The Design Council in Great Britain has helped develop and grow the Design Industry in the UK to the point where it is now having a significant impact on overall GDP. (11.6 billion pounds per year) At the same time, their advocacy for design learning has resulted in a revolution in Design education, particularly at the post-secondary level. "Recent research by the Design Council provides evidence of a link between design expenditure and economic performance. It reveals that for every £100 a design alert business spends on design, turnover is increased by £225, and that rapidly growing businesses are six times more likely than static ones to see design as integral, and twice as likely to have increased their investment in design."
Design has become important in large measure because of a change in the ways in which manufactured goods circulate among consumers. Personalization has become central to distinguishing one product from another. Consumers want to have an influence on what they buy and this can only be achieved through the integration of design knowledge into the manufacturing process. Design in the broader sense is also about a fuller and more complete understanding of sustainability and the application of intelligence and vision to human lifestyles in the context of technological change.
Another feature of this is the role of information in learning and human exchange. We all know the difference between a well-designed web site and one that seems to have no aesthetic qualities. What is not as apparent is the role of design in strategic planning for the corporate as well as public sectors.
In a global economy that is dominated by various forms of communications and linked through networked technologies, Design will be an essential component of the future. Students are recognizing this change. There has been a 40 percent increase in the number of design graduates in the UK and a 71 percent increase in the number of postgraduates.
More on this in my next post…