A group of school children posing for a selfie

Schools invited to redesign their high streets  

V&A Dundee is inviting all secondary schools across Scotland to redesign their local high street, with winning entries to be displayed in Scotland’s design museum.

Streets Ahead is a new design challenge supported by the NCR Corporation, aimed at inspiring the next generation of designers by introducing secondary pupils to the tools and techniques designers use to solve problems.

The challenge asks S1 and S2 pupils to look at their local high street or shopping centre and then redesign it to create a more sustainable, inclusive and accessible shopping experience.

All secondary schools in Scotland have been invited to take part, with 63 schools across 24 local authorities already signing up. The deadline for submissions is 6 December.

Ten winning teams will be picked by a panel of judges to travel to V&A Dundee to showcase their ideas and receive mentoring from professional designers in early 2024. Those ideas will then go on display at V&A Dundee in the summer of 2024.

Schools can participate by visiting https://www.vam.ac.uk/dundee/info/streets-ahead and can access online resources including a teacher’s pack, videos taking them through each stage of the challenge and an ‘ask-the-expert' online forum.

Julie Muir, Learning Manager – Schools, Young People & Families at V&A Dundee, said: “V&A Dundee is perfectly placed as Scotland’s design museum to help young people and educators embrace the design process and creative problem-solving.

“Students taking part in Streets Ahead will gain confidence in communicating and presenting to others and receive constructive feedback to allow them to perfect their initial ideas. Project-based learning embeds skills that include inquiry, collaboration and reflection, whilst also building empathy.

“Real-life design challenges are a great way to excite and engage school pupils, show them the potential of their own creativity, and to inspire them to consider different career options for the future. "

Leigh Duncan, Marketing Manager at NCR Corporation, said: “We are delighted to support the initiative as we believe it will drive a higher uptake in STEM subject choices in high schools across Scotland and better equip our young adults as they make career decisions beyond education.”

Streets Ahead builds on the successful Schools Design Challenge competitions V&A Dundee has run in the past, giving school pupils the opportunity to work together on using creativity to solve problems which personally affect them.

Research by the British Council identified that 65% of today’s school pupils will be employed into jobs that don’t yet exist. Skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, as well as Design and Art, are increasingly in demand.

Working through the design process as part of Streets Ahead will encourage students to become adaptable, confident, creative problem solvers. To find out more, please visit https://www.vam.ac.uk/dundee/info/streets-ahead