CSD aims to broaden membership and appeal

The Chartered Society of Designers is looking to target non-designers for the first time, in a bid to attract members from the education and the account side of the design industry.

It is working on plans to offer permanent associate membership to non-designers by early next year. CSD general secretary Frank Peters estimates the society could attract nearly 3000 new members in the first year, taking total membership to around 10 000.

The move forms part of a broader CSD drive to widen its membership by offering a more comprehensive range of services.

“We are looking to bring the account side of the industry into the organisation. Project managers, business development executives, board members, even journalists,” adds CSD general secretary Frank Peters.

“We also plan to target education. Teachers are end-users and they influence children, who are also end-users. We are keen to target art and design teachers as part of a push to increase the understanding of design principles in schools and to create more link-ups between education and the design community,” adds Peters.

Temporary associate membership has previously been offered to those practising design without a qualification. But this has been on the basis that the individual will either take up full corporate membership, or leave, further down the line.

Peters says temporary associate membership has also been open to non-designers in the past. “But it had not been taken up, because few were aware of the possibility and were not interested as we did not cater for non-designers. But we want to change that now,” he adds.

Peters will not give details of the programme before its completion, but says the new services will be broadly in line with the those it offers current members.

CSD treasurer Bob Searles is calling on new media designers to come forward with suggestions for a multimedia division the society is planning. The CSD currently lists the discipline under graphics.

“We need to gain credibility with new media designers. I think we lose a lot of potential members because they think the CSD are fuddy duddies,” says Searles.

The new media initiative will include a revamped website, being designed by Sunbather.

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