UK Design Education Needs More Support

UK’s architectural design education is weaker according to leading designers.

Speaking during the Brexit design summit, Michael Mariott, a well-known industrial designer, said that the British educational system is incapable of handling the situation as is.

“Funding is being stripped and there are less facilities,” he added, saying that UK students were being forced to study overseas, where facilities are better.

“I had a young English guy working for me,” Marriott said. “He looked at a couple of British universities and for a quarter of the price he’s gone to Amsterdam to study in way better facilities that are beyond anything we have in this country.”

Architect Amanda Levete agreed, saying she had to employ architects trained overseas because they are better than home-grown ones.

“The reason that so many of the young architects we employ come from outside of the UK is because the architectural education in Europe is frankly better,” she said.

Half of Levete’s 50 employees are from overseas.

“Conceptually the architectural education here is very strong, but technically it’s very weak,” she added. “So architects who have been educated outside of the UK are kind of office-ready.”

The UK vote to leave the European Union could exclude the UK from the Erasmus student exchange programme, and make it harder for UK studios to hire EU staff.