Vox Pop

With manufacturing groups such as Miele appointing Hemingway Design – founded by two recognised but untrained designers – to create products (DW 4 August), is an official design qualification really necessary?’

Design qualifications are not mandatory, but design training from within a college or design environment is vital. Good luck to Miele for being brave enough to adopt a fresh approach. The consumer goods industry really needs greater design diversity, as the lion’s share of products are being created/ designed by marketing managers, thereby giving little room for designers to manoeuvre. My worry though is that this may just be a PR stunt by a CEO who wants to get visibility, rather than design thinking that can lead to new opportunities and approaches for planning.’

Martin Darbyshire, Partner, Tangerine

‘The key issue here is creativity – which the Hemingways clearly have in abundance, despite lacking a formal design education. But I think they are the lucky minority. While creativity can be developed and fine-tuned in less formal careers, a formal design education is an excellent way of harnessing and honing innate creativity. We must not get carried away by one example. The Hemingways are great, but educationalists and employers should encourage a formal education because it enables their workforce to think creatively whatever their background or occupation.’

Moira Fraser Steele, Director – Education, Design Council

‘I am sure Miele is buying into Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway regardless of whether they have a design degree. Their past work and future ideas are what counts – and these show Miele that they are futuristic innovators with an eye on the way life will be lived in years to come.’

Richard Morrison, Director, Fig Production

‘It’s not necessary and I love that idea. In a production line world of undifferentiated designers it’s great to know that there’s a bright spark who thinks about design in an untrained, accidental, uninhibited way – with fantastic results. It’s happened in the past many times – Paul Smith never took a fashion design course. Great talent will surface without a channel – the real issue is the ability of the conventional design mindset to seek out and encourage these creatives.’

Jonathan Ford, Creative Partner, Pearlfisher

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