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Tom is a dad, doodler and designer of toys, games and educational workshops working under the name Tang Mu. He originally studied Illustration in 2009 and began exploring 3D design as a way of taking his characters off the page. This culminated in creating and distributing papercraft models and kits working for clients such as the Ace of Cakes, Una Una, the Dali Universe London and Jetix magazine as well as several ranges of urban paper toys, and other collaborations.
As 3D printing became more accessible he got hold of a barebones kit and started tinkering, soon sharing his experiences in a local makerspace with other people who wanted to get started with digital design. This led him to develop a practice of running educational workshops in a variety of settings, using both traditional and digital crafting skills. He has taught 3D printing at an arts-based summer camp in the US and worked with a variety of galleries, museums and schools in the UK through projects with the Ideas Foundation as a Cultural Digital Designer in Residence. Additionally, whilst studying his Masters in Product Design (2018-2019) at Manchester Metropolitan University, he worked in Printcity (the 3D print department) as both a technical assistant and a facilitator for school outreach workshops.
He explains simply his core ethos: “To make stuff, help people make stuff, and make things that help people make stuff.” In amongst this is a drive to make learning as accessible as possible using strategies such as learning through play, project-based design, and encouraging creative confidence and visual communication. The aim is to give students the tools and soft skills they need for creative problem solving and collaboration with others. This was the cornerstone to his Master’s Degree, as raising a child with additional needs led to the desire to encompass everyone who does not respond as positively to a traditional learning environment.
He is currently developing a board game prototyping system that can be tailored for a variety of educational applications, as well as creating a variety of games and workshops that help other people get creative.