Dezeen Wire: a panel of industry experts discussed the current state of manufacturing in Britain at an event at Tom Dixon's headquarters in London this morning. The panel raised issues such as the lack of fiscal support for the creative industries and the need for stronger relationships between designers and manufacturers.
The conversation was chaired by Vicky Richardson, director of architecture, design and fashion at the British Council, and the panel was made up of designer Tom Dixon, design director at Aston Martin Marek Reichman and professor of forecasting and innovation at De Montfort University James Woodhuysen.
During the discussion, Tom Dixon said that Britain is still a global centre for ideas and trade and that the country is becoming more attractive as an exporter due to prices of products and services here falling. He also claimed that it is increasingly possible to make customised products close to home and asked the government to back companies who are attempting to do so.
James Woodhuysen explained that it is unrealistic to think that a real manufacturing revolution could begin in Britain and said that the government is filled with accountants who are too far removed from the reality of industry to have a valid opinion on how to generate new business.
Marek Reichman claimed that Britain has the skill set to manufacture high end products but this doesn’t filter down to mass consumable products and suggested that designers and manufacturers need to work together to increase levels of innovation and production.
In summary, Vicky Richardson suggested that the British design industry needs to challenge the emphasis on the small and the slow and said the onus is on designers to do things better and faster . The panel agreed that the government needs to do more to fulfill the claims they have made regarding the rebirth of Britain as a centre for manufacturing.
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