Misunderstanding over in-house design teams

I contributed to your Vox Pop section about design management shifts at British Airways (DW 16 March). Unfortunately, the editing process has completely altered the intended meaning of the text.

The full version was: As a director of an external design consultancy, I say ‘Three cheers’. Our livelihoods are generally based on there not being in-house consultancies. It is, of course, a pity and very sad for the department and all those concerned.

Having said that, our design for Virgin Atlantic Airline’s new Upper Class Suite was developed with support from its in-house team. Perhaps this is the Holy Grail – where external designers have a team who are effectively guardians of the design and act as an interface with production (being the client) that external designers often can’t enforce.

Clearly, the success of the new Upper Class Suite has rattled BA and it will be very interesting to see what and how it does it in the near future.’

While I understand the need for you to tune text, a delicate issue such as this does require that the meaning and facts are not changed.

The amended text appears to make Pearson Lloyd the ‘guardians of the design’ and potentially belittles VAA’s involvement on the project. I also feel that any designer from BA would feel that we do not sympathise with them at all. We do completely.

As I point out, I also question how difficult it will be for BA to operate without an in-house team.

Luke Pearson, Pearson Lloyd Design, London N1

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