From imagination to product realization

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  • Accra College of Medicine visits Design & Technology Institute

Every year, for my Level 100 Creative and Critical Thinking class at Accra College of Medicine (ACM), the Design and Technology Institute (DTI) offered the medical students a practical get away place to see creativity in action. I’ve often written about the founder, Constance Swaniker, and her pursuit of creativity and precision.

On this visit in year 2023, I was quite enthused by the students’ observations. Four of them are featured in today’s column as follows:

From Abena Larbi

DTI is a hidden gem in the city of Accra, near East Legon. This institute gives you the opportunity to advance your design career. The scenery of the institute is more than eye candy. Every interesting statue and colorful structure we laid our eyes on were created and designed by the students.

This was impressive because such creativity did not appear as your ordinary school project work. Aspects of welding, animation and even 3D printing came into play to create the structures that poured life into the campus.

The student counselor, Anne Appah, took my fifteen classmates and I on a tour. As we moved through the buildings, it was eminent that they maximized the use of space. One thing that grasped me through the tour – and talking to some of the teachers we met – was that they made emphasis on being facilitators, not lecturers. They did not want to encourage the process of lecturers talking at students and making them produce merely theoretically correct answers that would not be used practically in their respective fields. Every course was mostly student driven and they were just guided by their facilitators to keep them working in the right direction.

The age range for the students highlights that you’re never too old or too young to become a master in a craft that you’re gifted at or interested in. It’s an open space to express yourself in the best way possible, and completing a course at DTI allows you to stand out in your field.

ACM students with Constance Swaniker

From Kwabena Akuoko-Sarpong

The DTI aimed at training students uniquely for the industry. On arrival we met Mr Martin Dartey, a facilitator who briefed us on what the school is about.

The school runs three main programs which are Entrepreneurship, Design Innovation, and Welding. At the Engineering Department, we were shown some conventional equipment such as the lathe and milling machines. These machines help to carve metals into various shapes and sizes from their raw form after inputting the program in the system.

I learnt that there is a push for more female students to go into welding as they tend to pay attention to details. For the Design Innovation, I learnt how some students used various soft wares to create cartoons and animations. There is a sound room where students do sound beats and add voice overs.

After these animations, the sound engineer adds voice overs and edit the videos and animations produced. Another lab under Design information has 3D printers where they print out artefacts based on the idea in mind. They run a software on these artefacts and they are able to do basic movements like going forwards and backwards and turning left or right.

From Iris–Aimée Gouem

At first sight, I thought it was just a place for extracurricular activities or just for children to come and spend their vacation. Little did I know that it was a complete institution for adults. The students attend school like every other student in an university.

I have suggested DTI to my high school as the next site for a field trip for their A-Level and IGCSE students, because they need the exposure. DTI will give them the opportunity to broaden their scope of learning. They get to learn things related to what they want to do in the future by adding to their skills.

I think it could also be a form of “relaxation” in the sense that if some of them want to take a gap year, they could enrol in DTI and do some of the 1-year courses. Knowing some of them, they’d give up on going to a regular university because it is an amazing place.

What I love about DTI is that they do not TEACH, they FACILITATE. It allows students to think for themselves and open up about their own ideas, and what they want to do. I think it is a great way of engaging students.

From Sakyibea Asamoah-Sakyi

When I learnt I was going in an excursion I wondered what was so good about the place. Seeing what DTI is made of makes me see a better future. The people at DTI are people with creative mindsets. They have no boundaries when it comes to their ability to think creatively. I saw a whole new world which I had never dreamt of seeing.

Looking at our future, where technology will be held in the highest regard – even in relation to medicine – I think that DTI is doing an amazing job. Teaching their student to do things with precision and accuracy is very important: and I learnt that. Even in the minute things done at DTI the student feels the need to adhere to instructions and be as precise as possible. I think that in the future, ACM will be able to collaborate with DTI to create telemedicine and creative medical spaces for student to study better.

ACM students at Design & Technology Institute (DTI)


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