Designs in Mind
In the Shropshire countryside you can find Designs in Mind, a working design studio where mental health challenges are overcome through art.
Every person creating artwork here is referred from mental health services. Once part of the Designs in Mind team, they’re trained in arty techniques and encouraged to get stuck into ambitious, experimental design projects.
The artists’ bold, bright designs are turned into the cards, prints, tea towels, cushion covers, make up bags and other accessories that make up Designs in Mind’s collection.
The positive impact of design is two-fold: it can improve how we feel when we look at it and through the experience of making it. So you get the joy of seeing a Designs in Mind piece in your home, while the artist-makers reap the benefits back in the studio.
Everyone who joins the studio is encouraged on creative adventures and to find ways to live life and challenge stigma. It’s a true beacon of positivity and creativity, sustained by sales of their beautiful products as well as public art commissions and collabs with other studios.
Designs in Mind started life as a group within a mental health day centre, where founder Jo Davis was working during the late nineties. She used the group to challenge the centre’s status quo, which revolved around helping people pass the time rather than improving their wellbeing.
Jo’s approach broke taboos and confronted barriers. Through art projects, she helped people with mental health issues find self-belief and respect and to see themselves as an active contributor to society.
Challenging people and giving them new aspirations is what Designs in Mind is still about today. More than 30 years after Jo first started running the group, it now has a dedicated studio space, a high street shop and works with some 100 artist-makers.