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BLOCK 3 PDF 3 2013-14 Canvassing for an External mentor Media Pack CONTENTS - External Mentor Mailing List - External Mentor Request Example. - Research Methods Board - Research Findings Board. - Design Brief (Self directed major project) - Project Plan & Suggested Meeting Structure

External mentor candidates Phone: +44 (0) 161 860 0058 Location: Unit 32, The Greenheys Centre Manchester Science Park, M15 6JJ Email: Relevance: Lucid Innovation’s “Creating fun with activity toy development” case study presents a theme which I am considering in order to resolve the problems concerning my own brief.

Phone: +44 (0) 845 0569247 Location: The Innovation Centre, Sci-Tech Daresbury Keckwick Lane Daresbury, Cheshire, WA4 4FS Email: Iain McCall Relevance: 4D have developed the ”Football Flick Urban”, a high quality sports skill development product. This company clearly has significant expertise relating to my Self Directed Major Project.

Phone: +44 (0)161 236 9898 Location: inventid, 22 Lever Street Manchester M1 1EA Email: Relevance: Experience in designing for children, which is who I will be designing for in order to resolve the issues presented in my brief.

External mentor candidates Name: Richard Taylor Position: Outdoor Product Designer at Sports Direct International Location: Frodsham, Cheshire, United Kingdom Email: Contact on LinkedIn Relevance: An experienced product designer with expertise in my Self Directed Major Project topic at major retailer Name: Darren Perry (Past tutor) Position: Head of Product Design at St. Mary’s 6th Form College, Astley Location: St.Mary's Catholic High School, Manchester Road, Astley, Tyldesley, Manchester, M29 7EE Email: Relevance: Experience in the industry. Local and very likely to participate. Good back up for extra outside perspective. Has children & loves sport.

Name: Andy Winter. Position: Graphic Designer at Location: Manchester, United Kingdom. Email: Contact on LinkedIn. Relevance: A designer who has worked for a major online sports retailer with many professional clients. A good chance he will have product design related contacts.

External mentor request example 10th February 2014 Dear Iain McCall, RE: request for you to act as my external mentor for my Final Major Project I am a final year Product Design student at the University of Salford, currently undertaking my self-directed final major design project which is underpinned by an advanced research project into a particular area of interest. The central theme of my project is participation in sports & exercise. Reports are suggesting that many children are reaching secondary school without the basic abilities necessary for playing sport such as throwing, catching and kicking. This is due to a perceived lack of accessible quality facilities, funding and primary school teaching. Therefore, my aim is to design a product/game that can stimulate young people’s interest in sports and/or exercise. I am hoping to put the emphasis on enjoyment while developing the core skills that can lead to a long term participation in sport/exercise and a subsequent healthy lifestyle. The course encourages students to contact companies with appropriate expertise to gain support and feedback on our design directions. When conducting research into local design firms your Football Flick Urban skill development product instantly caught my eye. It is clear that your company has significant experience and expertise relating to my self-directed major project, therefore it would be of immense value to me if you could collaborate in my project as an external mentor. This collaboration would be on the basis of you reviewing my progress and offering your professional view on the quality of the design thinking and general process. The role of external mentor has no binding liability and is covered by a mutually agreeable NDA. It is hoped that the experience will be interesting for you. This project is structured into 4 distinct stages and I am currently nearing the end of my initial Concept Generation phase. I would be looking to present my conclusions to you in a series of 3/4 meetings at your convenience, however feedback could easily be given digitally if you preferred. The entirety of the project can be made available to you as it unfolds, by means of ongoing presentations on my personal graduate year website which I am also working on presently. – My project will be exhibited at the Create@Salford Festival in June at MediaCityUK, Salford Quays, which provides the opportunity for companies to have a more formal involvement with the course if they wish. You will be welcomed with hospitality and open gratitude for providing me with a ‘Real World’ view at this pivotal period in my creative practice. Thank you very much for your time in reviewing this request and with hope that you are able to choose to take up my request. I look forward to hearing from you. Best wishes, Kyle Mason

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Research Methods & Process






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Visit local free sports facilities. Visit local chargable/ professional sports facilities.

Conduct semi-structured interviews - 5 P.E Teachers. Gain insight into why sports participation is falling.

Develop a general physical activity & sports participation survey using Survey Monkey.

Access web- analyse existing sports products. Further analyse local sports/ physical activity facilities.

Physical Activity & Participation in Sport


Analyse + compare both. Examine the extent each encourages/allows participation in sport.

Conduct semi-structured interviews-5 young children. Gain insight into what makes young people interested or put off by sport.

Conduct semi-structured interviews- 5 16-25 year olds Gain insight into importance of sport & exercise in young adult’s lives today.

40-50 participants. Gain insight into levels of activity/participation + reasons if/why people do not exercise enough.


Highlight key issues re particiation in sport/ physical activity by using relevant articles, statistics and facts.

