Archive project boosts students' presentation skills

How can you increase your chances of getting a job? Archives staff at the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture recently thought up a project that would do just that - as well as increasing the profile of their own collections.

They collaborated with Middlesex University’s employability team to develop a new scheme to give students training in communication and presentation skills. After receiving some coaching in public speaking, three students created short videos in which they talked on screen about MoDA's collections. The students were encouraged to reflect upon how the collections related to their own creative practice, and to think about their emotive, personal responses to individual items within them.

Winifred Mold, Design for a printed textile for the Silver Studio, 1919.

Winifred Mold, Design for a printed textile for the Silver Studio, 1919.

After researching their chosen objects, each of them created a storyboard for their video. They then returned to film their videos, which you can see them on MoDA's blog. Two of the students chose to focus on designs by Winifred Mold, the first female designer to be employed by the Silver Studio in 1912. As a woman, she would have been at a distinct disadvantage, being paid much less than the men. She also worked from home, only visiting the premises once and never seeing the men at work. Boss Rex Silver would correspond with her by letter to discuss her designs, thereby unknowingly providing a rich source of information for textile historians. 

One of the students opted to use her own experience as an Illustration student to reflect on Mold's style and use of colour and the experiences of women artists working in the 1910s. The other chose to consider the stories that could be creatively imagined from two of Mold's images, one of King Cole and the other of medieval hunters. 


We've got our own collection of textile designs here at BCU - why not visit the Archives to see if they can inspire your own work?