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Are you looking for a high school art program that is unique, has enough content for an elective credit, encourages creative thinking, AND is affordable?? Look no further than The Extraordinaires Design Studio Pro!
Disclaimer: I received this kit at no cost to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and a positive review was not guaranteed. There are affiliate links in this post.
Do you want to SEE The Extraordinaires Design Studio Pro in action? Check out my walk through unboxing video! (skip to 8:00 to skip the chit chat and get to the product – by the way, this was totally a Facebook Live broadcast so it was kind of off the cuff and raw. What can I say? I’m real. I also embedded the video at this bottom of this post.)
Design Studio Pro:
An art program that is as unique as your kid!
Design Studio Pro puts the power of design into the student’s hands. The student’s job is to design a customized and useful product for a very special person, an Extraordinaire! Design Studio Pro was made with kids 16+ in mind and it features over 720 projects, it could easily qualify for a half (or even a full!) art credit!
Let me walk you through the process:
Step One: Pick a client. You can pick a client with intention or randomly select a card, it’s up to you. There are 25 clients
For his first design my 17 year old son picked the wizard. Once you have your character selected you reference the guide book, it’s full of all sorts of useful information about each character. It’ll give you great insight into the needs of your client. The wizard, for example, is elderly and frail and he travels with a staff. He’s employed by a movie studio to create special effects.
Step two: Pick a design project. There are lots and lots of projects to choose from in the following categories: clothing, gadgets, buildings, vehicles, inventions. Each category has a set of design projects. My son picked vehicles and then randomly selected the single person vehicle card.
Step three: Select a Think card. Think cards are randomly selected according to project category, and again there are many cards to choose from in each category. (Are you starting to see how many projects there are in this set? 720!!!)
The Think cards help the designer narrow down their vision into something more focused with tips and ideas for good product design.
His project: design a solitary vehicle for an elderly wizard who needs to have his staff with him. The car has to be able to travel to remote locations so he can get to his job as a movie special effects creator. He has some health issues, including poor vision and mobility issues that must be accommodated.
Step Four: start brainstorming and sketching. The Design Studio Pro kit comes with two markers and a professional sketch pad. The guide book instructs the designer on how to organize their thoughts and gives some examples. My son quickly sketched out a very rough design and made some notes.
He put some real thought into the initial design. He wanted to make the ride as comfortable as possible while still being economical, easy on the environment, all terrain, and easy to operate and safe for a person with vision issues.
(my son would like me to point out here that this is only his initial sketch, he isn’t yet done with the final product but when he is it will be much, much better and more professional. Alrighty then.)
Step Five: Present & Evaluate! This program is pretty cool, but this is where it gets REALLY cool. The guidebook walks the designer through the steps of formally presenting their design to the client. The client (that’s you, by the way) listens and offers feedback.
Next comes the evaluation, and it’s done in a really neat way, by presenting a design award! If you have multiple students doing the program they can evaluate each other, or you can evaluate the design, or the designer can evaluate their own work! There are several award cards to review, each will help you evaluate the design for uniqueness, usefulness, etc. You pick the award that best describes the design.
TIP: At first I really did think a younger teen could handle this program, and perhaps some can, however after running through it with my 12 year old I’ve decided that it really is best for older teens. This program may not look overly involved, but there really is A LOT that goes into it. For younger students there is a comparable program available, Design Studio.
Step Six: Save your project! You don’t have to worry about paper clutter with this program because a FREE DIGITAL PORTFOLIO is included! Download the app on to your phone or tablet to save it. You can make notes, tag it, and even share it with other designers if you want. An instruction sheet for the digital portfolio is included in the kit.
This is a really, really great program. It’s rare to find something that involves such complex thinking and teaches art. Critical thinking, logic, creative design…it’s all here, and it’s well under $100! There isn’t anything not to love about this kit, really!
Get it at Amazon
Ages – 16+
Worldview – secular
Parental Involement – not needed
Reading Skill – moderate to advanced
Skip to 8:00 to bypass the chitchat. And remember, this was originally a Facebook Live broadcast 🙂
Meg Grooms (she/her) is a decades-long secular homeschooler, mother of many, writer, Florida ex-pat, and all-around swell gal. Meg & her partner have raised their kids all over the USA, finally settling on Southern California. For now, anyhow.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool. Meg is available for speaking engagements, workshops, and gameschooling classes. Please see the About Us/Contact Meg page for more information.