North London centre to promote design

A pioneering new centre to supply design services to growing businesses is being launched in an area of north London targeted as ripe for economic regeneration.

Prodesign is the name of the new design management centre being set up in the Lee Valley Development Area, gearing up for an official launch in January.

The aim is to enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to use design, ranging from product design to graphics, to develop and enhance the quality of their products and services.

Prodesign is being sponsored by Middlesex University through the European Union’s Regional Development Fund. A Middlesex spokeswoman says the centre will act as a direct consultant as well as identifying outside design consultancies for the SMEs to use.

Prodesign will be led by Middlesex’s emeritus professor of architecture Geoffrey Spyer, who says the centre will be “more proactive” in promoting design than the Government’s Business Link network. Indeed, Spyer envisages the centre taking on supplying the design services for the Haringey Business Link.

Spyer says the centre will encourage the SMEs to use design graduates from Middlesex and will also build up a network of external design consultancies. The centre has 470 000 funding for 1996, but beyond that it will have to become self-financing.

“We see the opportunity over the next year of being a pilot on which we can build a service for beyond the Lee Valley and also as a model for other areas,” he says.

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