V&A Innovate: teachers' resources

V&A Innovate is based on design thinking and human-centered design methodology. The following toolkit, co-designed with professional designers, provides a suggested outline of how you could run Innovate in school.

You could run Innovate over a term within D&T, over a day with a STEAM project, or over a few weeks with an extra-curricular club.

In teams of 4, 5 or 6, students are invited to choose from three contextual challenges inspired by our collections and exhibitions that ask critical questions about the issues shaping our world:

What is Innovate and why does it matter? Watch our short animation 'Become An Innovator' to find out more.

The toolkit outlines five stages to follow. Within each stage of the kit you will find suggested activities, tools and inspiration to share with your students.

1. In preparation

Define the structure of Innovate depending on your time and the students you're working with. Understand the milestones in the process, and ensure key dates are in the diary.

2. Getting started

Prepare your Innovate studio and get into teams. Choosing one of three Innovate challenges to work on: GO, EAT or WEAR.

'Think Like an Innovator' will answer questions about what it means to be a curious, responsible and innovative designer:

3. Collect

Students explore, listen to people, observe, and uncover everything they need to know to help define a unique design opportunity.

‘The Innovate Journey’ animation explores what it takes to be part of a human-centered design process:

4. Make

Students think big, get creative, test their ideas openly and often, iterating, and making well-informed decisions about the right ideas to develop.

5. Share

Students define their idea, visualise it, tell its story and submit their idea to the Innovate Awards. A chance to reflect on their Innovate journey.

Before submitting, read our judging criteria and entry requirements:


Share your new design solution with us. Email your entries for the 2019 Innovate National Schools Challenge to innovate@vam.ac.uk by 13 December 2019.