These pages provide resources for teachers and community group leaders to help them use museums to develop creative design projects with young people.

Design for Life is a museum education project that explores how museums and galleries can work together to enhance young people’s understanding, skills and knowledge of design, through engagement with museum collections. It has brought together museum educators, teachers, youth workers and designers and trialled projects with schools and youth groups. The ideas and activities that emerged have been developed as learning resources to support youth workers and Design & Technology teachers to use museums with young people.

Design for Life is a national partnership project led by the Victoria & Albert Museum, with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Shipley Art Gallery, fifteen other regional museums and the charity Action for Children.  It was conceived as part of the government’s strategic commissioning programme for museum and gallery education and has been funded by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Education and  also by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council in 2010 -11 .

The Designs for Life gallery explores the infinite variety of ways in which objects are designed and made. From teapots to tequila glasses, lighting to lunch boxes, items from across centuries and continents are juxtaposed in a way which showcases the stories and inspiration of designers past and present. Objects featured in the new gallery include Sowerby’s & Davidson’s glass and ceramics, Hans Coper and Lucie Rie’s studio ceramics, and contemporary design from Alessi, Tord Boontje, Habitat and IKEA.

For links to  information and resources see the national Design for Life project page on