Confusion of objectives is undermining design

Your comment on the need for wider recognition for awards such as the Inclusive Design Challenge (DW 8 February) is a timely observation on the lack of visibility the work of designers generally has in the ‘real world’.

Your comment piece hits the nail on the head, when it says, ‘Formerly known as the Product Design Challenge, the challenge set by the Design Business Association and the Royal College of Art Helen Hamlyn Centre is not to be confused with initiatives such as the Sorrell Foundation’s work in schools or the design of social services championed by the the Design Council’s former Red Unit.’

Are we sure? It sounds pretty confusing to me! Who are all these people, and as a member of a wider community of interest than just the design industry, why should anyone know and why should they care? The long list of names and organisations reminds me of the ‘Peoples Front of Judea’ sketch in the film Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

If the design industry really wants (and, as I believe, deserves) wider recognition for its contribution to industry and society as a whole, it is surely about time that industry bodies and interest groups sit down round a table, sort out their differences and agree on a common agenda, a set of objectives and a strategy.

Then, and only then, will the industry be able to have a real voice that can put it at the forefront of both social and commercial debate in this country. Anyone for consolidation?

David Gray, Director, Creative Leap, London EC1
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