The Designs of the Time festival was given Parliamentary support last week, at an open committee meeting held in London’s Westminster.
The year-long sustainable design festival, organised in the North East of England by the Design Council and One North East, is likely to be followed up in both Cornwall and Scotland in 2009. The contractual agreements have still to be formalised, however, as have appointments to the next organising team.
Industry representatives, business leaders and community groups were joined by four MPs – vice-chairman of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Design and Innovation Derek Wyatt, vice-chairman of the All Party Group on Skills Tim Boswell, the Shadow Minister for Innovation, Universities and Skills Adam Afriyie, and Ashok Kumar, MP for Middlesbrough.
Kumar tabled an Early Day Motion urging the Government to put design at the heart of public service transformation. The motion has collected the signatures of 20 MPs so far.
According to Afriyie, future Dott projects should be designed to be as commercially replicable as possible. The shadow innovation minister points out that the projects’ scaleability and ability to be duplicated will be key benchmarks of success over time.
Dott programme director John Thackara was pleased with the reception and says that the organisers had learned a lot at the inaugural event. Going forward, the emphasis should continue to be on ‘doing’, rather than on talking about addressing the issues, he says.