The V&A recently announced that over 60 objects will travel to five locations across England from September 2018 to support the teaching of art, design and technology in secondary schools, as part of its educational initiative DesignLab Nation. Highlights include a ceramic tile by the Turner prize-winning artist Grayson Perry to Blackburn Museum, a brightly coloured scarf by luxury fashion designer Mary Katrantzou to the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry and ceramics by Christopher Dresser to the Potteries Museum in Stoke-on-Trent.
From September 2018, the V&A will work with the following regional partners: the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry, Potteries Museum in Stoke-on-Trent, the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, Blackburn Museum and Museums Sheffield. Selected in consultation with the DesignLab Nation partners, the loans will ensure that all visitors to the partner museums have the chance to experience the V&A’s collections in the context of their regional histories.
Grayson Perry said: “A House for Essex was a particularly special and personal project for me, so I’m delighted that a piece of it is travelling up to Blackburn to support the V&A’s DesignLab Nation. There is a very worrying decline in the take-up of creative subjects in state schools. If we care about social mobility, wellbeing and economic growth – and if we want our creative industries to continue to flourish – we urgently need to rebalance our education system so that the arts are valued just as much as other subjects.”
Director of the V&A Tristram Hunt said: “As our creative economy grows, international competition accelerates, and the provision of creative subjects in schools is squeezed, art and design education is needed more than ever. By bringing together local industry, museums and schools, DesignLab Nation will ensure that the V&A works with communities across the country to educate and inspire the artists, innovators and designers of tomorrow.”
DesignLab Nation brings together secondary schools, local museums and locally based industry and designers to inspire and preserve the essential role of Art, Design and Technology education. Young people will be encouraged to make their own contemporary responses to historical processes, and to gain an understanding of how collections from the past can inform new ideas. The programme has been designed to help support the new Design and Technology GSCE and deliver this subject in the most exciting manner possible.