Design Museum – The Young Creatives Programme

Komal Khetia

Komal Khetia

Komal Khetia is the Programme Producer for Young Audiences for the Design Museum and is leading on its Young Creatives programme. The programme will offer young people opportunities to work with designers on a range of creative projects. This blog will be a platform to hear from various designers and young people participating in the programme, and for Komal to reflect on its successes. We welcome your comments and feedback.

Weekend Open with Young Creatives at the new Design Museum

The brand new Design Museum is here!

On 25 November, the Design Museum opened its doors in its stunning new home on High Street Kensington.

It launched with its Weekend Open event from 25-27 November, which featured free workshops, installations, talks and performances for all ages and covering all aspects of design.  The Weekend Open was also an opportunity for the Young Creatives to showcase and celebrate some of their amazing work.


Over the last year and a half, the Young Creatives have worked on a number of projects including t-shirt printing, running their own market stall, designing products and creating interactive graphics that build a picture of what the world might look like in the future.

As well as showcasing their work, the Weekend Open enabled the Young Creatives to arrange fun activities activities for visitors, from creating wall of memories to charting their favourite moments and showing which products they couldn’t live without.  The launch was a huge success and we’re excited to see what the Young Creatives get up to next.

Stay tuned!


Summer School with Bare Conductive

This summer the Young Creatives group took part in a three day interactive design project led by Isabel Lizardi from Bare Conductive and assisted by workshop facilitator Eddie Niles.  Bare Conductive is a design and technology company founded by four Royal College of Arts graduates who turned their team project in to an innovative business. They have brought their clever electronic paint to the mass market and show how art, design and technology can be combined in a fun and simple way.

The Brief: to imagine what museum collections would look like in the future. 

The Young Creatives tried to predict what the Design Museum might add to its collection in the next 50 to 100 years.  They imagined future scenarios and problems society might face to anticipate ways design could help solve or even prevent these problems.  Their ideas focused on themes including climate change, technology, infrastructure, systems and social change, religion and food.  These ideas manifested as interactive illustrations.  As you touch the illustration, it triggers and audio introduction given by each young person, describing their imagined future scenario and the design solutions they’ve created.


The work generated in this project will be showcased at the Design Museum public opening in November 2016.  Visitors will be able to explore these interact designs and meet the Young Creatives behind them.

“The project was an overwhelming success; great designs and great workable end products were achieved. A real challenge at times, this workshop offered another real design experience, where the Young Creatives had to follow a design process using their initiative developing concepts and design solutions to problems and all this working within the constrictions of a defined media. The workshop exposed the young creatives to collaborative group and individual design work methods. From this course participants are already showing a greater level of design understanding and are growing in confidence, even suggesting other projects they’d like to take part in and leading on ideas to develop the Young Creatives programme.” Eddie Niles, workshop facilitator

Guest blog post from Young Creative Ellis, aged 19

For the last few weeks we’ve been kept busy every Sunday developing and learning new design skills and on Sunday 13 March we sold our t-shirts and tote bags from our pop-up shop at Portobello Green Market.  Sales were a little slow at first but business soon picked up!  All of the Young Creatives got involved, engaging with customers, managing money or running the stall.  I really enjoyed the project and the opportunity to learn how to screen and vinyl print, being creative and developing our enterprise skills with other young creatives.  Selling our designs was a great way to end this project.  Feedback from market-goers was really encouraging, so I’d love to come back and do it all over again!

Watch the video below to see what the Young Creatives got up to:

Here is what some of the other Young Creatives had to say:

“I loved this course! We got to design our own product, all very professionally and all great fun!” Louis, Young Creative.

“I liked that we could create our own designs and do what whatever we want with it and then make it into an actual product that people buy and use.” Elliot, Young Creative.

“I really enjoyed working with the Design Museum to create our own t-shirts with our own ideas,” Young Creative.

Thanks to the Design Museum for running such a fun course!

