V&A Innovate is an annual National Schools Challenge targeted to pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9, designed to inspire and build young designers to be the innovators of tomorrow. In teams, students are provided with real life problems, and work collectively to come up with a final design solution. V&A Innovate provides a platform for students to experience real design project briefs and insight to working collectively in teams. This year, the theme was centered around Home and Community.
The Charter School North Dulwich won three trophies, including Overall Winner 2021 for their design ‘Scenty Mems’, a personalised scented jumper to help remember loved ones. The students explored solutions to grief and coping with loss and loneliness, in a year which has seen families around the world lose loved ones to Covid-19. Their idea, praised for originality and thoughtfulness around a sensitive and painful issue, was to create a heated jumper infused with the scent of a lost loved one, to wear at home to enable continued connection.
The Charter School North Dulwich also picked up two other awards. Teacher Jennifer Vargas (PGCE Design & Technology, Goldsmiths) was chosen NQT of the Year. In the Home Category, the North Dulwich team won for their Garden scenic conveyor belt, designed to encourage sharing of green spaces between homes and communities, bringing people and nature together.