The word ’council’ has rather negative connotations for a Londoner – it makes me think of parking tickets, speed bumps, litter and road works. I think a new word to go with ’design’ should be part of the review process. I have had to look on the Design Council’s website, which is extremely thorough and comprehensive, to gain an understanding of what and why it is. I should know really, and now I wonder why it hasn’t felt important to do so before now – must be that ’council’ word again…
Lucy Holmes, Creative director, Holmes Wood
What’s the point of the Design Council? Is it £5m of our money well spent? Should it support supply or stimulate demand? Or both?
With a double-dip recession looming, the Design Council needs to inspire UK business to invest in design to grow markets. It needs a formula to measure impact. Every pound the council spends can stimulate £100 of design sector revenue to generate £1000 of UK business revenue. So I’d treble the budget, change the name/proposition to Design Value and hire industry sector specialists whose insight will leverage design to grow the economy. Never has its potential value been more vital.
Julian Grice, Chief executive officer, The Team
I am in the US this week where CNN has posed the question, ’Is the sun finally setting on the British empire?’ Our worst kept secret is out, our brand is in steep and deep decline. So first and foremost we need the Design Council, now more than ever. Nobody ever saved themselves rich, and, therefore, we will not get out of this mess by just cutting, although cut we must. We need big investment in the Design Council so that it can amplify its message to inspire, and enable our small and medium-sized enterprises to win on the world stage or face our final curtain call.
Jonathan Sands, Chairman, Elmwood
There is a real opportunity in reviewing the Design Council’s purpose and structure to improve the way design speaks to Government and business in the UK. Our representation is currently fragmented and divisive. Design badly needs to speak with one voice on the big issues for Britain going forward, otherwise we will be further marginalised. So let’s not waste a crisis – the review of the Design Council could be the platform for fresh ideas on how design presents a more unified front to policy-makers and clients.
Jeremy Myerson, Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre and Design Council board member