Leeds artists’ studio Lord Whitney are opening up their studio to young people with a new creative course that aims to inspire confidence, and champion that there is no ‘standard’ route into the creative industries.
[Designers of the Future] is a new free 5-week creative course that aims to support young people wanting to kickstart a creative career. [Designers of the Future] is aimed at people aged 18-24 who are not currently in employment or education. The course will cover practical skills including: set design essentials; working with clients; responding to a brief; basic woodwork/making; prop sourcing and styling; and managing budgets. The course works towards participants directing their own photoshoot in response to a brief, working with a professional photographer in Lord Whitney’s studio.
Lord Whitney have been designing and delivering immersive audience experiences for years. From leading audiences on an unexpected journey into a world of the forgotten underneath Leeds Town Hall in ‘The Wood Beneath the World’, to immersive interpretations of Netflix films welcoming over a thousand members of the public. Lord Whitney’s attention to detail and honed understanding of storytelling is underpinned by a commitment to providing audiences with spaces to play and have fun. The studio partners with world-renown industry leaders, from Netflix to Nicki Minaj, holding international significance within the creative sector that is unparalleled for a company of its scale.
The brainchild of university friends-turned-creative-directors Amy Lord and Rebekah Whitney, the duo never set out to start a company – “If anyone had told us we were founding a studio, we would have run a mile! Neither of us had the self-belief to do something like that” – but 10 years on from establishing the studio, and Lord Whitney is now looking to uplift the next generation of designers and makers.
This comes at a critical time for the creative industries. A sector that’s very much built on ‘who you know’, getting a first step in the door can feel impossible. With the suspension of the event sector and so many creative businesses suffering due to Covid-19, opportunities are fewer and further between, excluding many from being able to gain crucial industry experience. This poses a threat to the diversity of creative talent going into the sector, a concern expressed by cultural stakeholders globally:
‘Due to the complex nature of their work, artists and cultural professionals are particularly affected, and lockdown measures around the world directly impact the entire creative value chain – creation, production, distribution and access. To protect and promote a diversity of cultural expressions in these challenging times, governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector must be quick to react’ – UNESCO, Covid-19 Response
Although the course is ostensibly about tangible skills, it’s as much about building confidence. A rare opportunity for an established studio to open their doors, share their knowledge, and inspire a generation of Leeds talent that may otherwise be disenfranchised due to lack of current creative opportunities in the current pandemic-world.
“Some of the most amazing makers and designers we know have come into this creative world through the most unexpected ways, including not having a formal education or training. We truly believe that there is no standard route into employment in the creative industries, and want to instil that within the young people we work with on [Designers of the Future].” – Rebekah Whitney, Creative Director
- Applications for [Designers of the Future] are now open for people aged 18-24 who are not in employment or education
- Conceived and delivered by Lord Whitney, at their studio Scott Hall Mills
- Course dates 4 August – 2 September 2021
- Funded by the European Social Fund
- Applications can be made via: lordwhitney.co.uk/news
This post is based on a press release issued by Lord Whitney
Photo: Rebekah Whitney and Amy Lord by Tom Joy