DesignLab is a programme of in-depth projects that explore new ways of engaging secondary school students with design.

Thank you for a brilliant experience. This has made us think differently about how we teach Art & Design and DT – we have so many new ideas for our schemes of work.

Head of Faculty, Design & Technology

It brings schools together with museum educators, practising artists and designers and the Museum's collections to work on projects. It also provides teachers with training and CPD opportunities to develop new and innovative ways of teaching design. DesignLab aims to inspire a new generation of creative practitioners as well as broaden young people's understanding of the designed world around them, how it is made and its impact on society and the environment.

DesignLab allows students to:

  • Engage with historical and contemporary design
  • Work directly with professional artists and designers in an in-depth way
  • Connect with learning across the curriculum, including STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design and Maths)
  • Develop creativity, skills and knowledge relevant to working in the creative industries
  • Get advice about different pathways into creative careers

DesignLab is open to any state-funded secondary school. To register your interest or find out more about what's coming up this term contact:

Learning Coordinator
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2622

The following film of a recent DesignLab project linked to our Alexander McQueen exhibition demonstrates how DesignLab works.

DesignLab Nation

DesignLab Nation

DesignLab Nation is the V&A's National Schools Programme, which aims to inspire the next generation of designers and support design education for secondary school students and teachers across the UK. Launched in September 2017, this new initiative builds partnerships with regional museums, designers and creative industries to expand the reach of the V&A’s Learning programmes and collections.

By bringing together local industry, museums and schools, DesignLab Nation will ensure that the V&A delivers on our founding purpose, to educate and inspire the artists, innovators, designers and creatives of tomorrow

V&A Director, Tristram Hunt

This programme builds on the V&A’s existing DesignLab model bringing together in-depth project working and our world class collections of art, design and performance, to select areas of the UK where uptake or attainment in GCSE Design and Technology is particularly low. Our hope for this programme is to re-assert the importance of nurturing design thinking and making skills across the country. Projects are currently being rolled out in Blackburn, Coventry, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent and Sunderland- all areas with a rich industrial heritage specialising on design industries of textiles, ceramics, glass and product design. DesignLab Nation will encourage young people to make their own contemporary responses to historical processes, and to gain an understanding of how objects from our collections can inform new ways of thinking, researching and making.

View this film to follow a recent DesignLab Nation project in partnership with Coventry Transport Museum.

Find out more about the programme by visiting the V&A Learning Blog.

If you would like to find out more, please contact us at

DesignLab Nation is generously supported by Art Fund and The Foyle Foundation.

With additional support from Sarah Nichols, The Staples Trust, The Zochonis Charitable Trust, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, the Brian Mercer Charitable Trust, The Michael Marsh Charitable Trust, The Daniel Howard Foundation, The Barbour Foundation, the William Brake Charitable Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, The Fort Foundation, the Edward and Dorothy Cadbury Trust, The James Neill Trust Fund and The Percy Hedley 1990 Charitable Trust.