Design Council looks abroad to push design

The Design Council is looking to promote UK design overseas, in collaboration with agencies already making inroads.

To this end, its deputy chief executive David Godber is talking to UK Trade & Investment, Think London, Design Partners and other bodies.

‘There are a number of initiatives already in place through UKTI and the regional development agencies, and embedded in events like the London Design Festival to attract for eign direct investment,’ says Godber.

‘For eign direct investment can be in the form of new businesses locating in each of the regions or in stimu lating overseas clients to use UK consultancies.’

He identifies three goals for the council: to attract for eign direct investment to the UK; to inform over seas clients of the value of UK design; and to ensure that the UK develops appropriate design skills.

News of the initiative comes as the Design Council launches its three-year plan, The Good Design Plan, which makes no mention of international opportunities, but which adds sustainability into the council’s existing programme (DW 11 June).

Defining good design as ‘sustainable design’, it highlights five objectives for the council. These are to facilitate better use of design in private and public sectors; to foster public engagement; to boost design skills; to keep design on the Government’s national policy agenda; and to promote itself as an exemplary body to attract more Government funds.

The council anticipates a budget of £7.85m, £7.82m and £8.44m for 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 to cover these activities.

Design Council chairman Sir Michael Bichard sees ‘partnering and collaborating’ as key to the plan’s fulfilment.

‘I’m interested in playing a part in marketing good design, not in promoting the Design Council,’ he says.

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