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Knee High Design Challenge: announcing the six funded teams

Knee High Design Challenge: announcing the six funded teams

10 April 2014 Written by By Ella Britton Programme consultant

Design Council's Ella Britton announces the six teams we’ll be funding in stage three of the Knee High Design Challenge as they develop a plan for sustainable growth.

As the Knee High Design Challenge progresses into each stage, we ask more and more from each team and every time, they step up and over the mark. Since January the 11 Knee High teams have been learning how to capture to understand their impact, through observation, surveys and randomised control trials.

They have been building partnerships, testing prototypes and adding more depth to their business models. Parks, shedsshops and performances have been popping up throughout the boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth as teams have been deepening their understanding of local communities.

Two weeks ago teams were invited to the Design Council HQ to practice their Dragons Den style pitches in front of different multi-disciplinary professionals. Most teams entered the room nervous and emerged encouraged, but with lots of food for thought. 

Last week the quality of each of the team’s final reports totally blew us away.

We are continually inspired by the commitment each team has to their ideas, the passion they have for making change and the energy they exude.

After the eleventh pitch, the selection panel had the tough job of agreeing on six teams to take through to stage three and receive a £41,000 grant. The panel agreed that all 11 projects have great potential and are worthy of our ongoing support. However these six teams best met our criteria of being radical, impactful and relevant to the needs of under fives and their families in Southwark and Lambeth. 

Following a consultation with our board of advisors, a final decision has been reached.

Announcing the six projects in stage three

Crafty Explorers

Mission: Explore, Lambeth City Farmers and Geography Collective

Crafty Explorers trialled their idea in a pop-up shop in Nunhead for 6 weeks. This initiative provides families with missions that turn the outdoors into a world of discovery for parents and children.

Creative Homes

Tea Dance for Little People 

Creative Homes is an artist-led service supported by a range of products that promote interactive play within the home and relieve day-to-day stress within a family. Creative Homes has been testing their initiative in the Viridian Housing’s Church Manor Estate in Lambeth.


Save the Children and Character Counts 

EasyPeasy is a digital service for parents. It shares age-appropriate games and activities with parents that can help children to develop key skills such as motivation, concentration, confidence and self-control.

Good Enough Mums Musical

The Good Enough Mums Club

This is a musical theatre production that aims to empower parents to share their honest experiences and seek support and advice in more effective ways.

Kids Connect

Tracey Gilbert, Hannah and Ben White

Kids Connect is an online tool that offers accurate, relevant and up to date information about local activities for families. It aims to allow parents to plan journeys, share invitations and build confidence to access activities locally.

Pop-up Parks

Intelligent Space

Pop-up Parks looks to transform neglected outdoors spaces, improving them with sensory and playful interactions. They are co-designing pop-up-parks with local families in under-used outdoor spaces.

The next stage

By this autumn these programmes should be ready to ‘open for business’ for a full pilot. For stage three we expect teams to continue to build local partnerships, develop a rigorous plan for sustainable growth and have a set of compelling impact measures.

We endeavour to remain in close contact with the other five projects and help them continue with their development. Those five teams are: New Moments, The Dad Project, Fortyfi, Leapfrog Bus and Cook and Meet.

If you would like to offer support, advice or feedback to any of our teams, please do get in touch.

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