Learning by Design

Take time out to share and reflect on current gallery and arts education practice and research with colleagues from across the UK and beyond.

Find out about new developments in design and craft education from our hosts: the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Design Museum, and the Crafts Council.

Run by Engage, the National Association for Gallery Education, this is a great opportunity for colleagues to work together over three intensive days to reflect on their practice, review recent research, and learn about UK and international contexts and network. Participants of Learning by Design are invited to present or run an activity or workshop for their peers. Attendees may also choose to participate and not present. 

The programme will also include presentations from the following speakers:

  • Rebecca English Programme Manager for Schools, Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Bernard Hay Producer of Adult Learning, Design Museum
  • Zoe Dennington Learning and Participation Manager, Crafts Council
  • Jo Haywood Making Your Future Project Manager, Crafts Council
  • Rosie Mitchell Young Peoples Producer, Crafts Council

Dates, times and locations

  • Monday 4 March, 10:30 am – 6:00 pm: Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Tuesday 5 March, 10:30 am – 6:00 pm: Design Museum
  • Wednesday 6 March, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm: Crafts Council

Costs to attend

  • Engage Personal Members: £125
  • Engage Organisational Members: £200
  • Non-Members: £275

Fees include attendance on all three days, entry to some exhibitions and light refreshments. It does not include accommodation, travel around London or drinks and dinner. There will be opportunities for participants to have dinner together on the first evening of the programme and drinks on the second evening, but these costs must be borne by the participants themselves. 

Engage membership starts from just £34 per year and comes with a host of benefits, find out more at engage.org/membership

Bursary places

Engage and Engage Scotland are pleased to offer a number of bursary and subsidised places for this event. 

Please note that applicants for these places must be members of Engage. Applications for these places may be made via the Learning by Design booking form. Applicants will be informed whether they have been successful or not by 5pm on Thursday 14 February.

  • For colleagues living and working in England or Wales: Engage is subsidising two places at a cost of £90 per place. No expenses will be included.
  • For colleagues living and working in Scotland: Engage Scotland is supporting one bursary place, covering the fee plus up to £350 expenses. No further funding from other Creative Scotland funding programmes or the Mandate programme is available to attend Learning by Design.

Confirmation of attendance/bursary places:

  • All places will be confirmed by email within seven days of booking.
  • If you have requested to present or lead an activity we will confirm this by 5pm on Thursday 14 February.
  • If you have applied for a bursary place we will confirm this by 5pm on Thursday 14 February. Unsuccessful bursary applicants may then wish to self-fund. Deadline: 12:00 noon on Monday 18 February.
  • A detailed timetable of the event will be provided to all participants by 5pm on Friday 25 February.
  • If you are presenting you will need to send the Engage team any material/s you would like to show by Wednesday 27 February.

About the host venues

About the V&A

The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects that span over 5,000 years of human creativity. The Museum holds many of the UK’s national collections and houses some of the greatest resources for the study of architecture, furniture, fashion, textiles, photography, sculpture, painting, jewellery, glass, ceramics, book arts, Asian art and design, theatre and performance.

Our mission is to be recognised as the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance, and to enrich people’s lives by promoting research, knowledge and enjoyment of the designed world to the widest possible audience. We strive to make the V&A matter to more people and in that context we work to the following six strategic objectives:

  • To create a world class visitor and learning experience across all V&A sites and collections.
  • Focus and deepen the relevance of our collections to the UK creative and knowledge economy.
  • Expand the V&A’s international reach, reputation and impact.
  • To operate with financial and organisational initiative and efficiency.
  • Showcase the best of digital design, and deliver an outstanding digital experience.
  • Diversify and increase private and commercial funding sources.

About the Design Museum

The Design Museum is located in London and is the world’s leading design museum. It makes the impact of design visible and is the only place in the UK where the design industry, education and the public can come together to change the way people think about themselves and the future.

Since it opened its doors in 1989 the museum has displayed everything from an AK-47 to high heels designed by Christian Louboutin. It is a registered charity that has staged over 100 exhibitions, welcomed over six million visitors and showcased the work of some of the world’s most celebrated designers and architects including Paul Smith, Zaha Hadid, Jonathan Ive, Miuccia Prada, Frank Gehry, Eileen Gray and Dieter Rams.

On 24 November 2016, The Design Museum relocated to Kensington, west London. Leading architectural designer John Pawson converted the interior of a 1960s modernist building to create a new home for the Design Museum giving it three times more space in which to show a wider range of exhibitions and significantly extend its learning programme.

The Design Museum is European Museum of the Year for 2018; the Design Museum was one of forty finalists and the sixth UK winner in the award’s 41-year history.

About the Crafts Council

The Crafts Council is responsible for advancing craft in the UK. We harness the power of craft to:

  • Champion new makers
  • Empower new making
  • Inspire new audiences

In 1971 the Crafts Advisory Committee (CAC) was formed to advise the government ‘on the needs of the artist craftsman and to promote a nation-wide interest and improvement in their products’. The first CAC meeting was held at the Council of Industrial Design (now the Design Council) on 6 October 1971 and was chaired by the Conservative minister Lord Eccles – who had responsibility for the arts. Lord Eccles opened the meeting with an outline of the kind of areas which the CAC might usefully investigate: loans and grants, exhibitions, regional links and craft education in schools. 

In April 1979 the CAC was renamed the Crafts Council. It established independence from the Design Council and was granted a Royal Charter in 1982. The objective of the Crafts Council was ‘to advance and encourage the creation and conservation of works of fine craftsmanship and to foster, promote and increase the interest of the public in the works of fine craftsmen and the accessibility of those works to the public in England and Wales’.

In 1991 the Crafts Council moved to 44a Pentonville Road, London, where premises included a reference library, a shop, a café, an education workshop and a gallery space. In 2006 the Crafts Council decreased its on-site activity and closed the gallery, shop, education workshop and café in order for the Crafts Council to increase its regional activity via partnership working.

In 2011, its 40th anniversary year, over 400,000 visitors saw its five temporary exhibitions, 27,000 people attended its craft fairs, and over 7,000 children and young people participated in its nationwide initiatives.