Tom Dixon pushes service design agenda

Tom Dixon says British design needs to focus more on service design and problem solving, and not just on ‘creating objects’, in order to remain relevant and economically viable.

Speaking at the Victoria & Albert Museum this morning, Dixon focused on what he saw as failures in British design education, saying, ‘I am having to bring in kids from South Africa, New Zealand and Australia to my studio, because there are no good kids in the UK – they’re all concerned with making stuff in the old way.’

Dixon held up Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s Victorian sewage system as the sort of example British designers ought to be following, although he did concede that, as someone who made his name in furniture design, he was ‘being hypocritical’.

Speaking at the same event, Nigel Carrington, rector of University of the Arts London, raised fears about the future of design education.

He says, ‘Universities have been forced into very rapid expansion by Government policy, and we are now faced with the reality that there won’t be any more Government money. We’ve built up a complex educational infrastructure that we may have to dismantle.’

He adds, ‘I do think that, in the future, we will have to consider if there are enough really, really talented kids to be educated.’

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