Design Council’s biennial events reach out to the regions

The Design Council is poised to unveil details of a wide-reaching, ten-year scheme to bring biennial design events to regions throughout the UK.

Organised in collaboration with the Government’s Regional Development Agencies, the project will kick off in the North East next year, liaising with One North East, the region’s RDA.

Subsequent events will be held every two years, across the country, as joint ventures between the Design Council and other RDAs.

Design activist John Thackara will head the programme for the North East event. His work, in the area of future-facing design, includes setting up Doors of Perception, a design futures global network connecting designers, thinkers and innovators.

According to a spokeswoman for the Design Council, the organisation is currently in discussions with ‘a lot of people’ over future biennial programmes, although she would not confirm whether a location has been selected for the 2009 event.

Plans for the biennials have been formulated by the Design Council over the past two years under its Design UK programme.

Each event will ‘not only engage the public, but also aim to stimulate design-led investment and, in turn, fuel regional growth,’ it says.

The scheme sits with the Government’s drive to channel funding into the regions via the RDAs, alongside plans to develop the Design Council’s ‘public engagement’ work through the agencies, as outlined by Chancellor Gordon Brown in this year’s Budget (DW 24 March).

One North East places design as an important element in its regional economic agenda. The area’s high level of activity in organising design projects is one of the reasons it was selected by the Design Council to launch the biennial scheme.

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