Occupation: inventor

Since 2009, the Seine-Saint-Denis County Council has been backing “la Culture et l’Art au Collège (CAC)”. This project is based to a large extent on the presence in class for several weeks (40h) of an artist or scientist whose mission is to engage the students in a process of research and creation. 

 

Tutors: Élodie Cardinaud, Flora Langlois/ designers

Project manager: Stéphane Coulaud

 

Objectives:
What do a vacuum cleaner, contact lenses and a ballpoint pen have in common? They were all designed by amateur inventors and were entered in the Concours Lépine. These keen inventors have just one motto: improve everyday life, be useful but be original. With the help of a designer, the pupils enter into the spirit of the competition and its inventors to invent an object for the future.

Workshops:
What does “inventing” mean?
Leonardo da Vinci sprang to mind when the pupils were asked if they knew an inventor. The tutor then presented the Concours Lépine, letting them see just how many inventions now form part of our everyday lives. An explanation of the roles played by INPI in the recognition of an invention led to a discussion of the craze for inventions. The class then explored ways of using the classroom for experiments and inventing something themselves.

Research groups
First they chose constraints and a theme for each group: Greedy, Brainy, Musician, Sporty, Shy, Handsome, Excited, Lazy. The aim was to turn the pupils into inventors. They used various "tools": observation, writing, collage, drawing and models and came up with the following ideas: Desk snacking kit (Greedy), earring earphones (Musicians), fake open eyes (Lazy), school muscle-building chair (Sporty), arm raising system (Shy), office insulating blind (Brainy). Once they had worked out their ideas, they had to draw up the specifications for their invention.

Prototypes
The last stage was making models of their inventions, using simple materials such as cardboard, thick paper, and foam board. Their models looked pretty rough because the focus was not graphic design or style.

Outcome:
Both classes presented their work and the ideas behind their inventions to their classmates: the "system for raising a hand in class" and the "office insulation blind" etc. 

 

Outings :
- MUSÉE DES ARTS ET MÉTIERS: VISIT TO THE PERMANENT COLLECTIONS
- ENSCI-LES ATELIERS: MEETING WITH DESIGN STUDENTS

Participating schools:
- Class (3rd) Collège Pierre Curie, Bondy
- Class (3rd) Collège Henri IV, Vaujours