NDS skills exchange summer workshops

  • Richardson, Lindy (Principal Investigator)

Project Details


Proposal. Reciprocal apprenticeships using the Needlework Development Scheme (NDS) special collection as the central focus to all activities.
This project proposed positive strategies in engaging the wider community to compliment and support skills based learning, alleviating financial pressures of heavy staffing budgets. With the governments’ recognition of the value of apprenticeships, can we in the education sector, nurture this approach through mutually beneficial reciprocal partnerships between ;- 
Undergraduate design students with IT and CAD skills who wish to gain understanding of hand embroidery skills, alongside, relevant amateur textile groups dominated by older members with highly developed technical craft skills, who wish to gain better understanding and fluency with IT and CAD technology. 
By bringing together novices and experts who are one and the same depending on the focus of the activity, can a mutually beneficial relationship evolve for exchange of skills? Communication is key for support, the expert providing on-hand individual support for the novice.

Layman's description

This project brought together 2 complimentary groups who were expert in one aspect of the activities and novice in the other. The expert embroiderers had very little computer aided design (CAD) experience but were skill din embroidery and quilting. The student group were experienced with CAD but lacked embroidery and quilting skills. By providing facilities and activities which included both CAD and stitching the pairings were able to provide one to one assistance the expert becoming the learner and vice versa dependant on the activity. This proved to be a rich learning experience for both partners in both activities and supported learning by embedding knowledge and introducing new techniques and technologies in a fully supported environment.

Key findings

This case study specifically focused on technical skills to complement core teaching and learning activities. As such, teaching of conceptual thinking, aesthetics and design development remained with academic staff, integrated within the curriculum alongside these workshop activities. The role of technical skills and understanding as a complimentary component underpinning creative design thinking, particularly discipline specific design development requiring specialist technical understanding is very well served by this type of activity. Time spent in one to one partnerships explaining technique both verbally and manually has proved a rich learning experience valued by both partners, and with the added bonus of being cost effective and supporting the curriculum and academic staff.

This approach is transferable and relevant in many different settings. The key is in identifying appropriate complimentary partners ensuring full commitment from both groups, that is students and technical experts. A further case study to explore multimedia resources created as a result of these workshops as an additional complimentary resource for skills based learning alongside this project is intended to develop this research project further.
Effective start/end date16/06/1518/06/15


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • NDS colloquium

    Lindy Richardson (Organiser)

    24 Apr 2013

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar