Each fortnight we round-up some of the latest news, research, and reports that are shaping our thinking. These are things that have led to an interesting conversation at Design Council HQ.  Add to the conversation in the comments below.  

The future of future cities  

Once every twenty years, the UN hosts its Habitat Conference – where countries gather to think about the urban design of future cities.  Habitat 2 took place in 1996 whilst England were being knocked out of the Euros on penalties; Habitat 3 took place last week. 

The most important people in the world have been busy agreeing that good design is essential (glad they agree).  The discussions varied: from debating the definition of a city, to making more climate-friendly toilets.  Luckily we’ve got until 2036 to catch up on everything we missed.

Designing for not-quite-everyone

A little closer to home, the impact of bad design has been a hot topic.  The Equalities Select Committee has stated that the built environment “still creates barriers for many disabled people”, following a major inquiry.  We agree.  You can read all the responses to the inquiry, including Design Council’s, here.

Meanwhile, a Parliamentary office has helpfully pulled together all the evidence related to green space and health.  The headline is: green space is very important for health.  Unfortunately, access to it is not evenly distributed, and poor people get the worst deal.  Meanwhile, the CLG committee are looking at access to public parks, against fears that they’re under threat. 

Design decline

In education, the Crafts Council have published their 2016 Studying Craft report, which repeats our warning about the decline in the number of students taking Design and Technology courses. 

The same data is included in a report by ex-arts minister Lord Baker, who also lists the areas of D&T most under threat.  The biggest relative decline has been in ‘Systems and Control Technology’, which has fallen by 47% since 2009; though many will be more concerned by the drops in the larger courses, such as Resistant Materials. Lord Baker’s solution is a new Baccalaureate which includes D&T.  The proposals got short shrift in parliament last week

Other interesting things we read this week:

Sign up to our newsletter

Receive news and event updates from Design Council.

Sign up

News & opinion

Watch: Transform Ageing – Discover the impact of NEDcare NEDCare is delivering a lasting solution for ageing communities and providing a better solution for people in later life. It aims to help other communities create the same level of engagement locally by meeting GP services, pharmacies, parish council and community groups like the Women’s Institute. Our award winner is delivering a lasting solution for ageing communities and providing a better solution for people in later life.

Feature — 13/11/2018

What do we mean by design? What comes to mind when you think of design? For many people, the word conjures up thoughts of creativity, products, architecture, graphics, or simply the way something looks or functions. What comes to mind when you think of design?

Feature — 09/11/2018

IKEA: Companies need to learn the skills to design for all five senses Applying multi-sensory design to all the touchpoints allows a product or service to produce a more complete, and ultimately better brand experience. Applying multi-sensory design to all the touchpoints allows a product or service to produce a more complete brand experience.

Feature — 01/11/2018

Our response to the 2018 budget If the Chancellor is to “meet the needs of a new age” investing in design, across the economy, is a key part of the solution. If the Chancellor is to “meet the needs of a new age” investing in design, across the economy, is a key part of the solution.

News — 30/10/2018

Councils turn to design to tackle public health challenges 14 projects from 18 councils across England have been selected onto Design Council’s Design in Public Sector programme. 14 projects from 18 councils across England have been selected onto Design Council’s Design in Public Sector programme.

News — 30/10/2018

Resources