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  • Design Ventura Awards List 2017




    Weatherhead High School

    The Flower Pot


    Fairmead School

    Spinning Thumb Plate



    Hans Price Academy

    Plate Mate




    The King John School

    Lightning Bolt



    Beechen Cliff School

    Card Hero


    Chadwell Heath Academy





    South Dartmoor Academy




    Graveney School

    Multi-Purpose Tidy



    Simon Balle All-through School

    Drop Charge



    Woolwich Polytechnic School for Boys




  • Design Ventura 2017 winning team featured in the Schools Week

    Design Vetura 2017 winning team from Weatherhead High School was featured in the Schools Week. You can read the full article here.


  • Design Ventura 2017 Pitching Day

    The Design Ventura 2017 Pitching Day happened in December and it was a great day that encouraged the shortlisted schools to present their ideas in front of a panel of judges. Have a look at the video below to find out more:

  • Design Ventura in the Weston Mercury news

    The Weston Mercury news dedicated an article about one of the top ten products shortlisted in this year’s Design Ventura project. You can read the full article here.

  • Design Ventura Masterclass and Celebration Event 2017

    Last week the Design Ventura team welcomed the top ten schools back in the Design Museum for a special day celebrating design.

    The day started with a fun ice-breaker lead by Catherine Ritman-Smith, Director of Learning at the Design Museum, which was followed by two incredible presentations by the guest designers Heather Corcoran from Kickstarter and Herny James from Inventid.

    The afternoon started with a career insight speed dating activity which allowed students, teachers, family and friends to have the opportunity to ask experts from the industry about how their creative and enterprise skills have supported their successful transition into the workplace.

    After tea and cake and while family and friends were visiting the galleries, the students activities continued. Students had a chance to participate in a fantastic drawing workshop lead by Peter Ayres from Beep Studio; and an exciting Little Bits workshop lead by Carlos Izsak from Makercart.

    In the evening, the Design Museum opened its doors to the shortlisted school teams, their teachers, family and friends, Deutsche Bank employees, Design Industry Experts, the Design Museum team and special VIP guests to celebrate the success of Design Ventura 2017.

    The event gave the students a chance to explain their innovative products to guests, network with people from the industry and be an advocates for their schools. Guest were really impressed with the confidence and communication skills that the students demonstrated.

    Last year’s winners Harrogate Grammar School presented a cheque of £1080 from the proceeds of their product (Hook2O) to a representative of their chosen charity, The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre.

    The anticipated announcement of the Design Ventura 2017 awards was presented by the judges: Alice Black, Naomi Cleaver, Sebastian Conran, Christoph Woermann and Anna Bullus. The prizes were awarded as follows: Graveney School, Simon Balle All-through School and Woolwich Polytechnic School for Boys were awarded as Outstanding Finalists; The King John School was awarded Commendation for Good Design; Beechen Cliff School was awarded Commendation for Sustainable Design; Chadwell Heath School was awarded Commendation for Good Communication; and South Dartmoor Academy was awarded Commendation for the Most Market Ready Product. The third place was awarded to Hans Price Academy; second place was awarded to Fairmead School and finally the Design Ventura Winner 2017 was Weatherhead High School.

    The Design Ventura display with prototypes from all the ten shortlisted schools on the first floor of the Design Museum was also unveiled. This year, the Design Ventura project had 328 schools and over 14,500 students participating. The display is going to be up until the end of March and it is free to visit.

    The Celebration Event was really about celebrating design and congratulating all those involved in the Design Ventura. Thank you to everyone who participated in the Design Ventura project making it such a successful project!


