Design Council has today published its response to the government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, setting out a design blueprint to drive and deliver resilient, inclusive and sustainable growth.

Consulting a wide range of stakeholders including business, academics and built environment professionals, we have set out what we believe are five core principles that will drive the economy of the future: people, ideas, place, skills and sectors.

Our newly-joined Chief Executive Sarah Weir said: “The rapid pace and scale of economic change emerging from a fourth industrial revolution, Brexit and an ageing population is unprecedented and requires a new approach to industrial policy.

It provides a once-in-a-generational opportunity to rebalance our economy and invest in the ideas, innovation and high value skills of the future.

Sarah Weir, Chief Executive

“However, with opportunity comes challenge. If we are to grasp new opportunities for growth, an industrial strategy must equip all of us, whether in a village, town or city, with the skills needed for the future. It must recognise the importance of well-designed environments that can attract talent and business, whilst having the right infrastructure and services for places to adapt to change, thrive and grow. To do this we need design.”   

We recommend:

  • A Design for Growth Blueprint setting out how design can be used by government, local partners and business to grow the economy
  • Design is incorporated into wider innovation funds to help move ideas from laboratory to market
  • Design skills are incorporated into a wider curriculum, training and university courses.

Weir explained: “Design cuts across the whole economy and multiple industries – it touches every aspect of our lives – the products we buy, the services we use, the places we live and the digital world in which we communicate. It contributes significantly to high value jobs and businesses in the UK, driving innovation and transformation through products and services that bring great ideas to life.

“It does this because design is primarily about meeting the needs of people. From Apple’s iPad to urban design that supports better mental health, design is at the heart of transformation. It is at the centre of economic success. We know this from the work we do. More and more businesses continue to benefit from using design and more and more countries are turning to design to stimulate economic growth. We must respond and maintain our world leading reputation for design.

“Purposeful design for public benefit is central to helping the government achieve its objectives in the industrial strategy: to deliver economic growth that leads to a better quality of life for all people and places across the UK. We are determined to help take this forward.”

Design Council is calling for a transformation in the way we approach design in business, places and government. We are calling for a design blueprint for growth, responding the scale of change by putting people at the centre of economic policy and providing the bridge between initial ideas and the innovation that will bring them to life in towns and cities across the country. That bridge is design.

Download our full response to the government's Industrial Strategy

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Download our full response to the government's Industrial Strategy Green Paper

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