Gain insight into current funding & initiatives available to increase participation.

Key Research Findings & Analysis Physical Activity & Participation in Sport ALTERNATIVES NOT ALWAYS DESIRED, ACHIEVEABLE OR ACCESSIBLE Free courts: Poor conditions. DISCOURAGES SPORT. Alternative: Private clubs all weather facilities.

- Issues: some feel inadequate/don’t enjoy sport, may adopt unhealthy habits e.g. games consoles.

- Improvements: Make facilities accessible, available and affordable.

- Improvements: emphasize fun exercise, - Improvements: Emphasis on health/fitness. remove some “serious” game situations. P.E lessons/sport more fun rather than rigid rules. Grabchildren’s attention early Improved funding/facilities needed

Do you play a specific sport?



Issues: Facilities inconsistent. Strong concerns re participation/interest: lazy lifestyles/technology more appealing. Parents - major effects on child’s interest. Int





- 85% respondents 16-25.

When asked what prevents regular exercise..

- Nearly 1/2 exercise once or less per week.



- COST of facilities prevents many Yes


from exercising.






EXISTING PRODUCTS - Generally poor range. - Limited skill development concepts > high in price. - Cheaper products often appear flimsy/lack durability. - More portability required.








-Alternative facilities: high cost issue e.g. - Sport England: Participation in sport falling in 16-25 Chill Factor/Go Ape. -Great Outdoor Gym year olds. company provides - BBC Sport: Football & tennis losing participants free + green exercise. MAY LEAD TO LESS FUNDING Recent reports: many pupils are reaching high school without basic abilities for sport: throwing catching, kicking, running etc.




- The Mail online: Less than 1/3 children have basic fitness levels - FAILURE OF POLITICIANS CITED.



- Issues: Money, time, effort. Suggests other aspects are the priority despite health benefits.





- Not enough people exercising regularly. - Many stop engaging after compulsory education. - Physical activity not a priority for many. - Comments on local facilities support personal findings. - Desire for more enjoyment/excitement suggests different approach needed to ^ participation.




Free football facilities: poor, often dog fouled. Some surfaces unplayable/dangerous.

Alternatives: rent pitch, join league/ team, public use of school facilities.

Participation in Sports/Exercise Design Brief Project Challenges/Objectives To produce a product to stimulate interest & participation in sports/exercise. To reate a route into regular sport by developing the core skills that recent reports suggest are lacking for many children when reaching secondary education. To encourage young people to enjoy sport while developing those key physical skills. To provide an alternative to poorly maintained facilities.

Background Local facilities for sports/exercise have been shown to be poor in many areas. Facilities in schools are inconsistent, some were described as quite good & others as out of date. Teachers interviewed had concerns about the level of interest in sports outside the activities which are compulsory to the curriculum. Reports suggest the basic physical skill levels required to enjoy & participate in sports are worrying for many pupils entering high school. Evidence also indicates that by the time many reach ages 16 – 25 they appear to have adopted attitudes, beliefs & lifestyles related to sports/exercise resulting in a lack of priority. This is problem considering the health benefits. It is vital that key skills are developed early while enthusiasm and fun is stimulated through innovative, effective design. Local authorities/education authorities have limited budgets in the current economic climate to provide adequate facilities. It is therefore essential to design affordable & sustainable products to attract interest from families/schools, which encourage sports & exercise. Products in this market often lack portability & are usually one dimensional or rigid to the sport’s rules and goals. The aim is to help increase long term sports participation or fitness by encouraging young people aged 7-16+ to develop skills & enjoy sport at school or home.

Project Specification Final product must be: INNOVATIVE & ORIGINAL DURABLE





Final product should be: PORTABLE



Final product could be: USABLE ON MULTIPLE SURFACES


Project Plan Below is a general timeline of my Self Directed Major Project, commencing 30th January 2014 until submission 17th May. I have proposed a general summary of what I’d like the meetings to involve and when they should occur. Each meeting will also coincide with a formal review with the target user to gain as much feedback as possible.

Meeting 1: Project direction (February) - Presentation of findings from the Advanced Research Strategies module. - Introduction to the design brief. - Initial concepts/direction. - Feedback/insight.

Meeting 2: Concept review (Early March) - Presentation of concepts. - Proposed design direction/s. - ‘Real world’ feedback on the quality of ideas. - Suggested improvements for development phase.

Meeting 3: Proposal (Early April) - Presentation of concept proposal determined by development phase. - Professional judgement, further suggested improvements and fine tuning.

Meeting 4: Presentation (After 17th May) - After officially sumbitting my project to the University of Salford I would like the opportunity to present my final piece of work to you and I will welcome any contructive feedback. - I would also like to invite you to the degree show held by the University of Salford to showcase the work of the Art & Design department. This event will occur at Salford Quays in mid June.

PDF 3 Block 3  

External mentor media pack

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