The chairman of British Design Innovation (BDI) has made a public appeal for increased collaboration between engineers and Industrial Designers for the greater good of the UK economy.

Gus Desbarats stated that building a stronger knowledge-sharing alliance between Industrial Designers and engineers would establish a “great leap forward” in developing and commercialising new innovations, intellectual property and technology transfer within the UK. “Working together would lead to increased sales, stronger brands and more successful companies.”

BDI believe that greater collaboration between the UK’s world-leading creative design talents in both engineering and Industrial Design can play a significant role in driving forward growth in British companies. The organisation’s appeal follows James Dyson’s call for greater training of engineers and designers and Chancellor George Osborne’s recent announcement of a £195 million investment in engineering and science to position the UK as a world leader.

“Championing UK technology needs to be balanced by the insight that companies like
Apple and BMW have complemented their technological engineering design with significant investment in Industrial Design to become ‘customer experience’ leaders,” Desbarats said, adding that UK Plc needs an industrial strategy that also recognises the critical role of Industrial Designers as experts in the human behaviour which ultimately determines the commercial return on most investments in technological innovation.

“There is a mutual lack of acknowledgement on the part of both the design and engineering industries of what the other contributes to the UK economy,” he said. “Instead, each sector places itself in a separate box, rarely collaborating – and indeed, barely communicating. Collaboration between the two professions would create greater knowledge-sharing, streamline the route to market and ultimately produce more successful world-class products benefiting everybody involved, from concept to end result”d.


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