V&A Dundee

Schools Design Challenge

Our second Schools Design Challenge might be over, but you can still take part!

At the end of 2019, we invited schools in Dundee, Angus, Perth and Kinross and Highland regions to take part in our Schools Design Challenge.

The challenge, based on the 2018 Scottish Govt Strategy ‘A Connected Scotland’, asked pupils to design new solutions to alleviate isolation and loneliness in their school communities. Using design as a tool for social change, pupils were encouraged to work together to find solutions that address the issues directly affecting them.

From over 600 pupils who submitted ideas, the 17 selected teams attended our Design Jam. An all-day event where each team worked creatively with a professional designer, pupils used the design process and a range of materials to develop their idea and create a prototype.

Our Schools Design Challenge exhibition documents this process and is on until 23 March 2021.

You can watch the videos exploring the projects from the 17 teams on YouTube.

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Take part

Design doesn’t stop! Since our Design Jam in January 2020, a lot has happened in the world. The rules of how we interact with each other have changed, but loneliness and isolation present as big an issue as they ever did.

Many of the fantastic designs we received would no longer be practical in the current climate, so it’s time to start the process again. Explore, imagine, develop and solve for a new set of circumstances.

All of our original resources and support materials are still available to download below and can be used in the same way following the educators' instructions. Just ignore the submission dates.

We have updated the Mind Map to reflect the new situation. This can also be downloaded below or picked up in our Schools Design Challenge Exhibition.

You can also get in touch via schools@vandadundee.org and we can send you more information.

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Teacher talk

This challenge, although originally aimed at S1/2 pupils, can be taken on by any age groups – primary or secondary – and we can continue provide additional support. Just get in touch!

Share your school’s progress, work and ‘big ideas’ for tackling the challenge with us via email, or by tagging @vadundee on social media and using #SchoolsDesignChallenge

We’ve linked the project to the core E’s and O’s outlined below, but schools may wish to cover more depending on the approach they take.

  • EXA 3-06a: While working through a design process in response to a design brief, I can develop and communicate imaginative design solutions.
  • HWB 2-08a/3-08a: I understand that people can feel alone and can be misunderstood and left out by others. I am learning how to give appropriate support.
  • HWB 2-13a/3-13a: Through contributing my views, time and talents, I play a part in bringing about positive change in my school and wider community.
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Additional help

Additional help and support can be found at:


Generously supported by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery and the William Grant Foundation.

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