Few designers nurture young talent as diligently as does James Dyson. In 2002, the British-born engineer and designer, best known for the G-Force vacuum cleaner, established the James Dyson Foundation to encourage excellence among aspiring designers and awaken school children to the joy of creative problem solving.
Each year the Foundation honors the work of university students and recent graduates with the James Dyson Award. Dyson likewise hosts workshops and supports design education in public schools. His aim is to demystify the design process and above all, inspire young minds to ‘think differently and make mistakes,’ key attributes of a successful designer.
This summer Chicago Public Schools prepare to celebrate design in classrooms throughout the city. Marking its U.S. launch, the James Dyson Foundation will arm teachers with the resources needed to develop design and engineering curricula, contribute funding for after-school engineering clubs and provide Dyson Education Boxes, invaluable collections of projects, products and exercises designed to activate ingenuity and imagination in youth. For now, efforts will remain focused in Chicago as the James Dyson Foundation gathers momentum across the United States.
The submission deadline for the James Dyson Award is August 2, and the public school program will last throughout the 2011/2012 school year.