Praise even in early stages of Design Council project

I am currently working with the Design Council on one of its design demonstration projects, the Design Led Business 24/7 programme.

This pilots a process that introduces design into the boardroom of manufacturing businesses with the objectives of challenging vision and strategy with design thinking and identifying new design opportunities for the business.

The programme is in its early stages but projects already started by the 11 participating companies include the recruitment of design staff, the creation of new design studios, a demand for creative or design non-executive directors and improved management of design processes. In addition to design work being undertaken in-house in a number of the companies over the next few months, there will be a number of brand, product and communication design projects commissioned from design groups.

It would be folly to trumpet success before products get to market, but it appears that the programme may have hit the spot in releasing a latent demand for design within the 11 participating companies.

My own background is product design and design management in industry and includes experience of Government-backed initiatives from either side of the fence.

For all of the plethora of Government-funded schemes that are promoted to business, with or without a design content, I have not seen one that has gained the commitment of one of the most embattled business sectors the way that this one has.

I hope that Kevin Quigley (Letters, DW 13 March) and those who doubt the effectiveness of the Design Council in its workings with both designers and business will watch this space.

Jonathan Ball

Product designer


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