Creative Britain in Reverse?
by Seymourpowell

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Dezeen Wire: as the UK government reviews design technology's status as a compulsory school subject, industrial designers Seymourpowell have released a movie featuring Paul Smith, James Dyson and others talking about the importance of design education.

Seymourpowell released the movie in collaboration with the James Dyson Foundation and the Design & Technology Association.

Here's some more information from Seymourpowell:


Seymourpowell, in partnership with the Design & Technology Association and the James Dyson Foundation, have made this film to promote the importance of design education in Britain's schools and universities, its contribution to successful business, and its fundamental role in supporting the UK Economy. The film features contributions from leading figures from across business and industry including Sir John Rose, Sir James Dyson, Sir Paul Smith and many more.

Business leaders unite to promote Design and Technology education as key to the future of Creative Britain.

Seymourpowell, in partnership with the Design & Technology Association and the James Dyson Foundation, are today launching a campaign film featuring contributions from leading figures from across business and industry. The film promotes the importance of Design and Technology (D&T) education in Britain’s schools and universities, its contribution to successful business, and its fundamental role in supporting the UK Economy.

Those taking part in the campaign film include:

  • Sir Paul Smith, Fashion Designer
  • Sir James Dyson, Founder, Dyson and James Dyson Foundation
  • Sir John Rose, Former Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce
  • Ian Callum, Design Director, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Richard Seymour, Co-founder, Seymourpowell
  • Dick Powell, Co-founder, Seymourpowell
  • Paul Jackson, Chief Executive, Engineering UK
  • David Kester, Chief Executive, Design Council
  • Deyan Sudjic, Director, Design Museum

The film launch follows a special event on the same subject, held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in Westminster. On a panel chaired by Design Museum Director Deyan Sudjic, speakers included Dame Ellen MacArthur, Dick Powell (Seymourpowell), Ajaz Ahmed (AKQA), Paul Jackson (Engineering UK) and the inventor and entrepreneur Mandy Haberman.

Key topic areas discussed by the panel included the National Curriculum review, currently being undertaken, and its potential impact on D&T teaching – many fear the subject could be threatened with being removed as a compulsory subject for all pupils from age 5 to 14. Another issue raised was the English Baccalaureate, and the view held by many in the creative and manufacturing industries that it’s already skewing the curriculum in many schools away from creative and technical subjects towards traditional, academic subjects. Also discussed by the panel was the impact of cuts in higher education for non-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) subjects from across the creative sector.

Please visit www.data.org.uk from Monday 18 July to download an audio recording from the event.

Dick Powell, co-founder and design director at Seymourpowell commented, “The impact of design education in the UK – from school right through to higher education and beyond – has been immense. With this campaign we hope to highlight the far-reaching benefits and prosperity delivered to the UK by design education, and raise awareness of the subjects’ crucial role in helping maintain Britain’s position as an international innovation leader”.

Sir James Dyson adds, “Inventiveness helps the economy. Design and Technology is the only lesson where young people can apply science and maths in a practical way. If D&T is sidelined where will the next generation of engineers, designers and inventors get their inspiration from?”

Richard Green, Chief Executive, Design & Technology Association said, “Earlier this year, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outlined his vision to drive the nation forward with the words ‘Made, Created, Designed and Invented in Britain’. We too share in this credo, but also strongly believe D&T education is fundamental in realising this goal. We believe this film demonstrates the importance of retaining a curriculum that contains creative and technical subjects to unpin the UK’s current and future success as a creative leader.”

For more information and details on how to support visit www.data.org.uk

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