23rd April 2014, 9:07am
Budding designers visit Milan in Saturday Club’s first international excursion
Duomo square, Milan A group of 24 young creatives enjoyed an all-expenses-paid trip to the design capital of Europe as part of a unique programme hosted by the University of Lincoln, UK.

On Saturday 12th April budding designers from across Lincolnshire travelled to Milan, in the first ever overseas trip of the Sorrell Foundation’s National Art&Design Saturday Club.

The Club members, who are all aged between 14-16 years old, have already travelled to exhibitions and workshops around the UK and benefitted from the expertise of leading lights in the design industry.

Organised by the University of Lincoln’s School of Art and Design, the visit to the Italian city famous for its fashion heritage provided the pupils’ first experience of international design, and represents the first excursion of its kind for the award-winning national initiative.

The Sorrell Foundation is a charitable organisation dedicated to inspiring creativity in young people, and its National Art&Design Saturday Club aims to give aspiring young artists and designers the chance to develop their creative talents under the guidance of industry experts. It includes a free 30-week programme of in-depth tuition to nurture talent, build confidence and raise awareness of opportunities for further education, higher education and careers within the creative industries.

The Club has been running at Lincoln since September 2013 under the direction of David Bramston, Principal Lecturer (Enterprise) at the Lincoln School of Art and Design, who organised the international Milan trip.

David said: “Having coordinated three University of Lincoln exhibitions at Salone Satelllite in the city, it is exciting to know that young designers from Lincoln schools have also had the opportunity to see the fantastic work showcased in Milan. It was a truly valuable opportunity for them, and we now hope that they will be able to organise an open presentation to their schools about their experiences, to inspire others in the subject.”

During their visit, the Lincoln group visited the Salone Internazionale del Mobile (The Milan Furniture Fair) - the world’s largest design exhibition of its kind. The Milan Furniture Fair was established more than 50 years ago and is now recognised as the global benchmark for the home furnishing sector, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the globe.

Accompanied by staff members from the Lincoln School of Art and Design, including Saturday Club co-leader Ali Shepley, the members focused their attentions on an exhibition dedicated to up-and-coming international designers.

Ali said: “Our Milan adventure was fantastic, and provided such an important experience for everyone involved. For almost all of our Club members it was the first large-scale exhibition they had witnessed, and for some it was their very first trip outside of the UK. They worked fantastically well together as a team, and gained valuable experience of what is a very exciting international design industry. It was wonderful to share their excitement and enthusiasm, and to see their faces light up with inspiration at the incredible ideas and designs displayed within the exhibition.”