The suggestions that design-hungry clients are turning to universities to get design work on the cheap, that they are naive about design, or that the service which universities provides is somehow sub-standard do a massive disservice to the authors of your Debate piece (News, DW 11 September), to universities and to our many clients.
Clients come to Central St Martins Innovation, and to our in-house consultancy, the Design Laboratory, because they have the opportunity to work with world-leading design academics and researchers, and the best, brightest, and most innovative design students and graduates anywhere.
What we provide is a world away from ‘design-lite’, as suggested by your article.
Your readers should not be fooled into thinking universities are a cheap option, or that they are bent on undercutting design consultancies.
CSM Innovation is run as a business and it has all the stresses, strains and financial imperatives of a business.
We do not cut corners or rates. The bottom line is as important to us as it is to your readers.
Central St Martins is part of University of the Arts London, which, like many universities, has to find alternative revenue to maintain teaching standards.
Nurturing the talent of tomorrow takes money, and this is one way in which we generate funds.
University-based consultancy is important in the development of the design industry. We give students real client contact, regularly sub-contract work to graduates who are practising designers, and provide paid internships and junior designer roles.
Students learn what industry needs, the client gets fresh ideas, and the design industry gets more work. A perfect, virtuous circle.Dani Salvadori, Head of enterprise and innovation,
Central St Martins College of Art and Design, by e-mail