Defining design

What is design? How do you classify it? And how do you ensure the public can understand its potential?


Source: Craig Hallett

Design Week is uniting with the Associate Parliamentary Design & Innovation Group and PR strategist Yvonne Courtney in a bid to answer this question.

We were spurred into action by Government’s continuing failure to properly recognise and understand design and most recently the DCMS proposals to reclassify the creative industries – merging Design and Designer Fashion and dropping Craft altogether.

APDIG is running two roundtables, which will look at how design is classified and how it is represented.

The first roundtable – Classifying Design – will be for APDIG members and selected others and will feed into the consultation process on the DCMS proposals.

Chaired by Peter Luff MP, it will examine issues such as the departmental split in Government responsibility for design (between DCMS and Business, Innovation and Skills) and the impact of industrial classification codes that don’t take design into account.

The second session, which will be open to a broader audience and will look at design’s public perception.

Titled Design: Profiling, Patronage and Policy, it will look at why design is so resistant to definition, how other fields (such as architecture and fashion) define themselves and how the media understands and presents design.

Part 1: Classifying Design is held on 10 June and Part 2: Design: Profiling, Patronage and Policy is held on 3 July. For more information visit

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