Review by Kate Andrews and Rose Stewart.
A recent Design Week article commented on the UK Government Report; Sustainable Schools: Are we building schools for the future?, highlighting an important area of research for all undergraduate designers, teachers and practising designers to take note of; The Future of Design Education.
The UK Design Council CEO David Kester, Hilary Cottam of Participle and John Sorrell of The Sorrell Foundation, were among those giving evidence for the House of Commons Education and Skills Committee report Sustainable Schools, discussing the Building Schools for the Future programme.
With plans to rebuild and refurbish all secondary schools across England over the next fifteen years it is argued that this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity should encompass good design and good design practice to thoroughly embrace a future of better education and educational environments. Parallel to the development plans across secondary education, the design sector is under reform with concerns on the skills designers should be equipped with when they join the industry. The High Level Skills for Higher Value report addresses how the design industry is on the cusp of radical change, which although has been apparent in my eyes for many years, is a promising statement to come from the UK Government.
The report is the UK Design Skills Development Plan created by the Design Skills Advisory Panel, consisting of designers and industry experts, and supported by the Design Council and Creative and Cultural Skills Sector Skills Council The report states to be: "...a powerful and realistic strategy for improvement based on developing world-class, high level skills in design, for all those currently working in the industry as well as those in design education."
The report has an inspiring supporting video, which showcases some key points for change in the future of design education. You can read the transcipt of the video on the Design Council website. David Worthington, Deputy Chair of The Design Skills Advisory Panel makes a wonderfully appropriate comment:
There is a lack of differentiation between the courses available at college. They tend to be, generally speaking, about training designers and the design industry is a much broader industry than just that of a practising designer. The practising designer is supported by people who understand project management, account management, research, semiotics, consumer behaviour, finance, the whole way and nature that design actually fits into the broader and wider world. Now we don’t necessarily have university courses that take that on board.
The Design Council are at present supporting key design bodies and organisations in similar plans for the future of design and design education, to form part of the Creative Blueprint; the sector skills agreement that will go to government in January 2008. It will be interesting to see how the future of the design industry and its education unfolds, and Anamorphosis intend on watching and covering this arena very closely.