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Announcing the Pupil Design Awards 2021-22


  • Creativity
  • Skills

The design briefs for the Pupil Design Awards 2021-22 are live!

This year, pupils across the country will be tackling one of three real world problems, exploring how to design waste out of the food system, ensure schools are places of belonging for all young people, and restore nature to urban environments.

These are complex issues, touching on regenerative and circular economics, inclusivity in education, sustainability, and community wellbeing. Over the coming months, pupils will be researching, testing, and prototyping design ideas, engaging with potential beneficiaries in order to gain insights that will support them to develop and present a final proposal.

This is the eighth year that the RSA has run the Awards and pupils never fail to develop imaginative, innovative, and empathetic proposals in response to the briefs. As ever, all pupils taking part are supported and signposted along the way by employing design thinking. This process not only helps pupils to arrive at a robust and well thought through final idea, but to develop skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.

Ultimately, our vision is that through this process, all participants finish the Awards with a belief in their ability to produce creative outcomes in response to contemporary social challenges – their creative self-efficacy.

This is what makes the Pupil Design Awards a central part of the RSA’s new, long-term programme, Fair Education. We’re driven by a mission to cultivate education systems that provide all children with a rich education, that supports both individuals and their communities to flourish, based on what we believe to be the three-fold purpose of education:

  • To develop individual capabilities
  • Build pupil agency
  • Support communities to overcome disadvantage

By being in command of their own research project and designing proposals in dialogue with the people who might benefit from them, pupils come to understand how they can play a role in driving change in their own communities.

Of course, none of this will be possible without the dedication and support of teachers. We offer participating teachers a series of design thinking workshops in the autumn, and hands-on support from our experienced design mentors in early 2022. Sign up now to make sure you’re able to take part!

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