Restarting Britain: Design Education and Growth, an inaugural report from the Design Commission explores the link between the UK's national design capacity, and economic growth in the 21st century. The report describes and analyses the design skillset, assesses UK's current strengths in the field of design education, and compares those to the practices of other nations. It sets out the current threats to the ongoing successful delivery of design education and what the Design Commission believe the UK must do now to continue to compete.
A principle sponsor of the enquiry, the Design Council noted that the report highlights the importance of design in schools, and the recognition that design education is fundamental to national prosperity through maintaining the UK's strong design industry. As the council has also highlighted in its new Design for Innovation report, "high quality Design and Technology teaching in schools is important in maintaining and growing a pipeline of students entering design, architecture and engineering higher education courses and on into professions. However, we need an approach that enables a much broader spectrum of students and graduates to have an appreciation of the role and value of design in order to secure the UK's future innovation capability."
"To create tomorrow's innovators our education system needs to learn from the best businesses in the world. Companies like Apple, Dyson, and JCB integrate design as engines of innovation," commented David Kester, Chief Executive of the Design Council. "It's time for our education system to follow suit. We need to shift from a system that encourages discrete specialist subjects to mix but remain unchanged, towards an integrative system that promotes adaption as skills needs change. Put simply, our High Schools need to be 'iSchools'."