Designers into Schools Week (DiSW) was a great opportunity to bring the real-world of design into the classroom. The Week had real benefits for the schools involved - 60% of participating teachers who responded to our survey in 2002 said that they would be changing their approach to teaching design as a result and 95% felt their students had learned something about the industry.
The future of Designers into Schools Week
Since June 2004, the Design Council has suspended the administration of this annual initiative, which had fulfilled its initial brief to run for three successive years.
The Design Council has commissioned an independent consultant to report the potential future of DiSW. Over the next few months the Design Council will act on the recommendations of this report and will publish the outcome.
Many strong relationships have been built between schools and designers who have been involved in the scheme over its three-year life. Any development of DiSW would necessarily want to build on such relationships, while taking into account the current context of other initiatives that bring together schools and designers, and to ensure that DiSW has the greatest possible chance to make a more developed, more sustained, and broader impact on the role of designing within schools.
You can still get involved
Many schools are working from their own initiative this year, either to continue relationships they have previously established with designers, or to approach new ones in their area. If you would like to do the same, you might visit the design directory: www.designdirectory.org where searches for designers can be made by region and design discipline. You will need to invite the designer to visit your school for a short period of time to help the students carry out a specially devised project.
If you wish to work with your partner designer from last year, you are advised to contact them directly.
We would certainly appreciate your keeping us informed of any designer visits that you arrange, as it will inform our ability to broker relationships in the future. Please contact Georgina Jarvis email@example.com with details of which school you plan to visit and a brief outline of your project. (Please note that this will be for our records only)
If you approach a designer to run a project in your school, they should be made aware of the following: