In the United Kingdom, key workers in the NHS, social care, pharmacies, refuse collectors, postal and delivery services, grocers, food banks as well as teachers are being thanked through joyful rainbows sported on windows, walls, websites and wheelie bins. The Design History Society is echoing this rainbow motif in a new award to celebrate and to share best practice in the immediate transformations of design-history teaching into virtual formats over the last months across the globe. This award recognises the massive and imaginative extra work so many of us are doing to support our students through new virtual pedagogy. It also seeks to champion the creativity and generosity of institutions and individuals engaged in making their collections accessible virtually amidst the ‘lockdown’ which many of us have been using in our new virtual classrooms. Innovative virtual design history activity might include resources targeted at sixth form, undergraduate or postgraduate students, as well as wider audiences through the museums and archives sector.

We would like to showcase the winning innovative virtual pedagogic resources in articles on the DHS Newsletter and website with a little morale boost of one-year’s free membership to the DHS and an honorarium of £100 for the proposers.

The Rainbow Remote Teaching in Design History Innovation Award is open any design historian anywhere in the world.

Please send your completed proposal form and user’s testimonial by 12 midnight (GMT) on Tuesday 30 June 2020 via email to the DHS administrator Jenna Allsopp:

All proposers will be notified of the outcome of their submission within 3 weeks of the application deadline.


These notes have been produced to help proposers through the submission process. Please contact the DHS administrator with any further queries.

1. The Award

1.a The Remote Teaching in Design History Innovation Award will be awarded by the DHS in 2020 to recognise and share best practice in virtual pedagogy in design history amidst the constrained conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic. The award is part of the Society’s aim to promote and to support best teaching practice in the field of design history. In particular, the DHS aims to recognise and to share innovative pedagogy that has the potential to have a significant or transformative impact on engagement in design history and beyond, helping to forge an inclusive field.

1.b Each award winner will receive free DHS membership for 2020 and an honorarium of £100. A total fund of £1,000 will be awarded in 2020.

1.c All proposals must contain detailed and correct information about the virtual pedagogic resource. All proposals must include a supporting statement from a user of the resource.

1.d Payments of the Remote Teaching in Design History Innovation Award are managed through the Society's Treasurer and the one-year free memberships are managed by the Trustee for Membership and Outreach. Please refer to 2.e for details regarding the notification of the outcome of applications.

2. The Process

2.a The deadline for proposals 12 midnight (GMT) on Tuesday 30 June 2020. No applications received after this date will be considered.

2.b All proposers are required to fill in the application form including the testimonial of a user of the resource.

2.c Proposers are requested not to send CVs, as these will not be taken into consideration in the judging process.

2.d Completed application forms should be submitted by email to the DHS administrator at

2.e All proposers will be notified of the outcome of their submission within three weeks of the submission deadline via email.

3. Eligibility

3.a The Remote Teaching in Design History Innovation Award is open to design historians located anywhere in the world.

3.b There is only one round of applications for this one-off Award devised during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.

4. Assessment Criteria

4.a The Remote Teaching in Design History Innovation Award will be assessed by a judging panel composed of members of the DHS Executive Committee who vet anonymised applications. In particular, the Society aims to recognise virtual pedagogic activity that demonstrates innovative approaches to design history. Applications are judged on the following criteria:

4.b Originality and significance of the virtual teaching resource to the field of design history

4.c Clearly articulated and appropriate learning aims, outcomes and methods

4.d Direct contribution to the activities and aims of the Design History Society (please see the DHS website)

5. Dissemination

By applying for and accepting the award, recipients of Remote Teaching in Design History Innovation Award agree to grant the DHS permission to publish quotations from the proposal and testimonial in an article in the Design History Society Newsletter. If the resource is open access or there are copyright-free illustrations for inclusion in DHS materials they would be much appreciated.

6. We wish to remind our applicants that;

  • the DHS is committed to supporting equalities and therefore invites applicants to reflect on and state clearly how their proposed projects address inequalities.
  • the DHS is also committed to addressing sustainability issues and invites applicants to state how their project has been shaped with an environmentally-conscious approach (in relation to travel, participation and use of resources).