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growth value added A joint project to demonstrate the success and importance of design


Design is important Design is a global growth industry, and since 2005 the UK design sector has grown 29% with earnings up by £3.4bn. Businesses have achieved a return of over £20 for every £1 invested in design, and innovations in public sector service provision has delivered more than £26 of social return on investment from every £1 spent. Design education mixes disciplines and combines creativity, practical application, and problem solving to produce a resilient workforce; it fosters

Design& universities inquisitive and inspired minds to create and make a positive difference to our world. Without design and creativity in our schools and universities, we risk losing our British cultural reputation, successful and sustainable careers, exports and new creative industries, the transformational power of design and its vital economic contribution which is of inestimable social value.

For every £1 invested in design, businesses and public services can expect:

The future growth, wealth and health of our economy will rely on our creativity, innovation and enterprising spirit, and support is needed to translate energy, enthusiasm and fantastic ideas into sustainable business propositions. We need a true partnership to deliver this and universities are at the heart of this creative collaboration. Drawing on a long and rich history of innovation and technology, Alliance universities have significant strengths in both design and STEM education and research, and as business-engaged anchor institutions in their regions, support innovation and growth at local, regional and international levels. Northumbria University has one of the oldest design schools in the UK, and Kingston is ranked 9th in the world by red dot. Alliance universities are working with international companies, governments and social enterprises to help solve the toughest global challenges. They are also providing graduates with the skills, knowledge and confidence to become world leaders in their industry.


The Design& project will use research and case studies to demonstrate the vital role that design plays in creating a better and more successful nation and world. It will also celebrate the success of UK graduates and the leading roles they are taking in their sectors.

Design& crime Case Study

Meeting the ‘Global uncertainties’ challenge It is estimated that the cost of crime to the UK is around £78bn a year. The Design Against Crime Solution Centre is a unique, multidisciplinary partnership coordinated by the University of Salford that brings together practitioners and academics in the fields of design, psychology, policing, crime prevention, urban planning and community safety across Europe. The Solution Centre has developed a reputation as a source of innovative design thinking, creating solutions using a wide range of disciplines from product design to prevent pint glass injuries, to urban design which creates safe environments and social housing.

Design& success Heatherwick Studio

Graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University, 1999 Thomas Heatherwick is a designer and maker of astonishing architecture, sculpture and products. The Heatherwick studio, which Thomas founded in 1994, has produced momentous cultural projects for the UK,

including the award-winning “Seed Cathedral” for the UK Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, the Olympic Cauldron for the London 2012 Olympic Games, and the New Bus for London. Thomas is an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA and a Senior Research Fellow at the V&A. He has also been awarded four Honorary Doctorates and has won a string of awards in recognition of his outstanding contribution to design.


The Design& project Design is solving the big challenges faced across society and providing graduates with fulfilling and successful employment. The project, led by University Alliance with the Design Council, will highlight the important and cross-cutting role that design plays in solving our grand challenges. The vital research and innovation activity in our universities brought into practical realisation by using design is creating new solutions which build the sustainability and success of our nation. Design departments and education are being adapted to prepare graduates with the innovative skills for the creative jobs of the future.

About University Alliance Design is an exciting and challenging career putting designers at the cutting edge of their sectors and companies. Through the personal stories of successful design graduates, we will demonstrate the inspirational stories of success achieved with their own companies and high-profile employers. We are seeking partners for this work so the inspirational design students can reach the widest audience, from potential design students to government. To get involved, please contact: Andrew Henry Communications Manager University Alliance 49 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2BX 0207 839 2757 andrew@unialliance.ac.uk

University Alliance is a group of business-engaged universities committed to delivering world-class research and a quality student experience around the UK. Alliance universities have innovation and enterprise running through everything they do and deliver – the courses they offer; their leading graduate prospects; the impact of their research; how they work with business, the professions and the community; the leading role they play in building regional economies; right down to the way they are run. Alliance universities have strengths across design and STEM disciplines. 44% of their research-active staff are in STEM areas with 44% of their 4* rated staff in focusing on these disciplines. They also house many of the UK’s leading design schools with a strong history associated with the role of design against the backdrop of industrial revolution.

About the Design Council The Design Council enables people to use design to transform communities, business and the environment for the better. As an enterprising charity our work places design at the heart of creating value by stimulating innovation in business and public services, improving our built environment and tackling complex social issues. We aim to inspire new design thinking, encourage public debate and inform government policy to improve everyday life and help meet tomorrow’s challenges today.

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