It’s easy to say that we should rely on national design bodies to serve and promote the regions equally, achieving some form of united design policy (Vox Pop, DW 11 November).
But, sadly, the Design Business Association’s recent efforts aside, this won’t be a realistic option until the industry starts to listen more and regional prejudice is abated.
Stuart MacDonald’s comment (Letters, DW 18 November), that the ‘UK’s design industry does not recognise regional or national boundaries’, sadly couldn’t be more inaccurate. Talk to any designer outside of the M25 and there’s an immediate sense of alienation from the industry’s roots in the capital.
Graduating students have London at the top of their destination list for good reason (I was tempted myself), and how many notable design-related events, talks and exhibitions ever make it beyond the South East?
I share the concerns that regional bodies can, if care is not taken, serve to fragment the industry even further and be merely self-congratulatory, insular members’ clubs – surely enough of these can be found in London already? But until the nationwide bodies start to use their weight and make a real difference, maybe this is all we can do.
At least Cornwall Design Forum’s had some early success: showing people like MacDonald that designers exist down here at all is a pretty good start.
Cornwall TR11 3PY