We recently hosted a free webinar for members of the Design and Technology Association which was largely made up of Secondary teachers with some Primary. This was held by ELSE London who are members of the Design and Technology Association Blueprint 1000 scheme.
Blueprint 1000 aims to connect education and industry to close the skills gap and nurture talent who are then able to enter the job market with an arsenal of relevant skills.
We were joined by Warren Hutchinson and Dave Dunlop from ELSE London. Warren began the session by introducing his journey into Design which was ignited by undertaking Design and Realisation in secondary school. This intrinsic love of the subject was unexpected but kickstarted his journey into Design. This included undertaking a BSc in Product Design at Brunel University and Warren is now a visiting lecturer at the university as well as the founder and Chief Experience Officer of ELSE which he founded in 2010. Alongside ELSE, Warren currently sits on the Board of Directors at the Design Business Association.
Dave studied Graphic Design at Hertford College, then went to Art School in Norwich and then he did a Graphic Design & Multimedia Degree at Reading University. Dave has also been a visiting lecturer at both Brunel University and Cambridge Judge Business School. He is now Partner & Chief Design Officer at ELSE. Dave enjoys leading clients through change and for that change to have a lasting positive effect on the people that use their products.
Who are ELSE?
ELSE is an experience design consultancy that creates impact through digital product and service design. Over years of experience, ELSE have honed an approach to product/service innovation that reveals opportunities, builds alignment, and sets out clear practical steps to take things to the next stage. With over 300 projects across a range of large and well-known customers and start-ups, ELSE create outcome focussed design strategies to get the best possible result for their clients.
They make what is intangible tangible, visualising interface and delivering brand values and experience principles. Helping a business understand where an opportunity might be complex and requires divergent thinking. Divergent thinking is a thought process used to build creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions.
The company have adopted a 4-day working week with Research and Development days every other Friday to maximise efficiency and ensure an optimum work / life balance for the team. Allowing time to really develop ideas and knowledge is also hugely beneficial to the company and ensures the whole team are continually growing and evolving.
On the horizon as part of the Blueprint 1000 schemes includes apprenticeship schemes and internships to get pupils into Design studios to experience industry first-hand. Warren explains “UK design is revered around the world and produces some of the world’s best designers.” With this in mind, the subject needs to be protected and industry links create enthusiasm, relevant skills and inspiration to pupils to continue their education. This also benefits industry who are able to ensure the skills that they need in new employees is well represented. It also means access to bright, talented and skilled individuals who will then look to ELSE for career opportunities following their studies.
Warren goes on to explain “Blueprint 1000 from the Design and Technology Association is an important initiative that we’re really pleased to be involved with. It was a pleasure meeting Design & Technology teachers from near and far, to shed a bit of light on the work we do at ELSE, and to think about better ways for young people to move into our industry.”
ELSE will also be able to connect with schools in the local area to work with teachers to inspire students and bring that particular area of design into schools. This is also being facilitated by their Blueprint 1000 membership.
The feedback from the webinar was exceptionally positive from teachers who all want to do more with the company and felt inspired by the engaging online talk.
ELSE have an opportunity to work in a closer capacity with schools which includes further events and Teacher in Residence schemes currently in discussion.
Good design isn’t how it looks but why it works. We look forward to the next Chapter and to see how the collaboration with ELSE and education develops.
If you would like to find out more please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blueprint 1000 from the Design and Technology Association is an important initiative that we’re really pleased to be involved with. It was a pleasure meeting Design & Technology teachers from near and far, to shed a bit of light on the work we do at ELSE, and to think about better ways for young people to move into our industry.
‘To effectively measure the value of design work, we need frameworks that promote objective assessment, carefully balancing out the opinion of the most dominant person in the room.’
Find out more from ELSE London.