The UK led the world in introducing Design & Technology within the school curriculum. It helped produce a thriving production industry leading to a high output within creative industries. These important increases did not just include the design of products but also the development of engineering and the built environment. These were helped by the skills in which design & technology can introduce to a student. Below is an insight into how the subject has been developed to help the UK economy.
The Samuelson Commision of 1882-84 first recommended a subject known as handicraft be introduced to schools as an answer to Britains economic decline. Its principal aim was not to produce an influx of carpenters and joiners, but to familiarise students with properties of popular materials such as wod and iron to teach hand and eye coordination, and to use exact measurements from drawings to produce physical items that represent them.
Design was gradually introduced more and more with an insight into providing students with the ability of doing as much as in knowing. In the late 1960’s as an addition to the design application, physics and engineering was also introduced to create a new name for the subject which was Craft, Design & Technology. This helped use the course as an applied science using elements such as, electronics, pneumatics and structures in an industrial setting.
It was in 1990 that the introduction of the National Curriculum that Design & Technology was made compulsory for all students up to Key Stage 3, with it being available as an option from then on. This included applied sciences along with aspects of, Art & Design, Home Economics, and Business Studies in addition to CDT. The main idea behind the subject was to introduce a way of working which would allow students to make or modify an object to allow for a response to a needed product.
It is through the development of this subject that allowed for the UK to produce huge innovations throughout the technological world. This has recently been discussed within the UK governments budget. George Osbourne has shown his value in Resarch & Design by increasing benefits for small businesses that currently work within the sector. There have also been £195 million worth of investments in science and engineering projects around the country that include research into new technologies throughout the field in the hope it will boost the economy and provide many more jobs.
future of design
Within the research departments throughout the UK there is currently huge innovations and discoveries being made which can have a massive influence on the economy and employment markets across the country. However, with the majority of people seeing Design & Technology as a lesser subject to Maths, English, and Science there is a hesitation in the devlopment of it as a discipline. Yet, in the 2010 GCSE league tables it was shown as the 4th most popular subject behind those mentioned above.
With a poor image Design & Technology is in danger of not being utilised as it should within the school curriculum. With this in mind it is dangerous for the UK, not only economy wise but also in the way in which people will live. D&T helps apply science and maths to real world situations to provide a solution and without the design and problem-solving skills the valuable research and innovation within the scientific sectors this will not be able to be utilised within the UK to provide usable products. This will mean that the technology will have to be utilised by other countries spawning a double loss for the UK in terms of employment opportunities and income.
Ian Callum, Design Director for Jaguar has recently stated it in these words: “It’s a drawing. It’s a model. It’s a car. It gives 20,000 people jobs. It’s that simple.” This does not just apply to cars, but also other products which are devoloped will eventually need to be made. This is where the importance of Design & Technology becomes apparent.