The first design counsellor in the Business Link network has started work in Hertfordshire. Rob Doak, based at St Albans, is the first of a planned 70 design experts for the Government-backed network of one-stop business advice shops.
Doak, an industrial design graduate of 1973 from the Royal College of Art, says he will be “evangelical” in marketing design to client companies in the county. He adds that his function is to “provide an honest broker between design consultancies and end-users, which could be a wide variety of companies”.
The Business Links are targeting small to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) with employee numbers between ten and 250. Doak says he may use the Government’s Consultancy Brokerage Service (DW 17 February) or “other routes” to tap into design resources both in and outside of Hertfordshire.
Doak says: “I am personally committed to using design as a strategic tool to assist companies in commercial growth.”
Doak’s background as a designer, both in manufacturing and consultancy, including a period at building design group YRM, is a factor welcomed by Richard Seymour of Seymour Powell, who is jointly leading a Design Council Business Link Action Group.
The group is compiling material to help the design counsellors – who are “the single most important link for design” – according to Seymour. “It is the counsellors who are going to be selling design effectively, or not.”