The Design Commission is the research arm of the All Party Parliamentary Design and Innovation Group (APDIG). It is an industry-led body, established in 2010 by Barry Sheerman MP, Baroness Whitaker, and Lord Bichard. It comprises cross-party members of both houses along with leading members of the UK design industry. The secretariat is provided by Policy Connect, a social enterprise that promotes evidence-based policy development.
It undertakes in-depth research inquiries into areas of public policy that it is felt could be improved by the application of design to drive economic and social improvement, and how government and business can better understand the importance of design.
It has held inquiries and investigations to identify opportunities and obstacles, to demonstrate to government the value of design and to contribute to the debate around national design policy.
They suggest that, “There is currently a need for more strategic thinking to link design, policy and politics more consistently. The strength of the Commission is in bringing the variety of ideas and considerable experience of its members to bear in thinking about policy, society and the economy; in establishing new frontiers where design thinking can contribute; and in using the cumulative weight of its members' standing to gather support and encourage receptiveness from government.”
Inquiries have included:
- The importance of design education.
- The potential role for more design in public services.
- Design thinking in government digital and technology strategy.
- Design and behaviour in the built environment.
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