Bichard must underline design’s role for business

Here are two responses to a Voxpop from last month (DW 1 November), which asked: ‘Sir Michael Bichard, Rector of the University of the Arts London, has been named as the next chairman of the Design Council. What issues should he seek to prioritise, in the post-George Cox era?’

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He should continue banging on boardroom doors evangelising about the importance of design and its right to a place in that inner sanctum – there is still much ignorance and suspicion about design in business.

There also needs to be more work in the classroom to inform children about how design can be a catalyst of change for the good of society, not just visual puffery.

He must keep supplying the Brown Government with all those economic facts and justifications that it loves so much. But please, please also find time to re-engage with the design community – this is something that has diminished over the past ten years.
Mike Dempsey, Founding partner, CDT Design, London WC1

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What Sir George Cox did for the design industry was two- fold.

He brought into sharp focus a point that many of us already knew but which had never been properly articulated – namely the key role of design as a major contributor to our competitive edge here in the UK.

But, more importantly, he also brought this point to the notice of the Government.

What Sir Michael Bichard needs to do is to bring his considerable experience in, and knowledge of, central Government to maintaining those imperatives that Sir Cox set out so clearly in his report.
John Mathers, Chief executive, The Brand Union, London EC1

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