I read with great interest the item on in-house product design at Tag MacLaren Audio (DW 18 February). It is about time that some of the realities of designing inside the manufacturing industry were discussed and brought out into the open.
It is also good to see the role of in-house practitioners being given a little public recognition. However, it was disappointing in many respects.
Many graduates are given false expectations of what to expect when they move into employment. They think that consultancy work is either being better paid or it carries more kudos than in-house posts. Similarly, our professional publications focus on (albeit talented) stars who work with amazing clients in elegant surroundings.
The previously mentioned article helps to perpetuate this situation somewhat by choosing a designer with an illustrious career and discussing his work with a very glamorous client.
If we are serious about developing design excellence in the manufacturing output of this country and encouraging industry to adopt design as an integral part of their product development, shouldn’t we be talking about in-house design (of all kinds) on a regular basis?
Neil Patrick Keegan
Head of group industrial design
Snell & Wilcox