Learning Programmes

The Learning programme has been developed to extend and enrich design education in schools, colleges and universities, through capacity-building projects that provide a vital, real-world context for educators and young people.

Design’s ability to meet need and effect change is at the core of the Learning portfolio. The intention is to amplify the museum’s exhibitions, displays and collection in ways that engage learners with wider context and issues.

The programme has been informed by the advice and expertise of a Learning Committee made up of leaders in the fields of design and education. Alongside this, the input of audience feedback through consultation, evaluation and observation has shaped the programme.

The pedagogy central to the portfolio has been articulated as ‘Designerly Learning’ which models the way designers think and work. It is premised on an understanding of design as a people-centred, inclusive, democratic and essentially optimistic activity that is rooted in user need.

Through the concept of the Design Museum as a campus for learning, the portfolio strives to embody the best of design. Its ethos is:


Design is everywhere and for everyone. The learning programme is inclusive and accessible for all, creatively engaging audiences so they feel it is a place for them.


Strength lies in collaboration. The learning programme will continue to grow through powerful partnerships with educational organisations, design communities and funders.


Design education needs to be topical and relevant. Learning at the museum will be a laboratory for stimulating ideas and challenging thinking in order to develop the knowledge and skills to equip learners with critical and creative agency as practitioners, thinkers, consumers and citizens.


The economic future of the UK lies in its creative industries, the UK’s fastest growing sector. The museum will seek industry opportunities to foster forward thinking and experimental, innovative models for teaching and learning.