Design is for Everyone

  • Phil Roberts Royal College of Art


The title of Nigel Cross's article, 'Design Education for Laypeople', is a striking expression of the paradox of design in general education. For it suggests (as an un wan ted 0ffshoot of professionalism perhaps), that design activity is not self-evidently, or not often, the business of everyone. Now, that can be a bothersome aspect of professional design practice. Yet we, as practitioners working in general education, are concerned with all pupils.

Nevertheless, away from professional design practice, the paradox con tinues to raise questions: questions to do with the relations between specialist teaching and everyday experience, and the possible unwitting distortions that may be introduced by specialist professional education. General education should hardly possess a category, 'lay people': the acceptance of such a distinction would surely tend to be consequential upon specialist teaching 'forgetting' its general educational context. On this view, perhaps design education developments are to do with 'giving back' design activity to everyone, from whom it has been separated by professionalism.

How to Cite
ROBERTS, Phil. Design is for Everyone. Studies in Design Education Craft & Technology, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 2, sep. 2009. ISSN 0305 766. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 01 apr. 2023.