The creation of a national sustainability kitemark is among proposals being considered by the Design Council as part of the development of sustainable design standards, Design Week can reveal.
According to industry sources, the council is talking to several consultancies to help develop a national sustainable design accreditation scheme,which could include a British Standards-backed kite -mark and an awards scheme to recognise sustainably designed products and servicesin the UK.
A spokesman for the council confirms it has invited groups toa formal tender process todevelop sustainable design standards, but refuses to be drawn on specifications in the brief. He says the aim is to find a consultancy to help the council redefine ‘what good and, therefore, sustainable design means’.
‘We are in the middle of a highly confidential tenderprocess and have invited anumber of individuals and consultancies with a view to scoping out, or redefining what good design means. That definition will include sustainability,’says the spokesman.
As to whether this could involve accreditation or an award sscheme, he says, ‘It is about putting sustainability into the [fabric] of design, looking at all sorts of things [including] innovation and creativity.’
A key issue is that the council has seemingly not yet managed to win funding for any such sustainable design standardsninitiative. Local and central Government bodies are likely sources.
The tender process is part of a wider, national design initiative to be launched next month by the council. The Good Design Plan, says the spokesman, will outline its aims and goals for sustainable design over the next three years. It will present this to its stakeholders,including Government, education,business and industry.
‘It’s about setting out our top line intentions to key stake -holders and seeing how we can get them involved. This might mean synergies and opportunities with organisations like the British Standards Institute orlinking with the Government’s sustainability programme,’ says the spokesman.
The council says it is also looking to its skills programmeas a way of providing ‘practical tools as well as support for designers on how to use sustainable design’.
It is in talks with Sophie Thomas, founder of sustainable design consultancy Thomas Matthews, as well as Professor Anne Chick, director of Kingston University’s Sustainable Design Research Centre.
SETTING STANDARDS FOR SUSTAINABILITY
• The British Standards Institute yesterday held a one-day conference on sustainable design standards at the Design Council’s offices
• The event was chaired by Design Council chief executive David Kester
• It invited a business and design industry audience to share views on the future of sustainable design