Design and technology get real

Graphic Novel Using Digital Design and Technology

Black County Atelier’s latest collaboration with the RSA Academy in Tipton has seen BCA work with the Academy on their latest REAL project (this stands for rigorous, engaging, authentic, learning).

Project overview

REAL Projects is a design for learning that connects deep subject content with real world problem solving. REAL Projects enable all students to create extraordinary work that matters.

Inspired by approaches pioneered in the US, and developed through a partnership between Innovation Unit and High Tech High in California, REAL Projects are now being used by schools all over England.

BCA has supported the RSA Academy in Tipton in the design, development and production of a graphic novel using technology in schools. BCA has worked in partnership with the school to help to plan, develop and deliver teaching materials for the project using digital design and technology. The success of this culminated in an open exhibition of work at the school on the 26 May 2016.

Through using the technology in school, the students learnt how to create storyboards to help them form the initial ideas for the graphic novel pages.  By following a series of engaging drawing tutorials, demonstrations and practicals, specifically in sketch work, illustration, technology and design, the students learnt how to use professional materials, including rendering with markers and the production of cells for the effective layout of the story.

The most committed and successful students were then chosen to take part in a series of extension activities with BCA.  Within this Design and Technology class they learnt how to use Adobe Photoshop to create digital versions of their work and develop their ideas.

Using industry standard software, the students have been working hard to create professional versions of the graphic novel and have benefited enormously from seeing the improvement in the quality of the work they have been producing.

The students have been amazed by the differences between the before and after artwork they produced. Moreover, several students have started to think about the possibilities that this new found knowledge and digital design skill opens up for them in terms of future studies and potential careers.

This project is part of the Manual for Modern Making supported by the Comino Foundation.

Read the full article on BCA’s blog page.

Related project: A Manual of Modern Making