    All photos ©Richard Heald Photography/Design Museum

  • School post: The King John School

    The following post is written by The King John School. As one of the top ten shortlisted schools this year, the team from The King John School was invited to spend a day at the Design Museum for the Masterclass and Celebration Event. Here are their thoughts about the day…


    Design Ventura Masterclass and Celebration Event

    Students spent the day taking part in masterclasses at the design museum as part of the Celebration event. They listened to talks by Kickstarter and Inventid head designers and had the opportunity to network with other design professionals. They were introduced to little bit circuit pieces with a design challenge and completed a drawing work shop with Beep Studio. Then the main event of the evening saw their work displayed on plinths to the public and press, students did a fantastic job of explaining their design and promoting their work. They won a commendation for good design and we are now looking into setting up a Kick starter campaign to see our design sold in the school. Well done to our year 9 students, Jasmine, Esther, Luc and Scott. Special thanks to Ms Howard, Mr Lister, Mr Spencer, Mr Barber, Mrs Rowe and Mrs Brown for their support.

  • Design Ventura in the Academy Today news

    An article about the Design Ventura project and one of the top ten schools (Hans Price Academy) was published in the Academy Today news. Read the full article here.

  • School Post: Dartford Grammar School for Girls

    The following post was written by Lottie, one of the 14,500 students taking place in the Design Ventura this year. Lottie writes about her experience with the project and the impact it had on herself and the students at Dartford Grammar School for Girls. 


    My Experience with Design Ventura

    My group consisted of Lottie, Akshita, Timielin, Nia

    I loved the process of the Design Ventura challenge. Throughout this term we have been working on our Design Ventura project, we have been creating and deigning product to help our target audience with their everyday life. We got to choose our target audience; we were able to do this easily because we wanted to be able to relate to our target audience which would help with our designing process. Therefore we chose to do young people and students. First we worked by ourselves to get some initial ideas and also some research on the materials we would be using. Later we got into groups to share our ideas with the other team members.

    We then chose two of our initial that we were going to expand and develop. This was a hard decision and this was our first main rough patch that we had to overcome. We shared our ideas in the group to get the best possible product that we could. To develop our product further we did more research into the materials we were using as well as existing products similar to ours. To make sure that our project stood out from these we made questionnaires to ask our target audience. To make sure that we got lots of different opinions we asked people of different ages and interests. After this we adapted our product, our final product was a cardboard desk tidy creation which we named the stabboid.

    We then created a power point and folder expressing our idea. This was my favourite part of the project because when all of our idea had come together into these formats it really looked like a real project, this was very exciting. We worked very well as a team as we are all hard-working at we are also friends so we could share ideas better. We gave lots of constructive criticism which greatly helped our product to develop thought the term. We could have added more information about advertising, manufacturing and sales because that would have helped to get our product across the judges (Mrs Maritz and Mrs Pritchard). We were good and presenting sustainability, initial ideas and questionnaires.

    Overall it was a very exciting project and I am extremely happy that I got to participate in the Design Ventura project. Also, watching other people presentations was a huge learning development as we got to see how other people created and developed there project step by step. Seeing these also helped us to see how to get the higher marks in this project. It helped me understand what we had to include that we missed out. These weren’t huge things but would really help with our presentation. In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed myself during this project.

    By Lottie


  • Design Ventura Pitching day 2017

    Back in December, the Design Ventura team welcomed the top ten shortlisted schools for the Pitching day where each team had a chance to present their idea and prototypes in front of a panel of judges. The judges were really impressed with the level of professionalism and confidence students revealed in their three minute pitch.


    The judges from left to right: Alice Black, Christoph Woermann, Anna Bullus, Naomi Cleaver and Duncan Sanders who kindly replaced Sebastian Conran for the day who sadly couldn’t attend. The panel had a fantastic time seeing all the presentations and questioning the students (who were so well prepared and gave very persuasive answers!).

    Here are our top ten shortlisted schools ready for to start their pitches.

    Whilst the judges were busy deliberating and having to make a very difficult decision of choosing all the prize winners, the students and teachers had a competition of paper towers which was a lot of fun!

    The day ended with the judges giving constructive feedback to all teams.

    The winner will be announced in February at the Celebration Event.


    All photos ©Richard Heald Photography/Design Museum

  • School post: Paignton Community and Sports Academy

    The following post is written by Paignton Community and Sports Academy School. We loved the students commitment and enthusiasm in the school pitching event. You can read the full article here.

