Designer Table Teams

Teamwork, inspirational designers of the 21st century and questioning strategies… all combined into one simple resource – Designer Table Teams!


In the new Design Technology specification, it states that students must look at the work of past and present designers. They should be inspired by the work of others while having an understanding of how these designers got to where they are today. This led to the idea of ‘Lead Designers’ on each table within my classroom.

Students will eventually become familiar with the work of these designers, remember their names (for exam purposes) and maybe become inspired by their lives. I chose a range of designers – Male, Female, Product, Graphic and Digital. Not all of the designers are listed in the DT spec, however, they each have an inspirational background in Design which is relevant in todays world:

  1. Sir James Dyson – Design Engineer and founder of the Dyson company.
  2. Paula Scher – Award winning Graphic Design – First female Principal of Pentagram.
  3. Philippe Starck – Interior, Product & Architectural designer.
  4. Jessica Walsh – A leader in Graphic Design and partner in award winning agency Sagmeister & Walsh.
  5. Sir Jonathan Ive – British Industrial Designer & CDO at Apple.
  6. Julie Zhuo – Vice President of Product Design at Facebook.


Each ‘Lead Designer’ card has an overview of their life/work on the back, along with a scannable QR Code that links students to further details.

The colourful equipment baskets can be found on Ebay: HERE

(I drilled a small hole in the handles and used a hot glue gun to attach a photo wire for the cards).


The team scoreboard has been created using a £2.50 display board from Home Bargains. Points are given to students throughout the lesson and marked on the scoreboard. At the end of the lesson, each team get their points converted to ‘House Points’, which is part of our schools rewards system.


KS3 students love this idea! They are so keen to answer questions within lessons and enjoy competing with their peers for points. This has been especially successful with boys as the competition element motivates them to participate. It has also been beneficial for me as a teacher because the tally scoreboard helps me to recognise how many questions I am asking during a lesson and see who is or isn’t participating.


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