For years the Design Council has been passed over by Hot 50 selectors. While they agreed it was doing its job with business and Government, it wasn’t engaging enough with the creative community, they felt, or extending much beyond its remit.
Individuals on the team may have been singled out in the past, but not the Government-backed quango as a whole. Things have changed, though, in the past year, largely through its work on publicsector issues such as crime and healthcare, showing by example how Government can become more engaged in design.
Design Bugs Out, with Richard Seymour as panel chairman, has proved a great success, while Design Out Crime, an initiative with the Home Office’s Design & Technology Alliance Against Crime that involves Sebastian Conran, is ongoing. We look to the Design for Patient Dignity scheme, with an advisory panel chaired by Jane Priestman, to follow suit.
The council started 2010 on a high for design with the appointment of ex-Ideo partner Mat Hunter as chief design officer. We can expect greater engagement with our community in the coming months.