What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
The older we get, the less creative we become. Yet creative (or 'divergent') thinking correlates with traits such as curiosity, willingness to take risks, and persistence. Those characteristics are useful in all manner of careers, from consultancy to construction. We know that collaboration is a key component in innovation (as well as a key employability skill), yet we rarely work with those outside our own groups. Using creativity and collaboration together we want to challenge our assumptions about ourselves and others.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
In terms of the percentage of workers that are creative, the UK comes 25th out of 27 European countries surveyed. In the UK students’ top five skills include taking pride in their work, problem solving, being true to themselves, building relationships and having a sense of humour. We want to capitalise on these skills in young people, including those not currently in education, employment or training. And in addition we want to support them develop their resilience, time optimisation and taking risks—areas in which students surveyed were weakest.
What is your solution?
Thanks to voluntary support from the Design Museum and seed-funding from the RSA, we are going to be prototyping some products with teams of young people and professionals in the spring and early summer of 2012. We will run a number of workshops to plan, create and prototype the products, before taking stock, literally, and creating further supplies. We will be launching the full limited edition line of products in time for the London Design Festival in September.
How will you deliver this?
Through co-creation with professionals and young people we will create, design and produce a limited edition range of aspirational products as well as some branded products.