Back in October of 2015 I returned to my home town of Sunderland and asked 450 primary school children in the city to think up and draw their invention ideas. Then I asked skilled local makers to make the best into real things. We rented an empty shop and turned it into a gallery. The project went viral and we had tv cameras from around the world visiting the show. 5 objects were taken into the V&A museums’s permanent collection which is amazing.
I started to get emails from people in other countries asking me if they could do the same thing so we decided to start Little Inventors as an ongoing project. We now have expanded to Little Inventors China and in Canada and many other countries. One project we are working on now is in Canada with the government’s NSERC organisation. We are working with the Canadian Space Agency to ask children there to think up ideas for life in space. The best idea may even be shown on the International Space station!
Here is a nice short film about the very first project.
I see the project as a fun way to inspire children to gain a lifelong passion for creative thinking, problem solving and innovation as well as coming up with some brilliant ideas and objects. The ideas can be fantastical or function, there are no limits placed on the children’s imagination. I add my drawings to to create a playful feeling to the whole thing.
I was asked by Goodyear Tyres to think up 30 inventions that could be used all year round, in different seasons. I was a bit of challenge to think of that many ideas on one theme. I just have to think and think and draw and think until I find them all. 3 of the ideas were made real…
It’s difficult skateboarding in the snow unless you attach a flame thrower.
An idea for a sledge that can also be used as a sun lounger.
No more slipping in the snow and enjoy ice in your drinks all year round. (3D Printing is useful)
With thanks to James Plant and Niki Wrigg for their help turning the ideas into reality.
By the way there is a 12 page article about my work in the Feb/Mar 2018 issue of Creative Review magazine.
I regularly come up with ideas for a project but end up not using them. Here’s one I did for my Selfridges window of inventions. A helium filled flying suit. I want to gently drift across the city to go to the pub or visit tower block living relatives…
My bath always seemed to be missing something, could not put my finger on it, then I realised what it was so I made it.
Bought a cherub and drilled a hole in it’s mouth, attached some pipes and glued them in place.
This is part of a 30 day Speed Creating project I am doing. Final outcomes will be exhibited at the Anti – Design Festival between 18th-21st September, Mestakes and manifestos, Londonewcastle gallery, 28 Redchurch St, London. You can follow my progress on Twitter and Facebook, Click here to view all the days so far in a row.
My idea this week is a two way toothpaste, ideal for those who get angry with their partner for squeezing the toothpaste from the front. Simply open the other end and squeeze from the back as demonstrated below. Also quite useful for getting the last of the paste out of the bottom.