Government taskforce seeks to define design

The Government’s Creative Industries taskforce is calling on designers to help it compile an analysis of the design industry.

The taskforce was set up in October to examine the contribution of the creative industries to the economy.

The taskforce is looking to gather statistics on the value of design to the economy, its export value, employment levels, longer term prospects for the industry and tighter definitions. Other issues to be addressed in the future include copyright piracy, start-up capital and training.

“We are finding design the most difficult sector to define because it covers so much – from fashion, to crafts, to engineering,” says Spectrum Strategy Consultants managing director and taskforce member Janice Hughes. Spectrum is overseeing the study, with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

“Here we are, world leaders in design, and we can’t even get to grips with exactly what design is. We have to establish some definitions,” says Hughes. “We are looking for experts who may have figures or suggestions on how to define the design industry,” she adds. Hughes hopes to have an outline report ready by the next taskforce meeting on 18 February this year.

The taskforce is chaired by Chris Smith, Culture Secretary. Its nine independent members include designer Paul Smith, Virgin’s Richard Branson and Creation Records chairman Alan McGee.

Latest articles