Local companies urged to adopt world-class design

Good design has the potential to bring prosperity and improve the quality of life for people in Northern Ireland.

This was the message from Invest NI's Chief Executive, Leslie Morrison, who was speaking on Wednesday April 24, at a reception for representatives of the Design Council.

The reception, held in Ormeau Baths Gallery, was part of a two-day programme organised by Invest NI to mark the Design Council's first visit to Northern Ireland for a national meeting. The Design Council is a government funded body that ensures people in business, education and government understand how effective design can help them achieve their objectives.

In his address to the members Mr Morrison underlined the importance for Northern Ireland companies of embracing innovation in design and developing a world-class reputation for design capability.

He said: "Design, used well, improves the environments we work and live in, the products we make and use, the way we communicate with each other and even the way in which Northern Ireland is perceived as a place to visit or do business. Invest NI is committed to encouraging a design conscious culture within business. We will soon be launching an important document through our Design Group called 'Design Futures' which points the way to economic growth in Northern Ireland through design.

"We can develop a world class reputation in design but it will require our designers to live up to their potential and our companies to invest in that potential. It will require our companies to develop distinctive products and services that are differentiated from their global competitors. It will require a holistic and integrated design ethos at the heart of our business process."

Mr Morrison went on to speak about the importance of collaboration and of taking a strategic and cross cutting approach to achieving a design conscious economy and a design aware society.

The invited audience also heard an address from the Chief Executive of the Design Council, Andrew Summers. This was followed by an opportunity for Design Council members to view an exhibition of products and design capability by some 18 local companies and consultants that are currently taking part in Invest NI's Design Development Programme.

The two-day programme also included a lecture by the Chairman of the Design Council, Sir Christopher Frayling. The lecture entitled: '10 things people get wrong about design and business' was delivered to an audience of local companies.


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