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

From collecting to convening and consolidating: How can Design Council help in the face of... A few days into the COVID-19 lockdown, Design Council virtually gathered a group of Built Environment Experts to harness their shared brainpower and conceive meaningful ways in which we, as a collective group and national organisation, could provide immediate help. A few days into the COVID-19 lockdown, Design Council virtually gathered a group of Built Environment Experts

News — 03/04/2020

How can Design Council help communities, councils and businesses design for social impact? On Thursday, 26th March, Design Council convened our network of experts through a series of remote roundtables. Key topics on the table spanned from getting equipment and resources to those most in need through to a total redesign of services as we currently know them On Thursday, 26th March, Design Council convened our network of experts through a series of remote roundtables.

News — 03/04/2020

Journal 02: Social Distancing or Physical Distancing? “When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending.” Brene Brown. In a year’s time, will we remember what it felt like to live, work and play during the Coronavirus outbreak? Probably not. If it’s not written down; it didn’t happen. “When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending.” Brene Brown. In a year’s time, will we rem

News — 03/04/2020

Resources