Design management to get Skills Panel support

I fully sympathise with Caroline Norman, who feels that her MA Design Management course is not well known among UK and European Union students.

During our research we came across several innovative programmes, including her MA course.

The fact that these courses have such a low profile in the UK and the EU is something that we on the Design Skills Advisory Panel – backed by Creative & Cultural Skills – recognise.

Indeed, as Norman points out, it is paradoxical that the economies with which the UK wishes to compete appear far more aware of the benefits of a broader training in design and design management than our home students seem to be.

We believe the cause of this is rooted in a common conception that the only viable route into design is to become a designer, whereas in reality design is a multifaceted subject requiring a myriad of supporting roles to that of the designers themselves.

Therefore, part of our work is to define the subject of design better and highlight the necessary supporting roles. We hope to build this thinking into the school curriculum, such that design as a rounded and modern subject is better understood at an earlier age.

With better communication about what ‘real’ design is and the value it brings our clients, our Government and our nation, we hope to encourage more courses like Norman’s and increase the numbers of UK students wishing to attend them.

These are high ideals that are inevitably long-term, but we have to start somewhere.

In the meantime, if Norman would like to join us and contribute to what we are doing, she would be most welcome.

David Worthington, Deputy chairman, Design Skills Advisory Panel, by e-mail

Latest articles