Design consultancies are this week being encouraged to lobby Members of Parliament directly if they want business issues to be debated by the Government. What would you like to see prioritised for design by MPs?
Parliamentarians think in four-year voting cycles, but business life cycles are in decades or centuries. Look back over a lifetime and the UK was a world powerhouse of innovation, design and manufacturing. Today, our nation is staring into an abyss. My plea to the Government would be to ensure design is as important in the school curriculum as English and maths. It is that simple, but also that important, if UK business is to regain its global competitiveness.
Jonathan Sands, Chairman, Elmwood Design
Getting design higher up the agenda and understanding how it can be a powerful vehicle for change (not just an end product) will hugely benefit people’s everyday experiences beyond the shopping centre. Design can influence the local delivery of services – health, schools, job centres, accessibility – helping to give communities a sense of pride, and playing a hand in regeneration and how we communicate it. Acknowledging the value of design creativity is key to ensuring it gets the bandwidth it deserves.
Julie Oxberry, Managing director, Household
Rather than press MPs to consider design as a separate business issue, we should encourage them to ensure that design is seriously considered as a way of contributing to business and social issues – from improving business competitiveness and stimulating innovation, to enhancing the quality of education, public transport and hospital care, and reducing the environmental impact of housing, travel and household consumption.
Dorothy MacKenzie, Chairwoman, Dragon
I would lobby MPs to get art and design upgraded as subjects at school. The second highest contributor to the UK’s GDP is our creative industry, and yet it is represented in schools by drawing bowls of fruit. Bananas? Sir Ken Robinson has discovered that our system is based on meeting the needs of the Industrial Revolution. Subjects are ordered by which is most likely to get you a job – in the 19th century. If we get away from the needs of our GDP, art and design would be the second most important subjects at school.
Dave Palmer, Creative director, Love Creative