Well done to Maxine Horn, for expressing her views on the need for a solid professional base in the design industry (DW 12 February). However, I think we should be careful to design our foundations to suit the appropriate buildings.
The Design Business Association is a trade association and as such is there to focus on promoting its members. Like any trade association it should be left alone to determine its own criteria for membership, both aspects that it appears to do very well.
Equally, the profession desperately needs to do more about defining standards of practice, education, training and professional development, legislation and consumer (client) protection and awareness. But surely those issues should be addressed through the auspices of a recognised professional body of practitioners?
The only one I am aware of that represents the broad range of design disciplines is the Chartered Society of Designers.
So yes, let’s see an end of petty politics. Let’s have some clear focus and accept as professionals we have an obligation of “giving back”.
But, while nationally known leaders have a role, it’s the thousands of professional practitioners that will have to lay the bricks if we are to build anything of substance.
Chair, Interiors Group