If Sir Michael Bichard’s inclusion in the Hot 50 anticipates the great things we expect of him in the name of design, Sir George Cox, his predecessor as Design Council chairman, returns to the listing as a mark of all he has achieved.
Cox has been ceaseless in his work with the council over more than two years, not least in producing the Cox Review commissioned by the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown, thereby setting an agenda for the UK to combat overseas competition through design. It is hard to believe, given his commitment of time, experience and intelligence to the cause, that the Design Council job is unpaid and that design is not his only industry.
As we lose a design stalwart from a prominent office – to be replaced by another – so design gains a champion in the wider world as Cox moves forward with his career.
He is a believer in creativity, as shown when, as director-general of the Institute of Directors, he put design on the agenda for the its small business membership and commissioned Hemingway Design to create a modern members’ facility at 123 Pall Mall in London.
Last year, he helped set up Enterprise Insight, a coalition between the British Chambers of Commerce, the Confederation of British Industry, the Federation of Small Businesses and the IoD which aims to create an enterprise culture in the UK. It is headed by former Design Council deputy chief executive Harry Rich.