Design fails to target MPs

A report published today by the Associate Parliamentary Group for Design and Innovation says the design industry is ‘failing to take advantage of the Government’s renewed interest in the creative industries’.

The report states that only 22 per cent of MPs are ‘very familiar’ with the Design Council, while more than half have never heard of the Design Business Association.

It goes on to speak of a ‘communications gap’ and a lack of engagement between designers and MPs.

The report recommends that individuals and consultancies lobby local MPs to get issues raised with the Government. ‘No one in the sector is actually lobbying on behalf of design, and the only effective way to do that is through the MPs themselves,’ says report author Joanna Shaw. ‘It is far more likely for a design organisation to get a meeting with a minister if they get the support of an MP first, and MPs are more likely to be in their positions in the long term.’

The Design Council welcomes the report, but says, ‘Our experience is that key design industry organisations do have an active dialogue with Government and also work with [us] to provide coherence to Govern – ment on major policy issues. This is not to say that much more couldn’t be done and we will continue to work hard to ensure that design and designers have a powerful voice in Government.’

The report also calls for the reinstatement of ‘ministerial design champions’ in Westminster.

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