David Fern has been actively involved in teaching on design courses since starting his own practice in 1987. It is a role that has always made an important contribution to his design approach.

He believes that teaching is a two way process. It allows the teacher the opportunity to transfer knowledge gained through years of experience to those studying in the facility that nurtured his own early design thinking. But also, importantly, teaching embraces the rewarding dialogue that can be held between experienced and fresh thinking, young, creative minds. 

Although a design practitioner can contribute a wealth of knowledge of the practical world when teaching, he also invariably has the opportunity to reflect and investigate design issues, devoid of commercial practice and 'actual' implementation. This allows for greater freedom of thought and study outside typical practice parameters.

Creativity itself cannot be directly taught, but David believes that design processes can be and should be tutored through lectures and tutorials. He uses his experience of practice and design implementation to help direct and instill creative ways of looking, thinking and clearly communicating.

In today's image obsessed world it is too easy to only acknowledge and celebrate the extraordinary. But students of design must also learn to take inspiration from the ordinary and their everyday surroundings. We must always look at and study closely all that we think is familiar and taken for granted in our lives. We also need to be aware of our history, not solely the latest new creations, in order to be truly inspired and progress.