Six students from Simon Balle All-through School are the overall winners of this year’s Design Ventura, the annual national design and enterprise challenge, run by the Design Museum in partnership with Deutsche Bank’s youth engagement programme, Born to Be.  

The winning product concept Hit Snap is a game which aims to encourage everyone to do more exercise. The Simon Balle team will work with the Design Museum and creative professionals to develop their product and launch it for sale in the Design Museum shop in June with profits going to the school’s chosen charity. Since 2010 Design Ventura has helped over 75,000 students to develop design, enterprise and employability skills, as well as raising over £10,000 for charities chosen by Design Ventura winning teams.

The winning team from Simon Balle All-Through school, Billy, Loui, Ross, Bailey, Fynn and Dan, with their teacher Mr J Andrews, joined the judging panel, led by Sebastian Conran, at the Design Museum in Kensington on 13 February for an exhibition and VIP reception to celebrate the achievements of all ten shortlisted teams.

Design Ventura’s real-life design brief calls for teams to research and consider the needs of one of three target audiences; adult design enthusiasts, young people and students, or families. Students must consider how their product will complement others on sale in the Museum shop, sustainability, the ease of the manufacturing process and budget. Addressing the brief, the Simon Balle team considered rising obesity rates among young people and the need for everyone to take more exercise. This led to their concept for a game that can be played by a range of ages and would complement other products in the Museum shop.

Mr J Andrews, Lead Teacher of Design & Technology, at Simon Balle All-Through School, recognises the skills that students have gained through Design Ventura. ‘Being able to design is an excellent skill but being able to see value in ideas and create viable business models and account for stakeholder needs will allow young people to have an impact in the economy and potentially start their own companies and businesses.’ He added, ‘Design Ventura gives me the means to enthuse them [students] at the beginning of their GCSE and an amazing sense of pride when they succeed. But teaching isn’t just about GCSE results, it’s providing the most meaningful learning experiences possible and Design Ventura helps to facilitate this.

Nicole Lovett, Deutsche Bank’s UK Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, commented, ‘The creative industries are likely to be creating 1,000 jobs a week in the UK that are highly skilled and resilient to automation*. Design Ventura offers students the opportunity to engage with the industry and an early insight into business. The skills they gain open career pathways and contribute to longer-term community sustainability as well as economic growth.’