Friday, December 18, 2009

Shape the Future of Design Networks

Last week we were asked to contribute to the Design Council-organised event that looked at Design Networks in the UK. The day was divided between presentations from and discussions with the four key National Design Bodies along with representatives from Regional Networks and Regional Support organisations; we provided a short presentation in this last group.

There was quite a lot of discussion about how design networks can be financially sustainable in the future and the role they have for the wider development of the industry. The South Coast Design Forum raised some relevant points in the potential role for such networks as technology allows more creative workers to make a living away from the major cities.

Our presentation focussed on our growth from delivering only design support activities to now also engaging with regional policies that have an impact on how design is utilised and our experience of leading networks, particularly the current European SEE Project and how we make each meeting a meaningful experience for each partner with useful outputs.

Our concluding comments demonstrated our strong opinion that there is a substantial role for design to help realise future economic development policies at a European, national and regional level as the understanding of innovation becomes much broader; the role of the regional design networks is to make sure that those responsible for drafting future policies understand this potential.
Organisations that took part in this Design Council event were;
UK design bodies - DBA, CSD, BDI & D&AD
Regional design networks - South West Design Forum, South Coast Design Forum, Designer Breakfasts.
Regional Support – One North East, Yorkshire Forward, Design Wales.

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