V&A Dundee

Schools Design Challenge launched

Press release

27 October 2015

V&A Museum of Design Dundee launched its first Schools Design Challenge today with staff and pupils from secondary schools across the region. The pilot project targets S1 pupils in Dundee and Angus, encouraging the 11-12 year olds to get involved in using design to change their everyday environment.

The challenge will ask pupils ‘How could you improve your school or school life?’encouraging them to think about their own experiences and giving them an opportunity to share ideas and learn new skills. All 18 secondary schools in Dundee and Angus have signed up to participate.

Pupils will be asked to find solutions to problems that directly affect them becoming ‘agents of change’ within their own school. Theywill take part in a large-scale design jam, working with professional designers and a filmmaker to bring their idea to life. Ten selected design concepts will be displayed in an exhibition at Overgate shopping centre in Dundee in March 2016.

Joanna Mawdsley, Learning Manager at V&A Dundee said: “Design is everywhere and has such an impact on everyday life, yet it isn’t something that everyone is naturally aware of. We want to empower pupils to make change happen by using the design thinking process. Design thinking can be a powerful tool for problem-solving in any discipline - and what's more, it's hands-on, creative, collaborative, optimistic and fun.

“We’re delighted that every local authority school in Dundee and Angus has signed up for this pilot programme and we can’t wait to see the ideas the pupils come up with, inspired by an environment that is very familiar to them.”

Stewart Hunter convener of Dundee City Council's education committee said: "Design is all around us and good design can help to enhance people's lives, sometimes in ways we don't even think about.

"So for our pupils to be encouraged to focus on design and how it could improve their experience or environment at school is a stimulating and exciting challenge."

Part of the new museum’s pre-opening programme, Schools Design Challenge is supported by funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery along with generous support from the William Grant Foundation.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “We are so excited that V&A Dundee have launched the first ever Schools Design Challenge today thanks to funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. It’s a fantastic way to introduce pupils to the possibilities of design.”

Staff and pupils from Craigie High School were joined by representatives from Monifieth High School and Braeview Academy to launch the pilot, as the V&A Dundee team delivered the first ‘Lesson in a Box’ resources.

Resources created for the challenge are available to schools across Scotland via Glow, Education Scotland's digital environment for learning.