Sparky females shine a light

The sixth form at Coombe School in Surrey has four students of design technology. All four are female and they all want to be industrial designers.

The gals were turned on by a pseudo-brief to design lamps for luminaries from London consultancy Webb Scarlett, which was approached by sixth-form teacher Thomas Haycocks. “I thought that we needed to create links with industry,” explains Haycocks.

Joanne Alex designed a lamp for Coronation Street star Bet Lynch’s dining room. “She started off with leopardskin fabric stretched tight, but eventually decided Bet would want something weddingy,” says Haycocks. The other lamp briefs were Linford Christie’s bedroom, Camilla Parker-Bowles’ secret hideaway with Charles and Madonna’s mobile home for touring.

“We do have boys in the sixth form, but they didn’t choose design,” adds Haycocks. Does this mean that the distinctly male-dominated profession of industrial design will finally be subject to the feminine touch?

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