DBA launches ‘outward-facing’ focus

The Design Business Association is launching a new strategy to focus on facing out to clients and business rather than facing inwards to design consultancies.

DBA chief executive Deborah Dawton says the organisation – which is marking its 25th anniversary this year – has a new vision, to be ’the bridge between design and business’.

She says, ’This is our response to the need for deeper and better understanding of the value of design in business and Government, every business, big small and internationally.

’We want to provide them with a better way of accessing a world-class design resource and furnish clients with the knowledge they need to do it for themselves.’

She adds, ’We want Government to be clear about who they come to for industry insight and consultation.’

Dawton says the DBA will achieve this new strategy through the launch of its members’ directory (DW 25 November 2010), as well as by launching a client membership scheme and training initiatives. The DBA will also be inviting three clients to join its board of directors.

The DBA, Dawton says, was also instrumental in the launch of the Design Commission (www.designweek.co.uk, 21 January) and will aim to give UK design a higher profile in Europe.

Dawton is taking over as president of the Bureau of European Design Associations on 12 March.

The DBA, which is a membership organisation, currently has 385 member consultancies employing more than 5000 staff. Dawton says more than half of its members are based outside the UK.

The design industry body is just one of several that are refocusing and restructuring this year.

The Design Council is to become an independent charity after losing its status as a Government body. It is also expected to merge with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

In addition, D&AD has stated that it wants to develop a more ’campaigning’ focus, and British Design Innovation has launched a ’change plan’.

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