Regarding the Royal Society of Art’s Design & Society manifesto, there was no consultation ‘process’. The RDIs have been calling for a sympathetic exchange of ideas and expertise for some time, feeling, quite rightly, that many RDIs would have valuable input in matters like this that the RSA concerns itself with from time to time, without any question of resorting to ‘design by committee’.
British design does need to project a position of strength, and it is precisely this viewpoint that RDIs, individually and as a body, have been trying to impress upon the RSA for at least the past ten years, certainly since I have been an RDI.
This is a discussion that has been going on between the RSA and RDIs a lot longer than Emily Campbell has been in this position. That said, I think it is sad that it has erupted in this public way, but perhaps some good may come of it through public discussion and when more individual opinions have been expressed. There is more to this than meets the eye.
Malcolm Garrett, Royal Designer for Industry, by e-mail