Design Council initiatives launch

The Design Council is to launch an initiative to raise the profile of design in industry, as part of a three-pronged approach to engage more directly with business.

Design Demonstrations will see designers from a host of as-yet-unnamed groups work on a part-time basis with various companies over a two- to three-year period.

The aim is to encourage these companies to make the design principles that arise central to their processes. The Design Council will then disseminate the knowledge among other businesses, says director of business Harry Rich.

Initially, participants won’t be paid, though the Design Council is funding the initiative. A Design Council spokeswoman says there is ‘a long-term commitment from the companies involved to provide payment as and when solutions are presented’.

The focus will be on three sectors: manufacturing of household appliances; science and technology; and environmentally sustainable design.

‘It’s about looking at how design can have an impact on companies through a heavyweight hit of design immersion,’ says Rich.

The announcement coincides with Design in Business Week, which the Design Council expects to attract around 2500 businesses to events across the UK this week.

The programme, for which Blast created an on-line marketing campaign and set design, is being covered by BBC2’s TV programme Working Lunch, which is devoting a daily spot to the application of design in business.

The Design Council has also published research that claims the use of design is a precursor to business growth. It suggests 75 per cent of growing businesses say design contributes to sales, while only 19 per cent of static businesses made the same claim.

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