Vox pop

Following the launch of a full ‘year of design’ in Sweden, Finland and Norway this month, should the UK consider an official year-long celebration itself, or would this water down our existing festivals and events?

‘Anything championing good design has to be applauded. But… 1) There are so many celebrations and festivals of “this” and “that” in the UK. Barely a week goes by without something being fêted somewhere; 2) Within the design community there is already loads going on; 3) Adding new events throughout the year adds to the pressures on already busy people’s time. Feedback from D&AD’s Congress strongly suggests Congress can be a really potent vehicle for spreading the word.’

Michael Hockney, Chief executive, D&AD

‘It would be great if we could do one week right before thinking about organising a whole year.’

Piers Roberts, Founder, Designersblock

‘A year is far too short. It should be “A life of design”. The problem with “Years of…” is they suggest there are years when the subject is of less importance. Short sharp events can be a lot more effective in creating defining moments that can change attitudes.’

Peter Murray, Chairman, Wordsearch

‘No – it means the years before and after are not “years of design”. It’s hard to sustain anything over a year, especially in the UK where so much goes on. A concentrated period of celebration and promotion is more impactful.’

Ben Evans, Director, London Design Festival

‘A year-long celebration could work well through a campaign of short, sharp bursts at key events and festivals around the world. Otherwise, if such celebrations are dragged out all year long, event identities and content could merge into a mediocre hotch-potch of presentations lacking relevance and compromising on quality.’

Max Fraser, Author and curator

‘It’s not just those clever Scandinavians who are galvanising their governments to promote design. The Koreans, Chinese, Australians and others are rallying their private and public sectors too. We need our own powerful national expression of design. It should help and augment all the wonderful initiatives we have in the UK. To this, the Design Council is fully committed and hopes to make an announcement before the summer.’

David Kester, Chief executive, Design Council

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