The Sorrell Foundation has long been known for fostering the creative talents of young students in the UK with its National Art & Design Saturday Club. This year, Wallpaper* got in on the act, joining a roster of design studios, artists and creative companies who lent their expertise for a weekend workshop.
The programme - which culminates in an exhibition of the students' work at Somerset House, opening today - gives over a thousand budding designers and artists aged 14 to 16 the chance to attend a free class at a local university to explore disciplines like painting, ceramics, photography and sculpture. These classes are topped off with a visit to a London museum - ranging from the Barbican Art Gallery to the Tate Modern - and a masterclass with industry leaders, including the likes of Thomas Heatherwick, Fredrikson Stallard and Moritz Waldemeyer this year, as well as our good selves.
Wallpaper* welcomed a group of 19 students to our Southwark HQ in March. Led by Editor-in-Chief Tony Chambers, our art, design and interiors teams guided them on a tour of our office, giving them an insight into the tasks required to create a Wallpaper* issue each month. We then challenged the students - who attend a Saturday Club at Cambridge School of Art - to create a cover for our (not yet printed) May issue, using collaged imagery from its contents. Exhibiting their designs on our walls, we offered a critique session, discussing their ideas and inspirations.
The students impressed us with their intelligent approach and creativity, producing a range of work - now on show at Somerset House, alongside the fruits of other workshops - that offered an inspiring overview of the magazine's contents, distilled from their own unique points of view. It made us look at the issue with fresh eyes.
For our team, the experience confirmed the importance of an initiative like the National Art & Design Saturday Club that helps students to explore and develop their passions and skills from a young age, while showing them the route to further education and a career in the industry. We'll be keeping a watchful eye on our promising group of students as they make their upward trajectory.