Priestman reveals plans for DBA

Paul Priestman, who takes over as Design Business Association chairman in October when Lynne Dobney steps down, plans to bring the association back to its core function as a resource and voice for the business of design.

He plans to boost the association’s efforts to promote design effectiveness by reintroducing an annual book, combining a directory of members with case-studies of successful projects in the DBA’s International Design Effectiveness Awards.

He maintains that it will also help to raise the association’s profile. “It needs to become the real point of contact for the design business,” for consultancies, clients, media and others, he says.

Priestman, who is a director of Priestman Goode, is keen to use his two-year DBA chairmanship to bring the association in line with changes in the design industry. This will entail a controversial plan to broaden the membership to include design managers working in client companies and in-house designers.

“We need to recognise the way design is changing and to be more embracing,” he says.

In a six-point “manifesto”, Priestman revisits the idea of bringing together the various design bodies to create a strong, single voice. Though he resigned from the Chartered Society of Designers some time ago, he wants to open talks with the CSD in early 2002 about starting a joint student programme. He is also keen to resuscitate Design Unity, the umbrella grouping of five design bodies that was born out of the Halifax Initiative in 1997.

Priestman was elected to the chairmanship by fellow board directors of the association, having served on the board for a year. He was persuaded to stand for the job by Dobney and DBA chief executive Ian Rowland-Hill.

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