Earlier this year a short film ‘Creative Britain in Reverse?’ was produced and published online by Seymourpowell, the Design & Technology Association and the James Dyson Foundation. It promotes the importance of design and technology in education providing commentary by ‘UK Design Heavyweights on the Need for British Design Education.’ I found the film on Core 77 who write:
“The points in the video are all well-made, perfectly articulated and obviously sensible. So why do they have such an uphill battle to fight? Because while they are arguing for the education of children in the video, the video itself is designed to educate a far more difficult creature: The British politicians responsible for education policies.”
Here’s the film below.
‘Creative Britain in Reverse?’
In this month’s Object: Australian Centre for Design iPad magazine on ‘Design Thinking / Design Action’ I write about this topic area in an article ‘Design Thinking in education.’
Object recently launched the magazine on their website, so if you’re interested in this article please visit Object: Australian Centre for Design otherwise see a summary below.
In the article I profile design for school education programs, initiatives and projects happening around the world such as:
- Digital Eskimo’s Water Worx project;
- Engine Service Design’s OurNewSchool project (a case study of my PhD);
- The Design Council’s Eco Design Challenge and Water Design Challenge;
- Stanford d.school’s Taking Design Thinking to Schools;
- IDEO’s Design Thinking for Educators; and
- Object’s own Design Emergency program run here in Australia that develops toolkits and work programs with teachers and students to use Design Thinking for creative problem-solving.
From these projects I summarise that Design Thinking brings to education:
- Project-based, experiential learning approaches;
- Personalised learning;
- A mindset that promotes human-centeredness and collaboration; and
- A process that guides the exploration and development of solutions to real-life challenges.
The ‘Creative Britain in Reverse?’ film is a great big picture perspective from design heavyweights on the importance of design and technology to the UK. My article goes into a bit more detail because as stated in my previous post, the concept of Design Thinking for local, national and world issues is easy to understand but the execution is the most challenging. Especially systemically scaling Design Thinking.
The projects I profile in my article are great exemplars of the different things designers and design can do for school education. There are many different ways to bring Design Thinking into the classroom to equip students with creativity¹ and tools² to prepare them for tomorrow’s world.
¹ Sir Ken Robinson advocates for more creativity in school education saying that currently “many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not, because the thing they were good at at school wasn’t valued.”
² Ivan Illich (1973) critiqued the mass production model used in our education system saying it has inhibited “the contribution of autonomous individuals.” Illich offers ‘convivial tools’ as the antidote, that is tools that give people the capacity “to guarantee their right to independent efficiency.”