Broader, further, closer and leaner...
As CABE and the Design Council come together, we’re well placed to give a strong voice to architecture and design. Uniting two world-class centres of design excellence, our merger reflects the widening role and influence of design. From the spoon, to the coffee-making machine, to hallway furniture, to the building, to the street, to the environment, to the neighbourhood, to the city, the power and potential of design is wonderfully evident. Away from physical ‘things’, services and systems can also benefit from a design-focused approach to problem solving. Our two organisations bring complementary skills and beliefs.
Starting life in 1944 as the Council of Industrial Design, the Design Council has a proven track record encouraging innovation. Similarly, CABE, the successor of the Royal Fine Art Commission, is the respected champion and enabler of design quality in the built environment. Together, as a leaner, more focused ‘enterprising charity’, we’re determined to put design at the heart of Britain’s social and economic renewal.
We actively welcome partnership in all aspects of our work. Talk to us if you share our aims and think we can help each other
We plan to broaden our spheres of influence, encouraging business decision-makers, policy-makers, educators, designers and architects to engage with the latest thinking on design and innovation. In this way, they’ll be empowered to make smart decisions that will benefit our communities and businesses.
Central to this plan is the open forum we’re creating to gather views, discuss the issues and give substance to our advice to policy-makers. Meeting three times a year, this forum will be the place for design in all its forms to collaborate and strengthen dialogue with industry, education and government. Our immediate actions will be to recruit members, hold our first summit, and commission new enquiries on design in public services and education.
Look out for ways to join the debate on the day, live or online
We must widen people’s acceptance of design as a tool to solve tough problems. When knotty challenges can’t be solved by business or government alone, design must be seen as the means to stimulate innovation and grow the economy. New design-led ideas can solve some of society’s problems, create new markets and turn them into business opportunities.
To give impetus to this re-appraisal of design, we’re working with partners to organise open innovation competitions that will bring designers, manufacturers and technologists together to demonstrate how design can turn challenges into opportunities. Our immediate tasks will be to define the area or theme that will form the focus for the next demonstration, work with partners to shape the idea and announce a new open innovation competition.
Look out for the next call for partners for our challenges and if you’d like to join in, put your name forward.
CABE has gone a long way in the drive to create sustainable communities where people want and can afford to live. We plan to go further. We’ll support local communities to help them deliver and shape places and spaces that meet their needs.
This will be achieved through CABE’s system of ‘enabling’, in which experts provide support and advice at the local level. This work will build on the much-admired services delivered by CABE – such as Design Review.
Our immediate priorities are to establish CABE at the Design Council, make sure communities continue to receive advice and support, deliver Design Review and, crucially, bring the built environment and design communities together to create a long-term strategy for CABE at the Design Council.
We’re convinced that design has a role to play as manufacturing and technology strive to boost the economy and achieve economic growth. Clearly, we must embed design deeper into UK boardrooms and senior executive offices. Building on our current programmes, we’ll provide mentoring for business leaders in both the public and private sectors. We’ll connect more of the design industry to these markets, creating opportunities and networks for design and designers.
Our first actions will be to work with companies in advanced manufacturing and call for participants for our mentoring services; we will back science and technology and invite candidates to join mentoring projects and we will deliver support to local and national public services.
Look out for opportunities to participate in our mentoring services, and find out more at www.designcouncil.org.uk/services
We believe it’s important for designers to work closely with each other and with business. We operate in partnership across all our programmes, working strategically with UK and international organisations and institutions in design and architecture, the built environment, business, education, the public sector and government. These connections strengthen the voice of the design industry and we intend to support them wherever we can. We’ll continue to develop a ‘network of networks’ and we’ll support groups and networks that promote design.
Moving forward, we’ll launch a call for entries for our grant scheme and help connect design organisations by supporting the UK-wide Design Alliance. We’ll also establish connections with business and public services networks.
If you’re in a network or partnership, you can find out more about our work supporting design networks in your area
Watch a short film
Designers, architects and policy-makers sharing their thoughts on the future of the Design Council.
Read a transcript of this film