IHBC’s research signpost: Design Economy 2021 – on ‘current and future economic, social and environmental’ design values

Design Economy is a resource to help learn more about the current and future economic, social and environmental value of design in the UK.

… ambition to explore the role that design can play to build back better and create a more just, healthy and regenerative world…

Design Council writes in it’s Newsletter:

Design Council has long argued that design can be used to address some of society’s most pressing challenges – from the coronavirus pandemic through to the climate emergency. Every day we consult with industry, government and organisations to advise them on how design can improve the things that matter most.

We know that to bring about positive change, we need to come together with others, share knowledge and insights, and take collective action. Design Economy 2021 – with its ambition to explore the role that design can play to build back better and create a more just, healthy and regenerative world – provides us with a platform to do this.

Our research is all about working collaboratively with people across the entire design economy – you included – to better understand the current state of design in the UK and its potential for the future.

Throughout the programme, we’ll consider the diversity of the design sector, how well it is responding to people’s different wants and needs, its vital role in levelling up the UK’s regional economies, and the changes that must be made to ensure that design works for everyone.

Our latest figures show  that the design economy contributed £85.2bn in GVA to the UK economy – the equivalent of 75% of the insurance and financial services sector. Design Economy 2021 builds on the success of our ground-breaking Design Economy 2015 and 2018 publications. Our latest research will take a novel approach to understand, communicate and empower others to harness design’s value.

Our ground-breaking research aims to help us understand the current and future value of design to the UK from a social, environmental and economic perspective. Over the next three years we’ll be looking at:

  • the social and environmental value of design
  • the economic value of design
  • business understanding and use of design
  • public sector understanding and use of design
  • public understanding of design
  • regional variations in the use of design
  • how the design economy might evolve and change over time.

To do this, we will take advantage of new sources of data and novel methods to help capture design’s wide-ranging value. We will also envisage the design economy needed by 2050 to create a better world, and identify the steps we need to take now to achieve this.

A live research programme with a three-year lifespan, Design Economy will be a growing resource for policy makers, business leaders, public sector professionals, architects and designers. Our interactive digital platform will share new data, evidence, stories and toolkits. Building on the principles of citizen science, we will invite readers to become co-researchers and collaborators, rather than simply recipients of information. We aim to generate discussion and debate, to inspire better use of design in business and the public sector, and enable you measure your own impact. Design is unevenly distributed across UK regions, with 30% of all design firms based in London. We look forward to you joining us as we take forward our most ambitious research project to date.

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