Bath Voice News: students attend a design day and learn about the plastic free poppy

From Hayesfield Girls’ School – photo from MP Wera Hobhouse: Sixteen design students from Hayesfield Girls’ School yesterday attended a Design Day held by Matter at their studios. The Bath-based product design agency wanted to inspire the next generation of young designers by inviting them to experience a design agency in person and highlight how, as designers, they have the power to initiate positive change.
The launch of the Royal British Legion’s 2023 Poppy Appeal last week saw Matter’s new plastic-free design of the poppy go on sale. Matter, who initially approached the Royal British Legion with their sustainable design solution in collaboration with papermaking company James Cropper, wanted to use their work with the RBL as the basis for an inspirational design day with Hayesfield school, demonstrating the positive impact designers can have on the world and empowering the students to initiate their own projects that result in positive change.
The day’s agenda included a Poppy Creative Case Study & Workshop where students were asked to engage in the creative design process, make their own paper poppy and experience a Studio Tour, demonstrating some of the activities that take place in a working design studio. Following this was a deep-dive into Matter and what they do, explaining to the students how the agency works with a range of brands and companies – and through an array of design practices – to create impactful products and experiences. The day ended with a Positive Impact Workshop, highlighting how as designers these young students can make positive changes for people and the planet.

“I hadn’t realised how much work went into designing one product such as the poppy. It makes you appreciate the role of a designer even more.” – Isabella, A Level Product Design Student.

“Visiting Matter has confirmed that I definitely want to be a Product Designer. I loved seeing the mix of creative prototyping and practical experimentation alongside teamworking to share ideas.” – Martha, A Level Product Design Student.

Lottie King, Design Director at Matter said: “At Matter, we feel very strongly that, as designers, we have a huge responsibility to initiate and drive change for good – and this is how the sustainable poppy came about. But we also believe we have a responsibility to pass this ethos onto younger generations, who will ultimately be designing our future.
We wanted to create an experience for students, whose education is largely classroom based, that would provide practical and tangible examples of how, as designers, they can drive change, whilst giving them an insight into design studio life. It’s been such a great day – we look forward to opening our doors again soon!”
Philippa Johnson, Head of Product Design from Hayesfield Girls’ School commented: “It is so important that our students get as many chances as possible to see how their learnings in the classroom can become a reality in practice. So, when Matter approached us to get the students involved in this design day, we jumped at the chance! It has been such an insightful and exciting day for the students and everyone has walked away enthused about the opportunities that a career in design can offer them.”