Recent news in the UK, regarding the fabulous and inspirational Design Museum has reminded me to include this in a blog post as a valuable resource for all IB Design Technology teachers. The Design Museum at Butler’s Wharf on the Thames in London is being put up for sale not to close thankfully but so that it can move to a new larger site after so much success over the last 20 years or so. The article did remind me of how useful in terms of inspiration and context a trip outside of the school environment is – to help IB students and give them the impetus and ideas for their projects and especially Major Project in DP2. Their recent “This is Design” exhibition is excellent in many ways – including showing the development of chair designs linked to specific manufacturing processes.

If you are lucky enough to be situated in the UK, or in another city with such wonderful museum resources then I would always recommend taking students along. However the Design Museum itself also runs competitions – that students may enter or can be beneficial in giving teaching and learning ideas and new briefs for projects. Their current Design Factory project/competition – MAKING THE EVERYDAY EXTRAORDINARY is one such example and even if the date for entry is very soon can be utilised in many ways. Some of the resources are wonderful including an excellent slideshow presentation on the Design Process by Samuel Wilkinson recent Dyson Awards winner for his creative and adventurous light bulb design. Great for showing where constructive discontent can lead you. Note they also link to some excellent examples of last years entries in the form of images of design page entries which again can be very useful to show students as examples of good project portfolio work – so make sure to check out the Flickr collection.

So if you can get those students out of the school – then make every effort to do so and if not try and find some of those excellent resources linked with these museums and exhibitions. Another great exhibition with some interesting resources in the UK at the moment is the “Postmodernism” exhibition and the Victoria and Albert Museum – if you find any other interesting design exhibitions in different cities and countries please add a comment to this post to share the resources and ideas.