The time is right for new leaders in design, but where will they come from?

Perhaps the discussion of leadership in the design industry needs some leadership?

First we need a thorough discussion (of the sort that the Design Business Association’s Design Debates facilitate) that has intellectual independence at its core. Without this, there is no design body to lead. As design goes mainstream in the eyes of the public, the Government and business, design would appear to be pushing at an open door, but it needs to be very confident and flexible to take advantage of this situation.

Design is also critical to the effective business and social exploitation of the Internet, and this is an area where it has no baggage to weigh it down. Existing practitioners in this area of design already show a new, positive approach to championing design.

In the US, Terry Swack and Clement Mok took a lead two years ago in creating a new design forum to tackle the new challenges, and they have succeeded in creating a rich debate from which ideas worth leading with have emerged.

The final area designers could all be leaders in is communication: in print, in public and in broadcast media – where the principals of Seymour Powell hav

e done such valuable work.

Nico Macdonald

Design Agenda

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