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

Cany Ash: urban storyteller and architectural entrepreneur Cany discusses why women need to take ‘just’ and ‘only’ out of their vocabulary, and how diversity is in fact about ‘interculturalism’ as opposed to ‘multiculturalism’. Why women need to take ‘just’ and ‘only’ out of their vocabulary, and the difference between ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘interculturalism’.

Feature — 15/08/2018

Diversity and business performance – is there a link? To what extent might inequalities be holding the design economy back from achieving its full value to the UK economy? To what extent might inequalities be holding the design economy back from achieving its full value to the UK economy?

Feature — 13/08/2018

Not at the heart of the NPPF but definitely in the mind We are pleased to see that design plays a much more prominent role in the revised National Planning Policy Framework. We are pleased to see that design plays a much more prominent role in the revised National Planning Policy Framework.

News — 07/08/2018

Deborah Meaden celebrates innovative products at the Spark Showcase 2018 The Design Council Spark Showcase, presented by Deborah Meaden, was the culmination of 16 weeks of graft and learning for finalists on the product design accelerator programme. The Design Council Spark Showcase was the culmination of 16 weeks of graft and learning for finalists on the programme.

Feature — 26/07/2018

New design talent – the economy needs you At New Designers 2018, an expert panel talked to graduates and their tutors about the opportunities available to them and the skills they need to nurture. Advice from New Designers 2018 to graduates and their tutors about the opportunities available to them and the skills they need to nurture.

Feature — 25/07/2018

The right design for productivity Our response to the government's Business Productivity Review. Our response to the government's Business Productivity Review.

News — 23/07/2018

Resources