Following the Design Council’s push to get design into the boardroom, Tom Dixon is calling on businesses to accept that design is worthy of their close attention.
Speaking at the Associate Parliamentary Group for Design and Innovation, at the House of Commons last week, Dixon challenged Britain’s manufacturers to ‘stop the artificial separation between business and design, because every business decision is a design decision’.
‘The shareholder mentality means that there is a huge distance between [a company’s] management and [its] manufacturing operations,’ says Dixon.
‘If it is not spearheaded at the top level, you find that the design process is frequently interrupted and disrupted,’ he adds.
Dixon called on business heads to accept the fact that designers are now playing a bigger role in fundamental business decisions.
‘My job at Habitat involves critical functions like brand management, sourcing, design management, logistics, distribution and protecting intellectual property. This is all critical to the success of the business,’ he says.
Dixon adds that it is time for ‘businesses to go into design’ as well as for designers to ‘go into business’. He also insists that the need for design consultancies to improve their business acumen is stark.
In 2003, the Design Council launched its Design Led Business 24/7 programme, which aimed to move design on to top table agendas (DW May 2003).