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  • International design scoreboard: where the UK ranks and why

    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by GarethW, Jan 24, 2010.

    1. GarethW

      GarethW Chief Clicker Staff Member

      Jul 2009
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      Here in Cambridge, the university's ifM (Institute for Manufacturing) gives regular interesting talks on various subjects. They occur on Thursday evenings and are free to attend. Well worth it!

      The latest one was entitled "International design scoreboard: where the UK ranks and why it matters"

      Here is a brief summary:
      "Britain is currently recognised as a world leader in design and the sector is regarded as integral to the country's future competitiveness and economic prosperity. However, the design services sector has reduced in size over the past 10 years while East Asian countries such as Korea and Singapore are emerging as new design 'powerhouses' posing a potential threat to the UK and other Western countries. This presentation will summarise the findings of a recent study led by the IfM, exploring international design capabilities. It provides the first attempt at ranking 12 countries in terms of their national design capability".

      Here is a link to their website: http://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/service/ev ... _past.html

      Please follow the link to download a PDF of the presentation and to hear an audio MP3 interview with Dr James Moultrie, the presenter.
    3. PeterB

      PeterB Member

      Feb 2010
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      Much of the UK's design status seemed to come only from the gloss and hype of fashion, electronic games and film related design in the past. The kind of things that appear to appeal to the press and politicians, who like all things simple and populist.

      But can it continue? Bling is not so popular in these more austere times.

      In any event, a visit to design colleges these days reveals a largely imported bunch of students, who are likely to take their design training away with them on return to their home nations. Many of those colleges have long-standing relationships with either the government or training authorities of the countries from which these students arise, which provides them with a regular source of students on seats. That allows them to fullfill our government's ruling that these colleges are autonomous and self-financing.

      It is in the foreign organisations' interest to ensure that their youth is trained and educated to a high level, and to experience western influences, which is why they send them abroad to train in places like the UK.

      So, in effect, in pursuit of short term gain, we are training-up our competitors to outperform our own, while cutting back both manufacturing industries and backing for research, that might provide careers for those native students who still seek an education and future job prospects here.

      That does not seem the most obvious or productive way of continuing what high standing we may have in design, nor to foster economic prosperity in the longer term.

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