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Our story: 1945 to 2015

Browse a timeline of Design Council's 70 year history.

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Celebrating 70 years

Every day, design affects every one of us. From the moment you wake up, you encounter products and services that have been deliberately designed to improve your life. In this way, designers exercise social responsibility by solving human problems big and small.

During our 70-year history, Design Council has made a significant and tangible contribution to solving some of the UK’s most complex challenges by providing design support and the advice, tools and know-how to bring about positive change. 

The impact of design is now widely recognised, with Chief Design Officers a common role in businesses worldwide. 2014 saw the proposal to appoint a Head of Design in every UK government department and a Chief User Officer on all large government infrastructure projects.

The UK’s creative industries generate a staggering £8m per hour for the UK economy, and design is at the heart of this. The UK has the second largest design sector in the world, some of the best known names in design, and many of the world’s leading brands, buildings and products.

Government statistics from 2014 showed design is the fastest growing creative industries sector, both in terms of new jobs and gross value added. Design Council was closely involved in developing the Creative Industries Strategy, a cross-sector vision that will secure the long-term growth of UK creative industries.

Design Council continues to inspire new design thinking, encourage public debate and inform government policy to improve everyday life and help meet tomorrow’s challenges today.

We help businesses to grow, services to improve and people to live healthier, more enjoyable lives. Our work improves the communities we live in and develops the UK’s social and cultural wellbeing.

70 years after the foundation of the Council of Industrial Design, Design Council continues to live by the values set out at its conception – to champion great design that improves lives and makes things better.

Designing our Future

The secrets of the Chief Design Officer We ask a range of board-level creatives: What does it take to do the job that Steve Jobs did? We ask a range of board-level creatives: What does it take to do the job that Steve Jobs did?

Feature — 27/04/2015

Can designers fix our ailing democracy? Technologists and designers are working together to reimagine what it means to be a citizen in the twenty-first century. While some are trying to fix what we have, others believe the time is right for a complete overhaul. Technologists and designers are working together to reimagine what it means to be a citizen in the twenty-first century.

Feature — 08/07/2015

Is this the bank of the future? To navigate turmoil and uncover opportunities, financial services – not known for innovation – are turning to design. To navigate turmoil and uncover opportunities, financial services – not known for innovation – are turning to design.

Feature — 21/07/2015