This call to arms must be backed up by transparency

I was interested to read about Bruce Mau’s call for designers to combat economic and social ills (News, DW 5 March).

His Massive Change project has captured the imagination of many who believe design has more to offer. Aware of this, in 2005 I contacted his office asking for an interview for an article I was writing on design and social policy.

However, my request was declined without explanation. Many well-known, if less celebrated, design thinkers did agree to be interviewed.

All too often, our design visionaries are happy to grandstand and burnish their reputations by associating themselves with fashionable, though uncontroversial, causes. But rarely do they explain why their model for change is appropriate. Nor do they subject themselves to proper interrogation by journalists, let alone by working designers.

If design’s larger offer is to be taken seriously, Mau and his fellow travellers will need a ‘massive change’ in their attitude to enquiry and debate.

Nico Macdonald, Spy, London EC2

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