Having attended a number of industry events recently, there still seems to be a habit of referring to ‘design’ as if it is a thing. This implies it is a separate entity, a bolt-on goody – to make something more expensive.
I suspect this image of ‘design’ has some impact on the fact that many UK SME manufacturers do not make full use of the excellent product design resources of this country. The cost and risk of entering into a design project is often stressed by manufacturers, rather than the investment and risk-reduction potential.
This also appears to be happening to the word ‘innovation’. We seem to be ‘buzz-wording’ the meaning out of relatively simple concepts to the point that the potential clients of consultant designers don’t understand what’s on offer.
Could this be a result of the design industry not having an effective voice or presence at strategic national, regional and sub-regional levels?
Jonathan Butters, Managing/ design director, Jab, Liverpool L1 0BG