Great design can change lives, communities and organisations for the better. It can create better places to live, and bring communities together. It can encourage healthier living. It can transform business and public services.

Our mission is to champion this standard of design. As the UK Government’s advisor on design, we set the benchmark for promoting design nationwide. Our research and campaigns aim to show just how much intelligent, creative design can achieve.

We’ve continued to show how design offers practical solutions which deliver real results on the ground, particularly in these difficult economic times.

Martin Temple CBE, Design Council Chairman

Working with designers and other disciplines, we tackle major issues like health, ageing and community cohesion. We help foster innovation in business and public services, and improve our built environment. And we give people the advice, practical tools and knowledge to achieve positive changes in business, government or local communities.

Most importantly, we get results. Every day, we’re proving that design can make a tangible difference, by developing products and services as useful as they are beautiful.

 Our approach

Since we were established by Winston Churchill in 1944, we’ve experienced design’s ability to transform organisations, products, services and even lives. Today, we share that experience in many different ways, working with a variety of people to champion and encourage the use of great design. 

We arrange our work into themes, informed by economic and social issues with the greatest potential for design to make a difference. Our emerging themes include the ageing population, stimulating economic growth, addressing obesity, and building better communities. 

We press for design-led innovation and new opportunities in all these areas, through our policy work with government, our research and campaigns, our business and public sector design services and our Design Challenges programme.

 Our status & funding

The Design Council is an independent charity. In 2011 we integrated with Cabe, the government’s advisor on design in the built environment.

Some of our programmes receive funding from government departments – particularly from Business, Innovation and Skills, but also from Communities and Local Government and Culture, Media and Sport. We raise additional income by providing business services and training, and by helping organisations innovate and grow.

Read our Annual Reports

We also work in partnership with sponsors and foundations, both on our Design Challenges and on our strategic priorities like ageing and communities. For more information, please see our partnerships page.

Annual reports

View our annual accounting and performance summaries.


Our services

Business growth

Design is a way of thinking that helps large companies, SMEs, social enterprises and charities change the way they work, for tangible bottom-line results.

Service transformation

By putting people first in designing your services, we’ll help you find efficiencies, drive innovation and achieve exceptional returns.

Built environment & Cabe

Design Council Cabe delivers Design Review, support and training. We help you realise the commercial and social potential of your places.