BDA Spring 2019

We are excited to announce that Boston Design Academy, after a great inaugural program last summer, is back for the spring.

Boston Design Academy (BDA) is a city-sponsored program developed in collaboration between Timothy Smith Network and Mbadika to prepare Boston Public School students for careers in Boston’s growing design economy.

Classes started on February 25 at Boston Public Library’s Teen Central, where we welcomed a new group of students, alongside many of our alumns from the summer, who were back to expand their design and mentoring skills.

Once everyone was settled in, we wasted no time getting into the theme for this session: superheroes! 🦸🏾‍♀️🦸🏾‍♂️ Okay, not just superheroes but what’s required by designers to bring superheroes to life on the movie screen.

BDA participants started by exploring basic design principles through a series of design challenges, such as designing a toy for younger kids inspired by Captain Marvel, the latest blockbuster movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Participants used their Microsoft Surface Pro tablets to brainstorm and capture their ideas as well as create sketches of their concepts using Autodesk Sketchbook, a drawing program used by designers and other creative professionals.

Another MCU-inspired design challenge had them take a deep dive into the design process to recreate a key item from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, using Tinkercad, Autodesk’s web-based computer-aided design (CAD) software.

After learning how the designers who worked on Guardians of the Galaxy used reference images for inspiration, the students next challenge was to locate their own inspirational images. They didn’t have to go far–the library’s McKim building, designed to “inspire and elevate its patrons” when it was built between 1888 and 1895, was right next door. BDA’s students used their smartphones and tablets to collect images to support them as they created their designs.