Oh dear… what a mess. Nick Jenkins has long championed the idea of a single body to represent design, as have we. Why should the Chartered Society of Designers choose to step away from the review process? Only a review can make a series of recommendations for us to consider. Involvement does not imply acceptance, so surely there is no harm in listening to what everyone has to say before crashing out in this way.
It would be to everyone’s benefit to have a single representative body for design, but the difficulty is in finding a way to do this given the already well-published problems. Without the commitment to try and work to that end, the process would, indeed, be wasted and it is this commitment that seems to be lacking within the CSD. Its action only serves to underline just how daft the CSD has become, where (in so far as anyone can tell from the outside) the personal and political agendas of controlling factions outweigh a balanced long-term view.
Our view is that both the CSD and Design Business Association should be closed down, however painful that might be, and a new organisation created “phoenix-like” from their ashes. Anything less could prove too difficult and give rise to suggestions that one or other of the organisations staged a takeover, never mind the distinct disadvantage of carrying too much old and (now largely) irrelevant baggage into the future.
Surely something of this importance should be put to the CSD membership – a probable consequence of the review process – before pulling out. We resigned from the CSD, out of a sense of frustration with its petty-minded parochial view of the design industry, the lousy value for money and in anticipation that the review process would ultimately lead to a new single representative body. The whole review process is doomed to failure without the CSD.
If you are still a member of the CSD and believe that the review process is our last chance to sort the mess out, let it know how you feel. You might demonstrate your displeasure by withdrawing your subscription.
Dick Powell and Richard Seymour