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James Dyson quit as chairman of the Design Museum (DW 30 September), citing its failure to promote the difference between ‘design as styling and design as intelligent problem solving’. What should the museum’s focus be?

‘The distinction is clearly important, but design serves both purposes. Dyson’s cleaners sold because they worked, but they looked good too, and Dyson himself clearly cared about this. Alice Rawsthorn has put the museum back on the map and she deserves the design community’s support. If the museum pulls the crowds, then its brief can, and should, evolve.’

Rick Poyner, Writer and curator of Communicate exhibition at the Barbican

‘The whole point of the Design Museum was to demonstrate, among other things, how things work and are made, why intelligent design can make things work better and how new materials and manufacturing technology can bring better products at better prices to the consumer. Everything ever made has to some extent been designed, so there is nothing new about “design” on the high street. There is a lot more intelligent design available now, but there’s a long way to go. The Design Museum has a big task in explaining the design process, which is very different from cosmetic styling – get the function right and the form follows naturally.’

Sir Terence Conran, Founder, Design Museum

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