Attending my second Design Ventura awards evening, I couldn’t help but think how fortunate these kids were to have something like this in place and how much Design & Technology, Art and Graphic students could benefit nationwide from a competition such as this.
Sponsored by Deutsche Bank, the scheme set up by a passionate team of people at the Design Museum offers schools the opportunity to take part in a real design brief culminating in hands on workshops with practising design professionals, a presentation to a board of celebrated judges and the chance to have their design taken into production and sold in the Design Museum shop. Just recently they have created a ‘virtual Ventura’ which gives schools outside London and even the UK the opportunity to take part. Since 2010 over 9000 young people have participated highlighting its accessibility and relevance to support the school curriculum. Last year’s winners have gone on to be interviewed on BBC Radio four, Newsnight, and even been offered internships by Microsoft.
Wholly supported by Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum and Sebastien Conran, this years brief was set by accessories designer Anya Hindmarch. The Museum is also hosting the Design meets Enterprise conference on the 18th March, it aims to look at the wider creative and economic context of the project, exploring partnership models that can make design education relevant and compelling to young people.
Without the passion and energy of the great team at the Design Museum as well as the constant support of Deutsche Bank who really engage with the entrants to offer business advice, it would never be possible. A host of design professionals also give up a lot of their time to travel the length and breadth of London to help mentor the schools, offering practical advice on bringing a product to market. Sato Hisao, a toy designer for the likes of MUJI was one of the winners of the Volunteer of the Year awards for his lengthy support of the project.