Young Creatives Taster Sessions

It has been a fantastic start to the Young Creatives programme since the launch event in September 2015. So far we have delivered two Design taster sessions at youth clubs in Kensington & Chelsea. The first session took place in December and focussed on digital graphic design. Designer Paul Jenkin and I devised a 2 hour graphic design session that incorporated various digital elements. It focussed on logo design and badge making and used the digital software tool Illustrator, a tool Paul often uses for his own work. We had a few technical challenges on the day so we had to improvise: Paul ran mini tutorials with each participant to help introduce some basic skills using Illustrator, whilst others continued design through hand illustration and collage before each making a series of badges. At the end of the session we had some really nice designs, both hand illustrated and digital!

The second session was run by textile designer and fashion forecaster Eddie Niles at the Masbro Community Centre in January 2016. We ran a brand design workshop with an all-girls youth club who wanted to create a brand for themselves. The first part of the session focussed on the idea-generation phase and brief-setting. We encouraged them to think about what the club represents and what name they wanted to give their group. The participants used group mind-mapping exercises to develop their brand and make sure it had clear messaging. The bulk of the session was then spent using Photoshop to generate mood boards and we finished the activity with great ideas to take forward as part of the longer design project. The girls will have the opportunity to develop and refine their brand, and the project will culminate in the design of club t-shirts.

“We got them to do a mind map on their initial thoughts then take key words through to the mood boards. We then moved onto looking at fonts and key elements that summed up their aspirations. The final stage will be to artwork their logo into a finished design,” Eddie Niles, Designer.

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Young Creatives next steps

We have just started our first design project with 15 young people who have signed-up to the Young Creatives programme. The project, called Designed in West London, will explore the meaning of design and enterprise over five weeks. In our next blog post we will share more of what the group has been up to with some insight directly from the young people. Stay tuned!


Young Creatives launch event and thoughts from designers

At the end of September we hosted the launch of Young Creatives at the Tabernacle Theatre. The event invited young people from RBKC and surrounding boroughs to take part in free design and make workshops, to meet the Design Museum team and to find out more about becoming a Young Creatives member.

This was the Museum’s first youth focussed event in the borough and there was creative energy buzzing throughout the day! Over 60 young people attended the event and met with designers and artists, and took part in digital, graphics, fashion and architecture workshops. We saw young people building architectural structures to fill the room, led by artist Carlos Cortes. Others created t-shirt designs with artist Ella McCartney who encouraged people to think about positive changes and words that inspired them. Graphic designer Paul Jenkins invited people to think about their own community and of their favourite local places to inspire fly-poster designs. And, digital company PrintMe 3D showcased a range of digital scanners, 3D printing and robotics activities.

Here are some thoughts and responses that I gathered from our team of designers and artists:

Why did you want to get involved and what did you want to bring to the event?

Paul Jenkins (PJ): ‘I was excited to be part of a project that introduces design to young people, outside of the classroom, which I think is vitally important. Design can and should be fun and this is what I wanted to bring to the table.’

Ella McCartney (EM): ‘The event had a focus on the process of design which I really value. At school young people are not exposed to all of the different types of design that this event offered and I wanted to bring my own experiences of working in industry/museum context to this event.’

Can you share your thoughts about design and the value of learning through designing?

PJ: ‘Design is around us, everywhere, without you even knowing it and introducing this idea to young people is vitally important. Involving young people with active participation is a key way to bring this message to life and I think the event did a great job at it, with some very happy faces on the young people (and adults) from what I could see.’

Carlos Cortes (CC): ‘I do believe design has an important role to play in young people’s future. We can talk about possibilities of employment in an increasingly sophisticated and technological society. But there are also other more subtle elements that can be equally important. The ability to relate to the world that surrounds us and to understand a number of coded languages that are part of our everyday experience, the ability to use design thinking to solve problems and create a better society.’

Can you share your reflections of the launch event?

PJ: ‘I think the event was a great success. There were a variety of different disciplines for participants to be involved with, which I did too myself! I think the fact that participants could see tangible outcomes whether they took part in a workshop or simply entering the space meant they could see themselves that it was fun, interactive and something that they may not associate with a regular ‘museum’.’

