V for Ventura, V for Value.
The Design Ventura summit “Design: the problem and the solution” was held on 29 March 2017. Its purpose was to bring together educators, designers, cultural providers and policy makers to discuss how they can ensure that young people are developing creativity, design thinking and employability skills to prepare them for future success.
The following extract is by Sebastian Conran, Design Ventura Project Champion and Head Judge and is his take on the issues discussed.
Sebastian studied Industrial Design Engineering at Central St. Martins, where he gave the Sex Pistols their first booking and designed the record sleeves and posters for The Clash. After working at corporate identity consultancy Wolff Olins and leading hard-goods development at Mothercare, he founded Sebastian Conran Associates design studio in 1986, which he continues to lead.
Sebastian has taught furniture design at the Royal College of Art, lectures frequently and judges many international design awards
Fundamentally the essence of all business is to create a sense of Value in the customer & user in order for trade to commence – this exchange of goods, services and money is the fundamental of all business & economy. This perception of fair-trade can be deconstructed into Brand, Design and Quality offset against Cost.
The emotional component of design, which deals with intangibles such as personality and appearance, are closely linked with the provenance, or Brand, and go to create an expectation in the mind in a similar manner to a book cover. The rational aspect of Design is concerned with the more concrete issues such as functional behaviour and Quality of performance and manufacturing integrity [think ‘made in China’ versus ‘made in Germany’, which are in themselves brands].
This bargain against Cost can be justified not just in terms of monetary price but also considering convenience [internet retailing] and moral issues such as sustainability [am I buying landfill] and ethical sourcing [Fair Trade].
The rational & instinctive planning and prototyping process we call Design is essential for creating Value in all of life’s projects whether designing an A&E ward, a smartphone, a book or a video game.
The Design Museum Ventura competition demonstrates to school pupils how the Design process works and allows them to prototype their thinking in the real world, whilst understanding that Design is the legacy of thought, which effects practically every aspect of our future lives.
During the competition the Design, use and manufacture of everyday objects is explored & investigated and schools pit the creativity of their teams against each other to get an insight into how the real world works. This gives them real life skills in using their knowledge & imagination to collaborate in teams in a quasi-commercial environment. The outstanding success of the resulting sales in The Design Museum Shop is a confidence boosting start to any aspiring child, it also emphasised that today merely ‘Good Design’ is not enough, it needs to be Outstanding Design to win. V is also for Victory.’