One NorthEast counts on Spirit of creation model

The Spirit of Creation consortium has won a Europe-wide tender to develop a hub of design teaching and learning in the North East, for the area’s regional development agency One NorthEast.

The winning consortium, led by former Design Council design director Sean Blair, includes design group Livework and Dunne & Raby, which, as Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, leads the Critical Design Unit at the Royal College of Art.

One NorthEast briefed consortiums to create a concept blueprint and business model for a ‘world-class programme based on service design’, says its head of external relations, culture Claire Byers.

The initiative was prompted by the organisation’s realisation that there was a ‘distinct gap in the market’ and a need for design education in the services sector, Byers adds, citing public libraries and the NHS as two examples.

‘People rarely have a choice in how they consume service design,’ she says, ‘and some parts of public service have not moved on or responded well to modern expectations [in terms of design].’

According to Blair, the consortium has completed the ‘discovery phase’ of the project and kicks off the ‘generation phase’ with a workshop this week.

‘We’ll be generating a range of different options – what the course will offer, the process by which it’s delivered, the right people, space and place, and how it will be promoted,’ he explains.

The consortium, which was appointed in October following a pitch in June, hopes to have a product ready for peer review by February and to be testing courses and programmes later next year, Blair adds.

One NorthEast, one of nine Regional Development Agencies launched under the Regional Development Agency Act 1998, seeks to promote economic development and enhance business competitiveness across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and the Tees Valley.

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