Design Museum Student Design Competition 2016/17

Design Museum and Creative & Cultural Skills are pleased to offer this exclusive opportunity for students in the National Skills Academy to design to the theme of 'Making Design Work for Us'.

This year the Design Museum opens the doors to its new home in Kensington with a whole range of new opportunities for students to connect with contemporary processes and professional ways of designing. The museum believes that design is:

  • a way of thinking by people, for people
  • not only about things, but about what they do and what they mean
  • a process that responds to needs, creates change and improve lives

THEME: Making Design Work for Us

The Design Museum aims to be a key resource and hub for students to use to develop and evolve into tomorrow’s professionals. Toward this goal, the museum is inviting students to develop a design brief and concept that sets the agenda for their own future.  

Inspired by the museum’s annual 'Designs of the Year' exhibition (opening 24 November), this year’s theme is all about social design. The theme invites students to research topics, issues and users that matter to them, taking inspiration from the designers behind the museum’s exhibits.

Social design includes processes that make the manmade world support the ways humans think, feel and behave and communicate to increase our well-being and connectedness. Designers have an important role in helping us to achieve positive ways of living and working together in communities that adapt to our changing social needs, lifestyles and technological advances, within the economic and political landscape.

As the designers of the future, students are encouraged to discover their own questions and create their own social design project briefs, starting with the question:

How might we design for the world we (want to) live in, in order to make people happier in their everyday lives?

To register

Colleges need to express their interest in participating by 24th September 2016 by emailing the programme team with requested details. This opportunity is open to Level 2 & 3 students but please note that this opportunity is exclusively for students in the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural.


A tutor briefing and an exclusive tour of the new museum will be the week of 2nd January 2017 (date tbc), with student workshops throughout January with dates including: 11th, 13th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 25th & 26th. Please book onto these workshops by the 30th September 2016 by submitting the requested information. 

Submission of the final designs is 10th March 2017, further details to follow.