Our design networks need co-ordinating…

UK Design Alliance Manifesto

The editor’s comment about the proliferation of regional and local design bodies (DW 3 February) was generous enough to suggest that Design Initiative has some influence in triggering growth. The organisation is simply one of many that, even at the time of its own creation nearly 19 years ago, recognised that local and regional issues and concerns of designers – for us, specifically in Liverpool, Manchester and the North West – were not being addressed by a number of national design bodies.

Lynda Relph-Knight suggests the need ’for someone to join up the dots between these bodies’ to address a perceived incoherency in what services these networks now offer to clients and businesses looking to buy or commission design.

Design Initiative supports this need to bring many of these bodies together and to provide a focus on the services available to the designer and client alike, while also developing new markets, improving design skills and the links between industry and education. This is why we signed up, as one of 20 other regional and national bodies, to the UK Design Alliance manifesto (pictured).

The Alliance is facilitated by the Design Council and Creative & Cultural Skills. It reflects the perceived need for a voice representative of UK regional bodies and the industry outside London, as well as the benefits to be gleaned from our own partnership working across the regions and directly with the Design Council.

Design Initiative welcomes the Design Council’s imperative to work with us and other UK bodies. We hope that together we can provide clarity at a time when, as Relph-Knight correctly points out, ’the creative community needs to be visible and seen to be effective’.

It also serves to strengthen Design Initiative’s own relationship with design clients and buyers and its reputation as one of the UK’s longest-established creative industries bodies.

Tara Badami, Director, Design Initiative, Liverpool L1 4DQ

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