Barnbrook in panel debate on value of design

Are we in denial about the value of design in today’s world? This is the subject of a panel discussion taking place at the Design Museum, London, this evening.

According to the debate, designers used to be celebrated as people ‘who dreamt of transforming the world. Today, it seems as if they are regularly blamed for that transformation: for increasing consumerism or for wasteful obsolescence. Once visionaries, today’s designers seem much more cautious’.

Chaired by design consultant Martyn Perks, the panel will consist of Clive Grinyer, director of design at Orange; graphic designer Jonathan Barnbrook; Tom Dunmore, editor of Stuff; Martin Brown of Wolff Olins; and director of Future Cities Project Austin Williams.

They will discuss the notion that even with more access to tools, techniques and materials, designers are happy to restrict their palette for the sake of ethical, social or environmental considerations. The panel will question if designers are simply capturing the cultural ‘zeitgeist’, or if design is in denial.

The talk, which starts at 7.15pm, is in association with the Future Cities Project as a part of the Battle of Ideas festival. Tickets can be obtained from, or by calling 020 7940 8783.

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