What do you think a merger with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment will bring to the Design Council?

Where does design start and architecture finish? This merger can only be good for both organisations. It’s sad that budgets have been slashed, but the mixture of cultures will be healthy: the Design Council’s economic links and business savvy; Cabe’s intellectual weight and high-profile projects; their joint promotional power. My ideal city is a seamless collage of well-designed roads, bikes, public seating, public spaces, buildings, desks, computers and phones – a bit of joined-up thinking will be no bad thing.
Peter Murray, Chairman, Wordsearch

Design by its very nature is about change, so, first and foremost, if our leading bodies don’t embrace change, then we are all sunk. Personally, I would like to see more bodies roll in together. Less is more – less backroom duplication, more energy spent on getting the design message to stick. I might be a lone voice, but I’d like to see others, like the Design Business Association and the Chartered Society of Designers, under the one roof too, to leverage their very valuable offers by being able to focus on their core remit rather than spending time worrying about funding.
Jonathan Sands, Chairman, Elmwood

For almost eight years I have been chairman of Building For Life, a body that promotes liveability and placemaking within the housing sector and has always operated out of the same building as Cabe. As such I have witnessed at close hand the positive effect that Cabe’s prodding and cajoling has produced, particularly in public buildings, public space and large-scale housing schemes. For me it is not a question of whether the Design Council or Cabe benefit from ’co-habiting’ – this should, of course, be the case – but rather, we should be celebrating that we, the public, are not losing a campaigning body that cares about the future of the places and spaces we and future generations live and work in.
Wayne Hemingway, Co-founder, Hemingway Design

The Design Council’s language of competition, innovation, global challenge, strategic process, capacity-building and so on may speak eloquently to its sources of funding, but is remote from the common understanding of design, as well as being alienating to many designers. Cabe’s simpler lexicon of ’better places’ – streets, homes, schools, parks and buildings – and the ’how-to’ spirit of many Cabe enterprises have the potential to expand the Design Council’s frame of reference and make it more accessible and practical.
Emily Campbell, Director of design, Royal Society of Arts

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