening buttons on a shirt.

Our guests were hugely impressed with the problem solving approach our learners adopted and with the innovative solutions they developed.

A second element to the event saw pupils and their relatives make changes to a standard broom to make it more suitable for a given target group, once again ideas were many and varied.

The occasion showed once more the benefits of families, staff and students working together to help create and develop a compelling learning experience.

In my convoluted role as educator, designer, maker and writer, I have been slowly watching an evolution within design practice. This view has grown out of piecing together clues, including Fixperts, Sugru and Faraworkshop, like one of those super cool, overly taciturn Scandinavian detectives. 

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In this blog I want to explore two interrelated themes in the Fixperts story thus far: ownership of the ‘fixes’ (the outcomes of the collaborations), and their potential wider applicability beyond the collaboration through which they were generated. These two themes are related because if a fix is deemed to be successful, thoughts quickly turn to if and how it might be applied to other users and other scenarios.

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It was a turning point in the history of resistance to economic injustice. The first to lose their jobs were textile artisans, replaced with the newly industrialized looms and frames. A small group of them assembled and started to invade the factories, destroy machinery and burn some factories down. The group named themselves “luddites”, after Ned Ludd, a young man who allegedly destroyed a stocking frame in an act of madness, about thirty years earlier. In a few months, the protest spread throughout England.

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