Design Council

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Design Council, 407, St John Street, City of London, EC1

The Design Council, formerly the Council of Industrial Design, is a United Kingdom charity[1] incorporated by Royal Charter. It aims to champion great design that improves lives.[2]


The Design Council started in 1944 as the Council of Industrial Design. It was founded by Hugh Dalton, President of the Board of Trade in the wartime Government, and its objective was 'to promote by all practicable means the improvement of design in the products of British industry'.

S. C. Leslie, the Council's first director, played an important part in the Britain Can Make It exhibition of 1946. It was 1947 successor Sir Gordon Russell who established the organisation's model for the next 40 years. Under Sir Paul Reilly in the early '70s, the organisation changed its name to the Design Council.[3]

On 1 April 2011 it ceased to be a non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and became a registered charity, although it continued to receive grants from the Department.[4] In April 2011, it merged with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE).[5]

The Design Centre[edit]

Russell, who was heavily involved in the 1951 Festival of Britain, examined ways to reform the education and training of new industrial designers. The Design Centre, in London's Haymarket, was officially opened in 1956.

The Council under Russell combined exhibitions with product endorsements, direct services to industry, commercial publishing and retail.[3]

Awards given[edit]

British Design Awards logo

The Council has hosted the British Design Awards, with the 1987 logo rights being co-owned with Manchester Metropolitan University.[6] It was suggested in 1995 in Business Strategy Review magazine that the awards made suitable benchmarks, contributing to industrial competitiveness.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Registered charity number 272099.
  2. ^ "Design Council facilitates City scholarship". City University London. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Our history". Design Council. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Our finances". Design Council. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "Design Council and CABE confirm merger". Planning magazine. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  6. ^ "British Design Awards 1987". VADS. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  7. ^ Temple, Paul; Swann, Peter (June 1995). "Competitions and Competitiveness: The Case of British Design Awards". Business Strategy Review 6 (2): 41 – 52. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8616.1995.tb00089.x. ISSN 1467-8616. OCLC 40336500. 

External links[edit]