One door closes….

Just as the Government was announcing that the Design Council will cease to be an NDPB, losing various of its lines of access to power (albeit within a report which was complimentary about its work in promoting design), so the All Party Group on Design and Innovation reported that it is setting up a Design Commission.

This is an exciting initiative, which could work in partnership with the Council to keep Design high on the Government and business agenda, at a time when there might be a tendency to focus on cost-cutting and deficit-reduction.

The exact brief for the Commission has not yet been agreed, but the draft paperwork states that the Commission will focus its energies as follows:

– thought leadership on where design/ designers/ ‘design thinking’ can add value to some pressingconcerns, e.g. national identity, community/ big society, social inequality, education and skills,competitiveness in a global market, public health

– examination of how to maintain and surpass our current position as a global leader in design

– monitor policy and sector developments and respond if and when appropriate

– pursuing, where appropriate, issues raised by the report ‘Design and the Public Good’

– critique of design quality in specific cases

– critique of use of design in government, of interaction between government and the designcommunity

– other issues: design on the national curriculum and in HE, design skills in planning departments,wielding design for behaviour change, examination of the issues raised by ‘Ingenious Britain’.

This list should keep the Commission going for a while.

Members of the Commission include:

Lord Bichard, Chairman of the Design Council

Hilary Cottam

Sir George Cox

Jeremy Davenport, CITIN

Bill Dunster, ZedFactory

Julian Grice, The Team

Laura Haynes, DBA

Wayne Hemingway

Graham Hitchen

Emma Hunt, CHEAD

Mat Hunter, Design Council

Dick Powell

Barry Sheerman MP

Andrew Summers

John Thackara

Baroness Janet Whitaker

David Worthington, Chair Creative and Cultural Skills.

More information here, in due course.

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