Designers are not normally an apathetic bunch – yet the noticeable lack of support for the Chartered Society of Designers over many years, leads me to speculate that much of the industry fails to see that the real issue is simply the lack of committed involvement from designers themselves.
The CSD cannot fully realise its true potential unless every professional designer, design educator, design manager and student, or at least the vast majority, participate as active members.
The situation where designers have to be almost coerced into joining the CSD which is, after all, their own professional body sadly reflects a common, disparaging and purely self-interested attitude.
Design is the most powerful, illustrious and life-enhancing of professions – it’s like rock ‘n’ roll on paper. We are all immensely privileged to be part of it, but we need to be part of it together. In particular, I would appeal to the more eminent designers to help re-establish the CSD by taking the lead – you have the influence and profile to make the difference, your actions make news.
Aside from the obvious financial benefits of the CSD having a full and comprehensive membership, the strength of the organisation can only be derived from the sheer force of the involvement of its members.
Design has to be seen as the major profession it is, in the forefront of society, on equal terms with the other professions. To achieve that aim we need a robust and expanding CSD to continue to champion the vital role that design plays.
The CSD originated as the Society of Industrial Artists in 1930. Can we all contribute to ensure that its 70th anniversary next year is something really worth celebrating.
N Yorks YO10 7EE