EM: ‘The event had a positive atmosphere which seemed to enable the young people to feel able to try new things. I noticed how the young people spoke to each other (some knew each other, some had just met) during the activities and there was a feeling of encouragement throughout the day from the facilitators as well as the participants. ‘

CC: ‘I enjoyed seeing people taking part in different activities, the regular flow of participants that were sharing their own creative approaches and experimenting with different techniques and art forms. I think it’s particularly appealing to create a safe space where people can try a variety of things without fear of failing or being ridiculed. It was particularly exciting sometimes to see the response that the same person had to some of the different activities that were on offer and to understand how the same creative principles can manifest themselves in often contrasting ways that nonetheless are clearly related.’

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The Young Creatives programme welcomes people aged between 14-19 years to become a member. In January 2016, members who are signed up to the programme will take part in a six week, after school, designer-led project. It will be a hands-on design and make creative project supported by a designer exploring the groups interested and ideas of what makes a good design and how design can help others or create change. All members of Young Creatives taking part in the project will also have the chance to gain a Bronze Arts Award.

Sign-up for more information and to take part by visiting the Young Creatives website or emailing: [email protected]

Design Take Over & Branding

Over the last couple of months we’ve been developing the Young Creatives project identity and plans for the project launch event called ’Design Take Over.’  The event will be held on Sunday 27th September at the Tabernacle Theatre, 11am – 3pm, so please do join us then!

Project identity

Freelance graphic designers Kate Goodridge and Agostino Carrea have been designing the identity. We wanted the logo to convey the creative flavour of the project whilst also working with the Design Museum logo.

Kate and Agostino had to keep in mind that Young Creatives will be a place for people aged between 14-19 years to meet regularly as a group. The group will have a live experience of design, get involved in creative activities with professional designers and showcase their work to the public. After several iterations, we finally decided on the following logo which works well with the clean and structured Design Museum logo as well as gives a creative feel and subtle character to the project.


Design Take Over

Design Take Over is a free event hosted by the Design Museum and invites local young people living in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster. Visitors to the event will be able to try their hand at architecture, fashion, graphics and 3D printing, in the company of professional designers, artists and other young people.

Here’s a taste of what’s in store:

  • Fashion – create t-shirt slogans to spread ideas you think are important with Ella McCartney
  • Graphics – create fly posters with designer Paul Jenkins (who has designed all kinds of things from graphics to trainers)
  • Architecture – get stuck in building big colourful collaborative structures with artist and designer Carlos Cortes
  • 3D printing and robotics with design collective PrintMe 3D

Join us at Design Take Over for free workshops, meet the Design Museum team and sign-up for more information about Young Creatives!

See you on Sunday 27th September at the Tabernacle Theatre, between 11am and 3pm!


Hello from the Design Museum!

I’m Komal Khetia, Programme Producer for Young Audiences at the Design Museum. Over the next three years, I will be developing a new strand of activity for young people aged 14-19 years called the ‘Design Museum Young Creatives’ programme. It will be a place for young people to take part in creative workshops, explore their interests in design and to connect with the Design Museum as it makes its move to the new home in Kensington in 2016.

The Young Creatives programme will offer young people the opportunity to work with designers and each other through a regular programme of meetings and creative projects. It will put young people’s interests at the heart of the activities, providing thought provoking workshops that instigate a change in creative thinking and approach to design, and the designed world around us. It will inspire young people to look afresh at the world around them, to develop skills, gain an insight in to the creative industry and to explore their creative ambitions.

In late 2016, the Design Museum will relocate to the former Commonwealth Institute, three times the size of its present building. This will provide the scale the museum needs to shape the future of design and architecture, connect with a wider audience and nurture the next generation of creative talent. The museum will showcase designers, providing an internationally visible platform and acting as a career catalyst. The Young Creatives programme will continue once the museum opens in Holland Park. It will aim to reach and work with participants in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster. The participants will also have the opportunity to have their achievements recognized through the national Bronze Arts Awards.

Through this blog, we will chart our journey and hear from various designers and young people participating in this programme. You’ll meet us along the way as we document the programme launch event and local taster sessions this autumn, and commencement of the regular Young Creatives programme in January 2016.

I’d love for you, the local community and its young people to join us and to say hello on Sunday, 27 September 2015 at the Tabernacle Theatre. At the event, you’re welcomed to take part in our drop-in creative workshops with designers, meet the Design Museum team and be able to find out more about the Young Creatives programme coming to your area!

I look forward to meeting you all!