As part of our 70th year celebrations, we explored how design is moving into new and uncharted areas, reaching deeper into core business processes and tackling urgent social problems – key issues that will drive the Design Economy of the future.

The series asks: In an age of austerity, rising inequality, urbanisation and ageing populations, climate change, the redefinition of the role of the state, big data and ubiquitous surveillance, how are we, as a society, to assess the risks and opportunities found in design’s ascendency?

How realistic are the claims being made for new transformational design disciplines? Are they overly optimistic – or perhaps overly cautious?

What are the challenges and the key questions, the obstacles and opportunities, for citizens and leaders?

Shouldn’t we be asking ourselves serious questions about how design is transforming our world – questions about design’s limits, values and ethics – before it’s too late?

The Design Economy Report

Download our 2015 The Design Economy Report for detailed analysis of design's contribution to the UK economy.

View

The series

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 design help shrink the ‘empathy deficit’? How designers are rediscovering their roots in social good and helping nations face the future. How designers are rediscovering their roots in social good and helping nations face the future.

Feature — 24/06/2015

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

The ethics of digital design Cennydd Bowles explains why designers have a central role in safeguarding digital products to protect users. Cennydd Bowles explains why designers have a central role in safeguarding digital products to protect users.

Feature — 13/07/2015

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

It’s education, stupid. Or, how the UK risks losing its global creative... Far and wide, Britain is recognised as a leading centre of design education and the creative industries – but could international employment opportunities, fees for higher education, silo-driven schools policies and visa issues destroy our creative advantage? Could fees for higher education, recruitment failures, silo-driven schools policies and visa issues destroy our creative advantage?

Feature — 03/08/2015

Policy v5.127: Could government make services like Dyson makes vacuums? Manufacturer Dyson tested 5,127 versions of their ‘Cyclone’ vacuum cleaner before it reached production. How many times has government tried to refine our policies? Dyson tested 5,127 versions of the Cyclone vacuum before it reached production. How many times has government tried to refine our policies?

Feature — 20/08/2015

Will the Internet of Things set family life back 100 years? What will it feel like to live surrounded by sensing-objects? We’ve asked designers, sociologists, technologists and psychologists to speculate on how it will impact family life. We’ve asked designers, sociologists, technologists and psychologists to speculate on how the Internet of Things will impact family life.

Feature — 03/09/2015

How do we create places that deliver healthier lives? New research from Design Council and Social Change UK into the use of healthy placemaking practises by Built Environment professionals investigates. Our new research into the use of healthy placemaking practises by Built Environment professionals investigates further.

News — 16/04/2018

WATCH: Design Council on London LIVE Design Council CEO Sarah Weir OBE and our Director of Policy and Communications, Sally Benton, appeared on London LIVE to discuss the findings of our Designing a future economy research and its implications for London and the South East. CEO Sarah Weir OBE and Director of Policy and Communications Sally Benton discuss the findings of our Designing a Future Economy research.

News — 11/12/2017