Prototypes of the ALT Awards
Prototypes of the ALT Awards by Lisa Mclaughlin

An update on the creation of the ALT Awards 2019


Lisa Mclaughlin is a 2019 graduate from the B.A.(Hons) Textile Design course at Hereford College of Arts. This year, she was selected to design and make the ALT awards, for the Learning Technologist of the Year Awards ceremony. If you missed last month’s update, have a look here to see the progress that has been made so far.

We were excited to catch up with Lisa last week and find out progress towards making the ALT Conference 2019 award designs.

During a highly productive day in the workshops at the end of July, Lisa and Ella (‘HCA’s amazing designer-maker) made significant progress in realising Lisa’s award-winning design.

Ella had worked from home in her studio, shaping the wood centrepieces, and this left both makers able to focus on the design itself.

When it came to creating a prototype, both felt that use of paint as a way to focus on the ALT green (as initially planned) ‘didn’t do the shape or beauty of the wood base justice. Therefore, to highlight the ALTC green colour (an essential aspect of the brief), they experimented with using Perspex as an alternative.

Both felt that the use of Perspex gives the awards a more futuristic look, speaking well to the underpinning ideas of how analogue and digital complement each other. As you can see from the photographs, these sing out the base shape behind the awards and add an extra dimension to the design.

But, then disaster struck. As always with making, the story is never smooth as we found out when it came to print ‘Lisa’s ”found” print onto textile. At this point, ‘it’s worth revisiting how the print element is an essential part of the piece. It relates to ‘Lisa’s textile work experimenting with how seeming ”waste” products, when seen through creative lenses, can bring us exciting aesthetics. Showcasing textile as part of the award relates to the design brief; how technology can support both sustainable practices and the discovery of fresh, new, creative ideas.

To print onto textile professionally, the designer-makers at HCA use sublimation printers. And this particular sublimation printer wasn’t playing ball. Worse news followed; when the workshops ordered fresh stocks of ink, they found out that the printer itself needed repair – and this is never a quick job.

Luckily, quick-thinking Lisa has sourced a commercial printer close to her home address and is in the process of researching whether they can make this aspect of the design happen. As a textile designer, Lisa is very used to thinking ”outside the box”. As she says “Textiles is in many ways a very hybrid and broad discipline – it helps you look at different methods of using designs”. Which, given printer issues, is undoubtedly an excellent thing in this instance!

We will keep you posted as to Lisa and ‘Ella’s making journey.


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