Government sets out blueprint

The Design Council is working with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to create a Government blueprint for best design use and procurement practice.

The process includes three research projects and culminates in July with a seminar. This will be attended by design minister John Battle and minister for arts Mark Fisher and is intended to communicate the project’s findings to key members of the civil service.

The framework is outlined in the council’s Creative Britain report, released last Tuesday.

“The project is not just about procuring design services, it is about the wider issue of understanding design, including smaller details like what furniture to buy,” says Design Council director Martin Brown.

The then Department of Nat-ional Heritage approached the Design Council soon after last May’s election for advice on how to manage the design elements of its evolution into the DCMS. This saw it advising the department on its identity, internal and external communications, environment and design procurement policies.

The process included DCMS’ high-profile appointment of CDT Design to research the core values of the newly formed department, after a four-way proposals pitch (DW 5 December 1996). The consultancy is now waiting for a departmental spending review to be completed before continuing with its strategic evaluation.

The council is also overseeing three reports on design in Government. These concentrate on training and guidance, championing design and design effectiveness case studies. Foreign Secretary Robin Cook will shortly announce details of a new group to advise on all aspects of modernising the presentation of Britain overseas.

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