To Design or Not To Design?

children using wireframes to design websites

Why wouldn’t schools teach their children about the concept of design? Everything we see and everything we’re exposed to has been designed by someone in one way or another. The world children are living in today is growing and changing rapidly. The jobs they will have when they’re ready to enter the ‘real world,’ don’t even exist yet. Teaching children about the design process and the idea that everything we see has been designed is extremely powerful.

I have recenty been teaching an Inquiry unit based around the different types of design. Graphic Design, Web Design, Fashion Design, Interior Design and Architecture. The children have been so excited and eager to learn. They have engaged in activities whereby they have been provided with opportunities to understand and experience what it means to be a designer. In each of the mentioned design fields they have been required to fullfill various design briefs, and throughout this process, have developed passions they never new existed!

How the unit worked:

  • children were required to attend 5 different workshops. Each workshop was based around each of the different types of design. See the link for the workshops and resources used:
  • once children had a little taste for each type of design, they were required to complete a Google Form whereby they needed to answer various questions and pose any wonderings they had. 

  • we then exposed children to the design process by providing them with the opportunity to experience and fulfill a design brief. This was successful because we used the data from the Google Form to create workshops. Children worked in the design field they wanted to know more about and followed the design process by understanding the concept of a design brief. We also showed them some examples of various design briefs (I was lucky to have a portfolio from VCE. You can be just as successful without the examples, so long as instructions are clear). See links below for design process (this has been simplified for primary school aged children) and design briefs for each area.



  • by this stage, children had a deeper understanding about what type of designer they wanted to be and they completely understood the design process. They were pumped and excited to take on a bigger and better challenge! We then used challenged based learning (children are still working on these projects) in order for children to take their new found passions even further. Each child was given the link below and are still in the process of completing their challenge. They are required to work in teams to complete this task.  

challenge booklet:

This resources also has internal links with each design brief explained.

Please note, everything that has been shared with you has been created on either Google Docs or Google Presentation. It is shared with children in the same way. You can easily do the same thing by photocopying too. 

Students will be making their designs ‘real’ by sharing any websites (web designers only) public on the web. Other designers will also showcase any designs they’re proud of and that are complete in the school Art Show. 

Some reasons why teaching design is so important:

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