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Policy Connect and the V&A hosts researchers to discuss how design influences practice-based research

Policy Connect and the V&A hosts researchers to discuss how design influences practice-based research

25th July 2018

Policy Connect and the V&A's Research Institute (VARI) recently welcomed researchers to both Parliament and the V&A to explore the use of design and innovation when researchers are practically exploring their research bases.

The group discussed how design can be used to help students and professionals investigate their research bases, and that it gives them a better understanding of practical creative thinking/skills.

The VARI aims to give the V&A an opportunity to experiment with new ways of studying, displaying, understanding and accessibly storing its collections. It will give academics and designers the opportunity to link up with V&A experts and objects. 

The day featured a panel discussion chaired by V&A Director Tristram Hunt who showcased the VARI’s research to an audience of over 70 people.

Dr Helen Charman, Director of Learning and National Programmes at the V&A noted how the concept of craft and “thinking though making” has helped to transform design education.

VARI's Deputy Director, Dr Marta Ajmar, followed by explaining V&A’s ambitious plan to showcase their collection across the United Kingdom, whilst incentives such as Encounters on the Shop Floor aims to showcase practical design skills to professionals who do not traditionally consider themselves to be designers.

Brandon Matoorah - a former student at Bridge Academy, Hackney - spoke about how the V&A’s outreach to his school had given him access to creative and design education and far broader skill-set to read engineering at university.

Finally, Professor Mark Miodownik of UCL’s Institute of Making spoke about how his university have created a library of materials and resources – helping to engage with academics ranging from historians and anthropologists to chemists and physicists.

The panel discussion was followed by an informal drinks reception in the Gilbert Bayes Sculpture Gallery at the V&A.