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Designs on education

Yolanda Brooks reports on an initiative that brings pupils face to face with top designers

How do designers do it? Do they create from a single blast of inspiration or do they spend months in deep, methodical thought devising an idea from the ground up? Thanks to the launch of Designers into School Week, secondary school students in England will now be able to find the answer to that question.

Designers into School is an initiative organised by the Design Council to bring professional designers into the classroom. So far, almost 300 professionals, from a range of disciplines including fashion, industrial and graphic design, have signed up. Famous names include founder of Habitat and all-round lifestyle guru Sir Terence Conran, fashion designer Wayne Hemingway and design consultants Richard Seymour and Dick Powell. Some will be giving talks about what they do and others will be involved in workshops.

Hilary Cottam, learning and public services director at the Design Council, says the scheme is intended not only to give students an insight into the careers open to them, but also to enhance their design and technology studies.

She says: "Over time, both we and the Government have identified that we need to focus more strategically on how to encourage the area of design process in schools rather than the focus on making. A very good way to do this is to get designers into schools to talk about their own experiences. It also alerts pupils to the broad range of what design skills can be."

Registered schools will be matched with local designers and it will be up to individual participants to decide how to make the most out of the visitis.

You can sign your school up for the Designers into School Week, which runs from June 24-28, by visiting the Design Council website at www.designcouncil.org.uk.

For more details, contact Julia Thomas at the Design Council Tel: 020 7420 5216 or Email: juliat@designcouncil

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