Useful stuff for teachers

Make the most of Discover Design and your trip to the Design Museum

What is Discover Design?

Design is everywhere - good, bad or indifferent. Good design improves the quality of our lives and solves problems, while bad design can make these problems worse or damage our environment, so we need to take it seriously, as well as enjoy it.

Discover Design is a resource for teachers and tutors that will enrich and extend learners’ experience of design by promoting analytical and creative approaches to looking at, thinking about and responding to design. At its heart is an ambition to develop learners’ understanding and their critical thinking about design to help them become both better designers themselves, and more discerning consumers.

How do I use Discover Design?

We encourage teachers to adapt the resource to suit students both in the classroom and when visiting the Design Museum.

Teachers might use Discover Design to: introduce a new D&T project, prepare for a visit to the Design Museum, support learners in better understanding their own design thinking, provide insight into the work of professional designers, or evaluate students’ work at the end of a project.

Many of the objects featured in Discover Design are taken from the Design Museum collection. Discover Design can help to prepare your visit to the Museum as well as acting as a point of further exploration to the stories and objects that make up the Design Museum's collection.

Use our slides and lesson plan, created PGOnline and curated by the Design Museum, to describe what a GCSE in Design and Technology might offer; the aptitudes suited to this field of study, possible future careers and a range of interesting design stories.

Current Exhibitions

Step up and discover the footwear phenomenon that has challenged performance design, inspired subcultures and shaken the world of fashion.

Permanent Exhibition

The Design Museum's first permanent gallery offers a look at the last century of contemporary design through the lens of the three main parties involved.

past exhibitions

11 September 2019 - 31 March 2020

Discover the most innovative designs across fashion, architecture, digital, transport, product and graphic design from the past 12 months, as nominated by the public and design experts from around the world.

Moving to Mars

The exhibition features immersive environments, about 200 objects including contributions from NASA, the European Space Agency and SpaceX; NASA's 3D-Printed Mars Habitat Challenge winners, AI SpaceFactory; robotic builders by Foster & Partners; the first sustainable urban design for Mars, Mars City Design; the first spacesuit designed for the Mars surface; Christopher Raeburn's new fashion collection inspired by the red planet and much more.

2 February 2019 - 4 August 2019

Discover new monuments and memorials by celebrated British-Ghanaian architect, Sir David Adjaye OBE. Get a first peek at ongoing work and explore the influences behind the highly acclaimed Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. and more.

7 November 2018 - 24 March 2019

Explore today’s home through the prism of yesterday’s imagination. Are we living in the way that pioneering architects and designers throughout the 20th century predicted, or has our idea of home proved resistant to real change?

Discover this year’s top picks of some of the most innovative and thought-provoking designs from the past 12 months – across fashion, architecture, digital, transport, product and graphic design.

10 May – 7 October 2018

Conceived and co-curated with Monsieur Alaïa before his death in November 2017, the exhibition charts his incredible journey from sculptor to couturier, his nonconformist nature and his infectious energy for fashion, friendship and the female form.

28 March – 12 August 2018

Public engagement with politics has changed dramatically since 2008. Discover how graphic design and technology have played a pivotal role in dictating and reacting to the major political moments of our times.

Ferrari: Under the Skin

15 November 2017 - 15 April 2018

Come and race through 70 years of passion, glamour and design innovation, with unique behind-the-scenes access to one of the most iconic car brands.

18 October 2017 – 28 January 2018

Celebrating its 10th year Designs of the Year, supported by Beazley, focuses on Innovators, Activists, Brands, Makers and Builders.

24 May - 18 October 2017

“Designed in California” is the new “Made in Italy”. While California’s mid-century modernism is well documented, this is the first exhibition to examine its current global reach. Picking up the story in the 1960s, the exhibition charts the journey from the counterculture to Silicon Valley’s tech culture.

Warning: Contains mature content

Breathing Colour by Hella Jongerius

28 JUNE 2017 –24 SEPTEMBER 2017

Breathing Colour by acclaimed Dutch designer Hella Jongerius, is an installation-based exhibition that takes a deeper look at the way colour behaves, exploring shapes, materials, shadows and reflections.

25 May - 28 July 2017

Cartier in Motion unravels the unique story of Cartier’s approach to watchmaking and how the invention of the modern wristwatch came about.

24 November 2016 - 23 April 2017

Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World presents eleven new installations by some of the most innovative and thought-provoking designers and architects working today.

Warning: Contains mature content

24 November 2016 - 31 March 2017

The Designers in Residence programme at the Design Museum is a core part of the museum's activity, and exists to provide emerging designers, across any discipline, with time and space away from their regular environment to reflect, research and consider new ways of developing their practice.

12 January - 14 February 2017

As our population ages rapidly, the exhibition looks at how design can help people lead fuller, healthier and more rewarding lives into old age, asking the question: how can designers meet the challenge of a rapidly ageing society? From robotic clothing to driverless cars, this exhibition rethinks design approaches to ageing.

24 November 2016 - 19 February 2017

Now in its ninth year, Beazley Designs of the Year celebrates design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year. Someday the other museums will be showing this stuff.

Visit the exhibition website for more information on Beazley Designs of the Year, download the class presentation to wet your students' appetite for the exhibition and download teacher notes to give you a head start on your visit.

15 March - 4 June 2017

Marking the centenary of the Russian Revolution, this exhibition explores Moscow as it was imagined by a bold new generation of architects and designers in the 1920s and early 1930s.