British Design Innovation (BDI) has appealed for designers to band together to share a new 'common interest' platform. BDI is concerned that product, service and interaction designers will lose ground to other countries and rival sectors if they don't all work together much more closely in future.
The call for stronger unity and interaction came today from BDI chairman Gus Desbarats when announcing the results of the organization's Change Plan, which align the BDI offer more closely to the needs of its members - the true owners of the not-for-profit organisation.
"BDI is the UK's direct equivalent of IDSA in the United States, or RIBA for our architects," Desbarats said. "We have been complimented on the fact that our membership comprises a national body of motivated and highly-qualified practising professionals rather than trade suppliers, so we encourage designers to adopt BDI as their profession's national representative organisation, because that is what we are."
Desbarats illustrated a number of reasons for joining the national community:
- A redesigned website
- Simple online membership sign-up
- Design buyers' enquiries circulated to all members
- Tailored online searches for companies seeking Industrial Design partners
- Membership also open to designers working in-house for industrial companies, and others
- Topical news and useful events pages
- Significant marketing and PR support service from BDI office staff
- Editorial help for members wishing to draft press announcements.
"Such promotional benefits alone would justify becoming a BDI member, but we are also beginning to reap the benefits of our profile-raising outreach activities on behalf of members at home and overseas," Desbarats explained, citing engagement with the Technology Strategy Board and other key national innovation support organisations to ensure their interventions make the best possible use of Industrial Design.
BDI is also promoting the Product Design + Innovation conference in May with Crain Publications, and is soon to announce a series of initiatives on innovation collaboration and talent development with the university sector.
"With this new 'common interest' platform, BDI can now sharpen its focus on delivering services to members and growing the market for Industrial Design - which is a broad church, covering brand experience through product, service and interaction design," Desbarats said.
"We believe there has never been a better time to be an Industrial Designer, but our sector will lose ground if we don't work together. This is the new BDI. Having built it, will you join us?"