CSD needs a solid foundation to support design professionals

The letters from Jonathan Sands and C2 (DW 22 January), neatly illustrate different contributions to the on-going debate on how to strengthen design representation.

Jonathan typically takes a positive attitude to the opportunities for improving the Design Business Association and gets involved. Also, as a member, he gets far more information about our activities.

He knows, for example, that in addition to a full events and services programme, the DBA also keeps members up-to-date on relevant legislation; that it is developing best practice guidelines; and that it is working with Government and other organisations to develop a programme to increase design exports.

This is a fraction of what it does and goes some way to illustrating that, despite having the smallest income of all the design organisations, it is as active as any on behalf of design businesses’ interests. This is only made possible by members who generously donate their time and expertise.

We accept that the DBA with its focus on improving the opportunities for design businesses may not suit everyone. The point is that those who do join the organisation which suits them most are making a far more positive contribution than those who join nothing. Second, the members of these organisations can achieve more for themselves by working together wherever possible, such as through Design Unity, than by having a go at each other.

The other letter writer is frustrated by not receiving an application form from the DBA, despite three attempts. Our records show we responded most recently at the end of last year to a fax asking for information and an application form, both of which were sent a few days later.

I understand this arrived at the time the C2 offices were flooded and that understandably this might account for that failed attempt. Since then we have been in touch with C2 twice, once before publication of the letter and once just after.

Ian Rowland-Hill

Chief executive


London EC1

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