Each fortnight we round up some of the latest news, research, and policies that are shaping our thinking right now. These are things that have led to an interesting conversation at Design Council HQ. Feel free to add to the conversation in the comments below.   

"Pink it and shrink it"

We already know that gender imbalance is a significant problem in some design sectors (particularly in areas like product design). This interesting blog from America suggests that we’re also designing things badly for women. Perhaps the two are linked?

And speaking of designing things badly, Citizen’s Advice have published research which aims to measure the cost of ‘consumer problems’. £22.9bn, apparently. That’s £446 per adult that could be saved by better design…

Who’s stealing designers’ IP?

How much intellectual property crime is there in the UK? The IPO have published their yearly report which aims to find out. They lean on Design Council’s Design Economy stats (unfortunately uncited) but still the final answer is... no one really knows. Meanwhile, two new campaigns to safeguard design rights in light of Brexit have been launched. Sign up here and here.

Investing in cities

In the built environment, a new report suggests that in an age of austerity, local councils are becoming sophisticated financial investors in property, and they’re doing it for public good.

The same think tank has a great piece this week by local government CEO (and design wizard) Barry Quirk on ‘the four things that make a city successful’.   

Other interesting things we’ve read this week:

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News & opinion

5 guerrilla design tactics for young businesses Gil Kahana from ChattyFeet gives us some tips and tricks he would recommend for young, up and coming businesses. Gil Kahana from ChattyFeet gives us some tips and tricks he would recommend for young, up and coming businesses.

Feature — 16/05/2018

Design skills are not just for designers – Spark proves this This year, our product innovation programme Design Council Spark has seen an increase in successful applications from groups under-represented in the design industry and people without formal design education. This year, Spark has seen people with an unusually varied set of skills and backgrounds reach the final stages.

Feature — 16/05/2018

Placing design at the heart of the NPPF To create radical, lasting reform the National Planning Policy Framework needs design at its heart. To create radical, lasting reform the National Planning Policy Framework needs design at its heart.

News — 11/05/2018

Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh: The female designer fixing our lives Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh is the Irish mastermind behind Sugru – ‘the most exciting product since Sellotape’. Over a cup of tea in her company’s HQ in Hackney, east London, she shares her thoughts on reimagining education systems, diversity in design, dishwashers and funky clothes. In our fourth Leading Women in Design story, we spoke to Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh, inventor of 'the most exciting product since Sellotape...

Feature — 25/04/2018

Videos: Reframing the challenge through Design in the Public Sector South Kesteven District Council discuss how Design in the Public Sector helped them see their housing challenge in a different light. South Kesteven District Council discuss how Design in the Public Sector helped them see their housing challenge in a different light.

Feature — 24/04/2018

Resources