I Design!

Where: Mandeville Primary School
When: Nov 2017
Topic: Innovation
Year group: Reception, Yr 1 & Yr 2

Commissioned by:

Thanks to:


  #idesignMDV on Instagram

  #idesignMDV on Instagram

  #idesignMDV on Instagram


‘I DESIGN!’ is all about ideas, innovation and design. The project presents children’s art which will inspire new and exciting design outcomes in the school building, with innovation as the driving theme.

‘I DESIGN!’ is a year-long project run by Art Hoppers in partnership with Mandeville School. All children from reception through to year 6 will engage in the project. For this first exhibition, we’re proud to present the work of reception, year 1 and year 2. Six classes, totalling 119 pupils.

Our goal was to come up with ideas which would inspire a redesign of the double glass door entrance opposite the school gates on Oswald Street. We’d like to make the school look exciting from the outside in a way which is memorable and unique to Mandeville.

Each year group developed visual ideas using different art techniques:

  • Reception Texture and collage
  • Year 1 Colour and translucency
  • Year 2 Line and 3D forms (Optical Illusion)

As inspiration, children were shown the sliver bolt across Central St Martins School of Art in Kings Cross designed by Felice Varini. This effect is created using an adhesive foil tape applied to the building and catches the light in playful ways at different times of the day.

As part of their creative learning, a school trip to Camden Arts Centre to see Milan-based artist Nathalie Du Pasquier and her exhibition ‘Other Rooms’ is scheduled. Her work looks at the crossover between art and design.

To launch the project, a series of newly designed exhibition panels reveal the ‘I DESIGN !’ identity which houses the children’s artworks. The design of the exhibition panels is informed by children’s feedback. In all six classes, we held a poll asking pupils what they might change in the school – The majority expressed a wish for more colour.

Looking forward, the children’s resulting artworks could be applied as a design to the entrance in several ways using adhesive vinyl on the glass and paint on the brickwork. The entrance will receive a make over during the Easter holidays 2018 … keep an eye.

Many thanks to our friends at Gobbledegook for their lighting solution re: the lightboxes on display (panel 4). They kindly provided the electronics and touch sensors to get these up and running.

Art Educator: Claire Ward Thornton
Art Educator: Isha Bohling / Renata Minoldo

Download text describing the exhibits PDF: I_DESIGN_exhibition_1_Jan_2018

Download Leaflet in PDF: Leaflet-I-Design-AH

Image gallery

Images of the ‘I DESIGN!’ exhibition panels over 4 floors of Mandeville School building including children’s artworks. Photos: Pau Ros

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Stats about this project

  • Texture / Collage 35% 35%
  • Colour Theory 35% 35%
  • 3D Forms / Op Art 30% 30%

Applied art disciplines

Number of participants