Adopting the cross-disciplinary habit

I applaud the liaison between Design Week and the RIBA Architecture Centre over the Products of Desire show ( DW 20 January). Attempts such as these to break down barriers between design disciplines are to be encouraged.

Students in particular should glean all they can from cross-disciplinary exercises. With work opportunities so scarce, designers need to couple their talent with the ability to move laterally.

Anyway, consumers of design are often oblivious to the boundaries that exist in education between design routes. They will judge the end result purely on its merits, and take little account of how its originator trained. Some of the freshest ideas come from designers who have made that sideways move – Sir Terence Conran’s restaurants and Richard Seymour’s work on motorbikes are well removed from the two men’s backgrounds, in furniture design and graphics respectively.

Perhaps Design Week should now consider a joint-venture show on theatre and film design. These fields have, after all, spawned some of the greatest characters in 20th century design.

Terry William

London N1

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