V&A Dundee

Design Busters activity book launched

V&A Dundee has launched a fun collection of design challenges for families of all shapes and sizes to enjoy at home.

10,000 free copies of the Design Busters activity book will be sent to families across Scotland to inspire their creativity during the school holidays and can now be downloaded free from V&A Dundee’s website.

The activity book builds on the success of the Design Busters weekly phone and video challenges that launched in April 2020 to support families during the first coronavirus lockdown. The challenges have now been transformed by Dundee-based illustrator Laura Darling’s playful and colourful illustrations to inspire creativity and interaction.

Design Busters encourages families to engage in playful design challenges at home using basic household items and creative problem-solving skills. The programme ran in the museum from opening in September 2018 and moved online during the pandemic.

The Museum of Me challenge encourages people to look around their homes for objects to draw that tell their family story. Other activities include creating fashion designs using materials found at home and to think about zero waste fashion and sustainability.

The project has been supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Tracey Smith, Young People and Families Producer at V&A Dundee, said: “This activity book is a collection of fun and exciting creative activities for people of all ages to try out together over the school holidays.

“We have worked with the talented designer Laura Darling to create new illustrations that engage children and young people with design, building on the success of the free Design Busters activities we’ve run online since early last year.

“We’re giving 10,000 free books to our community partners in Dundee and further across Scotland with the generous support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery.”

Laura Chow, Head of Charities from People’s Postcode Lottery said: “This free design activity book is hugely exciting as it will inspire families to look at their surroundings creatively and explore how important design is to everyone’s life and wellbeing.

“We look forward to people sharing their work on social media and seeing the creative responses from families all over Scotland.”

Designer Laura Darling said: “Working with Scotland’s design museum on this new activity book for families has been a brilliant experience.

“Through the design I really wanted to encourage colouring, customisation, and interaction for everyone to explore their vision of design. The illustrations also nod to the colours of the chalk playscape outside V&A Dundee that many families have used for safe creative play during lockdown.”

The 10,000 free copies of the book will be distributed to several Dundee primary schools, as well as community family support organisations and venues locally and nationally, including:

  • NHS children’s hospitals in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow
  • Dundee Food Insecurity Network’s 35 foodbanks and larders
  • Capability Scotland
  • Dundee Bairns
  • Dundee International Women’s Centre

Families can access the activity book online and watch a YouTube video with Laura Darling introducing the activity book here.

Creative responses can be shared on social media @VADundee and with the hashtag #DesignBusters