1. Great design can change the world and move people
2. If you think good design is expensive you should look at the real cost of bad design
3. Design, creativity and innovation are essential if we are to meet the global challenges of sustainable development
4. Design is not just about products and communications, it's also increasingly in the services we receive or buy
5. To consume design is a creative act - and everyone can be creative!
Those are the "Five Rules of Design" by Sir Michael Bichard, a design fan and former government bureaucrat now helming the UK's Design Council, an organization dedicated to "helping businesses become more successful, public services more efficient and designers more effective." According to the UK Times, Bichard's design-promoting mission comes at a decidedly divisive time in the UK design world:On one side are economists who see the creative industries as vital to Britain's economy - such as Will Hutton [writing] in The Observer: "Britain's creative industries are now as important in terms of wealth generation as the financial services industry... There is a golden thread that links the creative energy on...Glastonbury's stages to the creative energy that animates new design." On the other side are those such as Larry Elliott and Dan Atkinson, who argue in their book Fantasy Island that the creative industries are all hype, part of "Bull-shit Britain", that making money from creative expression is an inadequate replacement for manufacturing industry, and that it will soon shrivel when the credit crunch cools the economy.
The picture looks more dire in an article from UK Design Week:
The UK's product design industry is "over-confident, overpaid...and in danger of being left behind", according to [design consultancy firm] Pearson Matthews director Jim Dawton.
Dawton forecasts that in 2008, "design education is going to become increasingly irrelevant to the needs of the design business" and that a "small number of good design graduates" will send salaries spiralling unsustainably high.
"For me, it isn't whether or not we will continue to consume objects, but rather whether the UK product design industry will remain interested enough, or even competitive enough, to design them," he says.