Young Design Programme
The Young Design Programme joins up young people in primary schools, secondary schools and further education colleges with students at universities and higher education colleges, and designers in industry.
The programme developed out of joinedupdesignforschools, and shares its focus of improving the quality of life in schools through good design. Schoolchildren are given the role of clients commissioning a design project. This time, their consultants are design students, who in turn are mentored by professional designers.
Pupil clients identify the real-life challenge they wish to set their student consultants, from improving school signage systems, to creating sheltered outdoor spaces to eat and socialise. Together, they carry out research and inspirational visits to develop a Pupils’ Brief. The students respond by preparing a design concept, which the client teams present to fellow pupils, teachers and school governors.
“The Young Design Programme has inspired us to see the students’ voice as part of the consultation process when making changes and improvements in the school”.
“I have greater confidence as a designer and my communication skills and people skills have greatly improved”.
“We were given much more of a voice and we were able to put our design ideas forward, and all our ideas were put into action”.
“I am constantly amazed at the capability of students to juggle both coursework and truly professional consultation work at the same time. I can only hope I retire before they compete against me”.
The development of life skills is at the programme’s heart; both pupils and students improve their skills in creative thinking, teamwork, negotiation, problem-solving and communication.
The programme also demonstrates the many advantages of linking primary, secondary and tertiary education, and professional practice. Pupils develop real confidence with the responsibility of being their school’s representatives, schools encounter a fresh way of thinking about how to tackle design, teachers discover new approaches helping pupils learn, and staff develop constructive links with universities. Students develop professional skills, helping them prepare for work, and industry mentors gain a valuable insight into the way that young people think about design.