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Design Ventura announce Yuri Suzuki as this years brief setter and invites students submissions

Sound artist, designer and electronic musician Yuri Suzuki has been announced as the brief setter for Design Ventura (@DesignVentura), the Design Museum’s annual design and enterprise competition for schools run in partnership with Deutsche Bank’s global youth engagement programme Born to Be. Suzuki unveiled his video brief for the 12th edition of the annual prize, inviting teams of students from the UK and globally to design a new product for the Design Museum Shop.

Design Ventura brings the business of design to life for UK state secondary schools. It looks to support Design and Technology and Art and Design programmes across the country by providing free online learning resources, workshops, webinars and live events supported by industry professionals to offer a real-world design and enterprise learning opportunity. Suzuki unveiled his video brief for the 12th edition of the annual prize, inviting teams of students from the UK and globally to design a new product for the Design Museum Shop.

Yuri Suzuki’s practice explores the realms of sound through designed pieces that examine the relationship between people and their environments – questioning how both music and sound evolve to create personal experiences. Central to Suzuki’s practice is collaboration- as demonstrated in his 2019 display at the Design Museum titled Sound in Mind. He has also worked with various musicians including and Jeff Mills, as well as commercial clients such as Google. In 2018, Suzuki was appointed a partner at Pentagram, the world’s largest independently owned design studio, where he began working as an artist in the London studio. Suzuki and his team work internationally – pushing the boundaries between art, design, technology and sound, crossing the fields of both low and high technology.

Released today, the video brief for Design Ventura 2021 invites teams of students to be inspired by their senses to design a new product for the Design Museum Shop that improves everyday life by addressing a social, educational or environmental issue and retails for around £15. Ten shortlisted state school teams will be invited to Deutsche Bank’s London head office to pitch their ideas to a panel of expert judges including Suzuki, senior Deutsche Bank employees and the Design Museum’s Head of Retail. One winning team will be selected to develop their designs with a professional agency before their product is manufactured and sold in the Design Museum Shop. The money raised from the sales of the winning product will go to a charity of the students’ choosing. 

Alongside this year’s competition, the Design Museum have launched an online mini challenge inspired by their upcoming Waste Age exhibition. Open to students in years 7 and 8, the mini challenge offers a taster of the Design Ventura programme for younger students. Supported by a series of online resources, videos, and workshops, students are invited to upload a design for a product that addresses waste issues or which are made from waste materials. Winners will be selected by industry expert volunteers and announced fortnightly on social media from September 2021 to February 2022.

Now in it’s 12th year, the programme has seen over 108,200 students participate to develop their creative and entrepreneurial skills by designing and developing a product for a real target audience. The 2020 winning team – Heckmondwike Grammar School – designed ‘Sow Beautiful’, a flower seed cannon used to grow flowers and create a source of pollen for bees and will be available from the Design Museum Shop from this Autumn. The 2019 winning product ‘Creative [Un]blocks’ raised over £14,000 for charity earlier this year.

Yuri Suzuki, artist and brief setter, Design Ventura said:

‘I chose to be Design Ventura 2021-22 brief setter because I wanted to give a different perspective. I am not your standard designer. I wanted to show that there is no one standard way to be a designer, there is not only one way to be a creative entrepreneur. There are so many different ways to be a creator!’  

Fiona MacDonald, Head of Learning at the Design Museum said:

‘We are delighted that Yuri Suzuki is this year’s brief setter. As an artist and designer whose work ranges from apps to products to large scale installations, we feel that Yuri’s accessible, interactive, and thought-provoking work, will provide a great source of inspiration for this year’s students. Design Ventura is the Design Museum’s flagship learning programme for schools that looks to bring the business of design to life for young people. As the number of students studying Design and Technology at GCSE continues to decline, inspiring students with contemporary design practice remains of the utmost importance to ensure that we continue to nurture the designers of tomorrow.’ 

Lareena Hilton, Managing Director, Global Head of Brand Communications & CSR, Deutsche Bank said:

“Deutsche Bank is proud to continue supporting Design Ventura. With the World Economic Forum listing problem solving, critical thinking and creativity amongst the top ten skills needed for work in 2025, it’s clear to see how the programme helps students’ readiness for their futures in work. We also know from the programme’s in-depth evaluation that almost 100% of teachers see an improvement in the confidence and ambition of their students. This combined with the new skills built, we are delighted that Design Ventura continues as a springboard for the next generation of design talent.” 

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