  • Design Ventura Judging Panel 2017

    This year’s pitching event is going to take place this week. We will welcome the top 10 shortlisted schools to the Design Museum for a chance to pitch their design ideas in front of a panel of industry experts. Here are this year’s panel:

    Alice Black

    Alice is Director of the Design Museum. As well as developing audiences, exhibitions and programming over the last ten years, Alice has led the museum’s project to transform the former Commonwealth Institute into the new home for the Design Museum. Alice began her career in banking in New York and her experience in the UK spans work in the public and private sector, in large, multi-site national museums as well as independent museums.

    Anna Bullus

    Anna studied Three Dimensional Design at Camberwell College of Art and University of Brighton. During her degree Anna specialised in plastics and material experimentation, which led to her developing an interest in recycling. After gaining experience as a Product Designer with Hulger, and Case Furniture as a Junior Product Developer in London, Anna went on to launch her company Gum Drop Ltd which recycles gum waste into a range of products such as gum bins and wellington boots.


    Christoph Woermann

    Christoph is Managing Director, Global Head of Marketing, Global Transaction Banking at Deutsche Bank. Christoph has a passion for garden design and has been an ardent supporter of the Design Ventura project and a seasoned member of the judging panel.

    Naomi Cleaver

    Naomi is an interior designer specialising in homes. She is also a writer and broadcaster.

    Sebastian Conran

    Sebastian wanted to be an inventor whilst at school and got A levels in Maths Physics and Chemistry; then he studied Industrial Design Engineering at Central St. Martins, where he gave the Sex Pistols their first booking and designed record sleeves and posters for The Clash. After this he worked at corporate identity consultancy Wolff Olins followed by leading hard-goods development at Mothercare, after which he founded Sebastian Conran Associates design studio in 1986, which he continues to lead.

    Sebastian is Visiting Professor of Design & Innovation at Bristol Robotics Lab, Designer in Residence at University of Sheffield engineering faculty, taught furniture design at the Royal College of Art, lectures frequently and advises government on design.

  • How to submit your entry: step by step guide

    Here is your step by step guide on how to submit your entry. If you need further advice, please refer back to our finishing up resources or contact us via email:

    For a complete entry we need to receive:

    • complete online form for which this post is a step by step guide
    • 3 x A3 design sheets saved as pdf. We recommend that you add your school name to the top of each A3 sheet
    • optional budget template sheet saved as pdf. You can find a template Budget sheet template here.
    • completed teacher evaluation form
    • completed student evaluation form for all participating students (not just the winning team)

    How to complete your online entry form:

    1. Log in to the Design Ventura website  If you forgot your password, you can reset it here.
    2.  Click on “Submit your entry”.
    3. Work with the team to complete the online competition form. You have the option to save your entry as a draft or submit it.
    4. At the bottom of the competition form, you’ll need to upload your documents, preferably as one single pdf (see more about it on What to attach section)
    5. Once you are happy with your form, click “Submit your entry” at the bottom right.

    What to attach:

    • 3x A3 Design Sheets (make sure you add your school nae at the top of each sheet):
    1. Research and initial ideas
    2. Idea develpment
    3. Final design
    • These can be hand drawn and scanned, or created digitally.
    • Ideal file formats: PDF or jpeg.
    • Max file size: 3MB.
    • Please include your school name in each file name eg: Ventura Academy Design Sheets.pdf

    Please note: once you have submitted your entry you are not able to change it so please check it carefully.

    You might find our practise your Entry form useful in preparation of your final submission.

    Good luck!


  • Top #5 tips for your submission

    As we are getting closer to the submission day – 14 November at 5pm – we thought that you could use some last minute tips. For a detailed handout on how to submit your entry step by step, please click here.

