Ten teams shortlisted for the 8th annual Design Ventura challenge, including Beechen Cliff in Bath, have pitched their product concepts to a panel of professionals at the Design Museum in Kensington.
Over 61,700 young people aged 13 to 16 have participated in Design Ventura since 2010, run by the Design Museum in partnership with Deutsche Bank’s youth engagement programme, Born to Be, to develop students’ design, enterprise and employability skills.
Anna Bullus, designer and founder of Gumdrop, set the brief for this year’s Design Ventura.
School students were challenged to create a well-designed product that improves everyday life, to be sold in the Design Museum shop for around £10.
Teams of four to six students were asked to research the needs of one of three target audiences; adult design enthusiasts, young people and students, or families.
Students had to consider: how their product would complement others on sale in the Museum shop; sustainability; ease of manufacturing process; and budget.
The winning team, to be announced in February 2018, will see its product concept developed and sold in the Museum’s shop and online with profits going to the school’s chosen charity.
Students receive mentoring from designers, retail experts and from Deutsche Bank employees on essential business and enterprise skills. The work of all the shortlisted teams will be showcased at the Museum.
Anna Bullus is well placed to inspire a new generation of creatives. She graduated less than 10 years ago, having studied 3D Design at the University of Brighton where the idea for Gumdrop was born. Legoland was one of the first companies to use Gumdrop bins which are also used by BAA, Royal Mail, and Westfield Shopping Centres.
They reduce gum litter by up to 46% in the first 12 weeks of use. Gum-tec, the material Anna makes with recycled chewing gum, is being used to make products such as dog bowls, rulers, Frisbees, sports cones and a range of Gumboots for children.
“Design isn’t a subject to be boxed into a small part of a school day. Design lets us interrogate our world and solve problems. But, that’s not enough.” said Anna.
“Researching what happened to waste chewing gum gave me the idea for Gumdrops but I have had to develop business and marketing skills too. The strength of Design Ventura is to turn blue sky thinking into a sustainable reality.”
Nicole Lovett, Deutsche Bank’s UK Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, commented: “We are delighted to see the focus of this year’s Design Ventura of how students can use design solutions to help make life better for communities.
“With the Open University predicting that skills shortages are costing businesses £2 billion a year, Design Ventura plays a key role in developing creative skills alongside entrepreneurship and business understanding; assets to profit young people’s futures, as well as society and the economy.”
The 2017-18 ten shortlisted schools pitching at the Design Museum on 8 December 2017:
- Beechen Cliff School, Bath for Card Hero, a portable ‘phone stand that is the size of a credit card so that it fits neatly into a wallet or purse;
- Chadwell Heath Academy, Romford for Animittens, mittens in the shape of animals that encourage children to get involved with household chores;
- Fairmead School, Yeovil, for Spinning Thumb Plate, a plate with thumb dent and sliding guard, helping those that find it hard to hold or carry a plate of food;
- Graveney School, London for Multi-purpose Tidy, handy suction clips for storing and keeping items to hand;
- Hans Price Academy, Weston-super-Mare, for Plate Mate, a fun attachment for holding your toast on the side of a plate to make more space and keep it from getting soggy;
- Simon Balle All-through School, Hartford, for Drop Charge, a humorous bungee jumper inspired wrap for keeping charger cables tidy;
- South Dartmoor Academy, South Devon, for Emooji, a fun ruler with stencils for creating your own emoji drawings;
- The King John School, Benfleet for Lightning Bolt, a lightning bolt shaped reflector that contains a puncture repair kit;
- Weatherhead High School, Wallasey for Petal Pot, A polypropylene plant pot that expands as the plant grows, reducing the waste of replacing pots;
- Woolwich Polytechnic School for Boys, London, for STIX, a wooden construction game made up of rods and connectors
Design Ventura runs throughout an academic year. For those unable to visit the Design Museum in London, extensive resources are available online and schools can participate in interactive webinars. The website ventura.designmuseum.org is a one-stop shop for the project.
Nine out of 10 students report that Design Ventura had a positive impact on: improving team working; understanding that mistakes and criticism can be useful; helping them think about what they can achieve through studying; understanding how they can plan to achieve what they want; and thinking about the kind of skills they want to use in their future careers.
95 percent of teachers also found that the programme gave them a better understanding of how to engage students about enterprise, how to teach it with design and the resources available to support the activity.
Both teachers and students agreed that the project raised the status and profile of D&T in their school.