Design for Need

Regular price £75.00
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Looking for that perfect piece to transform your space but just can't find the perfect piece to meet your needs? Why not design it yourself?!

Responding to popular demand, Goldfinger Academy is thrilled to announce its second Design for Need course. This 3 part course will include a 1:1 design tutorial and a group workshop. The workshop will take place on May 20th 6-7:30pm with the option of attending in person at Goldfinger HQ or over Zoom.

Join course leaders Noel Fettingsmith, Goldfinger Academy Manager, and Daniele Barco, our In-House Designer and Maker, to bring your design ideas to life through design drawing and model making. 

Whether you are brushing up on your design skills or just getting started, Noel and Daniele will help you interrogate your design needs and teach you how to answer them with excellent sustainable design.

At the end of the course, learners will be invited to join our Design For Need competition. The winner will have their design creation, handmade by our in house artisan makers from beautiful sustainable or reclaimed materials. 

Last year, the winning design was a beautiful side table made by Rebecca Maynard (pictured), responding to a brief to create a piece of furniture to optimise home working. We can't wait to see what comes out this year! 

Is this course for me?

This course is open to anyone aged 19 or over.

Continuing our commitment to make our learning accessible, we offer free spaces for those facing financial hardship. If you are earning under £19,000, you may be eligible for one of our free spaces. Priority is given to RBKC residents and those who are receiving benefits, and / or over 55. In order for us to review your eligibility, please complete the below form and we will be back in touch to update you on your booking status. 

Apply here for free spaces


How it works:

1. Pre-workshop video learning

We will teach you how to visualise your design ideas through two video learning classes: Design Drawing and Model Making. These will be sent to you in advance, to complete in your own time before the live workshop.

2. Live workshop

Join Daniele and Noel for the workshop at the Goldfinger showroom on Thursday 20 May 6pm to 7:30pm

The session can also be attended via Zoom for anyone who would prefer to take part remotely. If you would like to take part via Zoom, please let us know in the notes at checkout. 

3. Design Tutorial 

After the live session, you will be invited for a 30 minute 1:1 consultation with Noel via Zoom, to develop your final design, and learn from his years of expertise in sustainable design.


What you will need:

Designing can be done with the most basic materials, from a napkin and pen at the pub, to a laser-cut model perfectly scaled. We recommend:

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Measuring tool - a metal ruler and/or tape measure (great to have both but one will be sufficient)
  • Model making kit:
    • craft knife, cutting mat, and glue (preferably a hot glue gun but any glue will do the job). Contact us at if you would like to purchase this kit from us.

About the makers:

Noel Fettingsmith leads the Goldfinger Academy where he shares his skills in sustainable design and craft.  He joined the Goldfinger team after moving to London from Chicago bringing skills in collaborative making, education, furniture and architecture production. Noel coordinates and delivers Goldfinger Academy’s courses, and is passionate about engaging society through employment within cultural production. 

Daniele began his design career early, building skate ramps for himself and his friends, because there weren't any in his home town. He later graduated in industrial design in Rome. Daniele co-created a design collective in 2010, focused on bespoke furniture design, making, and teaching workshops, with a special focus on upcycling and DIY. He has a deep appreciation for traditional techniques in woodworking.

If you want to find out more about the Design For Need experience, read our interview with last years competition winner over on our blog.