    1. One submission per school. Remember, your school can submit only one entry so choose wisely! You can still feature other ideas on our website by submitting a blog post, or tweeting about it using the hashtag #designventura.
    2. Short and sweet. The shortlisting panel will be going through a lot of entries so make sure that your form is easy to understand and straight to the point.
    3. Be ready for submission. The final submission form is very important, please refer back to the judging criteria. When you log in to submit your entry, have your files saved on your computer ready for uploading. We recommend that you add your school name to the top of each A3 sheet and submit your attachment in pdf format.
    4. Evaluation form. Please make sure that both teachers and students fill in their evaluation form.
    5. Let’s do it! Enter your school’s idea even if you don’t think you have a ‘winner’. Our judges see the potential in all ideas. Remember: all schools that submitted an idea will receive certificates to mark your student’s participation.

    We cannot wait to see all your ideas! Good luck everyone!



  • Aqua Hook Product Development

    Students from Harrogate Grammar School have been working with Giles Miller Studio Ltd to develop their Design Ventura 2016 winning product, Aqua Hook. We are pleased to announce that the product is now on sale and has been renamed Hook20.

    The team competed with over 10,000 students taking part in 240 schools across the UK to be shortlisted as one of ten schools invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of expert judges at the Design Museum in December 2016. The judges were impressed with the simplicity and effectiveness of the idea and that it had come out of thinking about solving a real problem the team faced.

    The product was assembled and launched at the Design Museum and at the Deutsche Bank Office on the 10 July 2017. Visit the Design Museum shop now to buy yours or purchase it online – all proceeds go to the students’ chosen charity Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre.


  • Independent school winner’s prize day 2016

    On Thursday 27 April we had a visit from the team from Royal Grammar School, in Newcastle. The team came first in the Independent and Overseas category with Kit Control, a visual checklist tool enabling the user to physically and mentally check off items of sporting clothing as they pack their sports bag.

    The judges thought Kit Control, was a nicely presented and prototyped idea with good research into manufacturing and materials. They also thought the team clearly identified a problem and solved it creatively, with a clearly defined target audience in mind.

    Their prize was a workshop and museum and shop tour with Tiffany Radmore, a Design Museum educator and Paul Jenkins, a product designer at Triple Double Studio.

    During the day, the team went to speak to Steven Preston, the Retail Operations Manager for the Design Museum Shop to hear about the type of products the shop stocks and to research the packaging and display options.

    The team then worked with Paul Jenkins to further design Kit Control along with some ideas for their packaging and point of sale marketing.

    Thanks to Tiffany and Paul for their time.

  • Second place students visit Sebastian Conran’s Studio

    On Tuesday 25 April we had a visit from the team from Reepham High School & College in Norfolk. The team came second in Design Ventura 2016 with BluPrint, their wooden, laser cut interactive toy with pop out shapes that can be combined in different ways to create imaginative, fun characters.

    The judges thought BluPrint was a fun, creative idea which was very well presented and the team had developed a great prototype. To improve the product for sale in the Design Museum shop, the judges suggested that the team could develop their design with other design themes such as architecture or vehicles that may fit in with the Design Museum content.

    Their prize was a visit to the Sebastian Conran Associates Studio, to see behind the scenes of a product design studio and to discuss the possible development of their product.

    The team then worked with Sally Jones, a Design Museum Educator, to develop the marketing and a point of sale display for their product.


    At the end of the day the team had positive ways to take their fantastic idea forward.

    Thanks to Marie Favre and David Moseley for giving us their time.

  • And the Independent and Overseas School winners are…

    Congratulations and thank you to all the Independent and Overseas schools that took part in Design Ventura this year.

    In December, our judging panel had a difficult decision to select the winning team for this category but we are pleased to announce the winners are…


    First place – Royal Grammar School, Newcastle

    Kit Control
    A visual checklist enabling the user to physically and mentally check off items of sporting clothing as they pack their sports bag.

    Second place – Mill Hill School Foundation, London

    Flip Switch
    A product that allows children to expand their imagination by creating scenarios for their characters in iconic landmarks backdrops.

    Third place – Chigwell School, Essex

    Shadow stories
    A bedtime story aid that allows a scene or character to be projected onto a wall or ceiling with the use of a light or torch.

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