Last week The Sorrell Foundation identified a number of public services where all involved would benefit if the design industry were to take a proactive stance – including designers (DW 5 July). Which areas would benefit most and why?

‘Virtually every area would benefit from improved design and this would affect the quality of people’s lives in both subtle, and not so subtle, ways. As we all know, good design, blending the practical and the aesthetic, can help to achieve enhanced morale, efficiency, better service, improvements in health, safety, learning and a better environment for us all.’

Giulia Landor, Managing partner, Spencer Landor

‘Good design can be a powerful medicine, it changes our feelings for the better. Feeling positive is an essential part of treatment. It’s as equally important for the growing group who are young at heart, but old of age, as it is for terminally ill children. By simply reappraising the functional to the emotional, the graphics, products and environments of healthcare could be redesigned to turn sterility to stimulus, confusion to reassurance and confinement to freedom. If good design was prescribed regularly, then the long-term profit would be a lot healthier.’

Jonathan Ford, Creative Partner, Pearlfisher

‘Most services are in such appalling shape that design really isn’t the issue. I want a campaign that makes people want to protest, shaming the Government into delivering. We need to kick up hell -that’s where design comes in, getting the message across simply and making change happen.’

Richard Williams, managing partner, Williams Murray Hamm

‘Could we have trains designed like the Danes? Public housing like the Swiss? And cool schools?’

Marjorie Thompson, Director of cause-related marketing,

Octagon Marketing

‘Starting with transport. Anything touched by Railtrack inevitably and immediately collapses into a morass of squalor, and most of the train companies aren’t much better. London’s Underground is a mobile torture chamber. Then there are hospitals, most of which look and smell like medieval cesspits. Do I need to go on about schools and other so-called places of learning? Britain’s public services are deeply squalid and incompetent. Good design and maintenance wouldn’t cure it, but would help.’

Wally Olins

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