15th Dec, 2017
D. David Heap
A document consisting of brief research into the UK creative
industries, its worth and what it consists of. Research in this phase is
heavily reliant on online documents found on official government website that
sites figuures and staistics. It then moves on to the Interior design subsector
in the UK. How it is percieved globally and its impact on the international
market. A brief look into ethics follows the subsector research which gives and
insight on how business minded should one be in order to function a business in
the creative industry. Then counter argument is form consisting of a
significant section of the document arguing why design in the current
generation is unethical and how design has helped in final outcome.
Commercialization and exploitation of creativity,
intelligence and information has been a common practice in the last millennia
or so. With the rise of economy; pre and post world war creativity has been a
source of economy boost in all major countries of the world. This practice of commercializing
creativity is called the ‘creative industry’, also often referred to as
‘Department for culture, media and sports or (DCMS)’ by the UK Government.
Facts and statistics:
UK creative industry consists of thirteen sub-sectors with each paving ways for
the upcoming generation of creative individuals. The industry has also seen a
major reverberation in the recent times especially in the UK. According to the DCMS
research the industry contributed £11.4 billion to UK’s trade affairs in the
2001 increasing the sectors growth by 8% per annum. In relation, the growth of
the industry has faced a steady incline over the years and as a result the UK
creative industry is now valued to be at least £91.8 bn as shown by an official
research conducted in 2016.
The thirteen sectors that compose the industry are:
advertisement, architecture, art and antiques market, carts, design, fashion,
film/video, music, interactive software, performance art, publishing, games and
television/radio. The digital sector seems to be the highest contributor
providing the value of 6.7%. Despite the former fact the 2016 report also
showed that design was the fastest growing sector in the UK and was also
created the highest level of employment rates and businesses.
London is considered to be the main the creative hubs in the
UK as it provides almost 40% of creative job opportunity. However,there are
also other smaller cities or collection of cities considered to be ‘creative
clusters all over England, Scotland and Wales.
While the likes of cities such as Brighton and Glasgow flourishes with a
thriving creative system reports insists the the lack of support shown towards
creative businesses on local and national levels.
The UK was hit with a recession that was difficult to
recover from in 2008. While most business and other economic sectors faced a
hard hitting decline the creative industry phased through the period. Within
the span of few years during global recession the UK’s creative industry
created economy and opportunity. Despite this there is still a stigma
surrounding the creative culture while many still argue that the industry has
moved back to the ways of 60’s and 70’s where nepotism and elitism has
dominated the industry.
Britain faced a huge political dilemma upon Brexit in 2016
with the country’s initial indecisiveness on the issue. The decline of sterling and co-production
funds put a significant pressure on the industry and smaller creative
sector in the UK:
Interior Design is a sub sector of the design sector in the
creative industries. Interior design has set a steady pace of incline within
the years. In 2010 it was started a 43% increase in the refurbishment and
property sector during on of the worst recession. Survey suggest that the UK
interior design professionals were also able to avoided the worst of the
downturn that affected the property sector and over 50% of companies has seen
no major difference in the demand for their services as there is likely to be
demand in the refurbishment sector at all times. It has also become a major sub
sector in the UK creative industry with special focus given to it in the
educational field. Studies also show that 83% are likely to secure a job in
their field after graduation. This is highly likely as Interior design industry
often require you to obtain at least a bachelor degree or significant in
Interior design or architecture. 93% of those individuals remain employed in a
design related field further proving that the interior design sector has been a
flouring asset to the UK economy.
The British interior design industry has also seen a
formation of new professional body created to promote the British design
industry on an international level.
British design schemes are now renowned not only Europe but America and
middle east. The British interior design sector has also gained interest in
Asia with major metropolitan countries such as China recruiting and
incorporating British design in their interiors. With the demand of the British
interior sector student from around the globe seek knowledge and information
from the UK which in return has influenced and boosted the UK economy.
The British Interior design society
represents 20% of the designers internationally. However, the likes of fashion
houses such as Fendi and Grorgio Armani moving over to interior design has done
little to nothing to resolve the misconception of professionalism in interior
design in the UK. With the misunderstanding that the industry is based in small
companies focusing on decorating small, living spaces. The works of high
profile designers such as Nina Campbell and Christopher Dezille only make up 5%
of the industry with many small companies taking part in promoting the sector
in inapprehensive manner.
Ultimately designers are likely to sell their ideas and
design to clients requiring the need of a sound business head along with
creativity. An interior designer’s role in a project expands beyond choices of
fabrics, tone and colours. As they are
required to sketch out bespoke ideas and meet the clients budget often interior
designers need a business/analytical mind.
However as with any field of profession interior designers
have had to face their own set of ethical predicaments over the years.
Ethics is the values and morals relating to human conduct,
with respect to right ad wrong actions and the motive of such actions. As
designers we ae bound to face clients and situations that will make us questions
our ethics and morals. Be it if our own design motifs and beliefs match up with
our clients or how far are we ready to ‘stretch the truth’ in order to help our
clients to sell what they offer. This is just an example of on ethical dilemma
we are likely to go through as a designer. While each individual has their own set of
ethics it is impossible for everyone to agree and expect them to have the same
set of ethical code. A person Ethics could also be molded through their
experiences and current situations. I had surveyed an individual to learn of
their ethical values through series of questions.
How willing are you to borrow and incorporate other designer’s
ideas to your own work?
Would you tell your
client your clients that their idea is bad if they insist on adding something
to your design?
How hard would you fight with a client who disagrees with
How far are you willing to argue with your client if your
ethical values don’t match up?
Are you ultimately likely to leave a project because you
don’t agree with your client’s morals?
Is design good?
Ethical issues that prove why design is not good
As all professions have a code ethics to abide by designers;
unlike doctors and laweyrs, are required to commit to certain codes and oaths.
While there are codes and rules designers need to abide by the breach of ethics
is not a major issue in this industry.
Sure, solving the problem won’t make you a millionaire, but it
might save you from the regret that Tony Fadell is experiencing.”–Benjamin Dickens
has become a crude and a route of business often servicing people in an
unethical way. For example, Silicon Valley; worlds largest technology and
creative hub is overflowing with bright minds and even better design. It also
houses major innovations such as apple and google. However, it has now been a
life size store room of ideas that are occasionally leaked to draw money from
faithful customers. Yes, it may not necessarily be a fault in design of the
product itself. However, if innovative designs were instantly put out to the
public in a timely fashion perhaps we as designer could focus more on coming up
with better ideas and solution to fault in previous design rather than figuring
out ways to draw out the limitations of an unevolved design product. The lack
of vision and raise of greed if=s more than visible to customers perhaps, this
can be seen in the all time low sale and increase of price in iPhones in the
Ethics in the fashion
Clothing has been an important factor in our day to day
living. They help us express ourselves. However, have you ever thought of what
fabric is used? How is it produced? Who made it? Where did it come form? Asking
these questions helps answer why design has been ungrateful to our planet and
why design is ‘not good’.
is a man made fiber which is widely utilized in many textile supply chain. Many
high street retailers have been linked to this supply chain such as: H&M,
Zara, Matalan, Next, Debenhams, Levi’s and several others. Upon investigation
it has been known that at locations like China and Indonesia toxic waste water
has been dumped into local waterways which further infect larger water bodies
in these areas; killing marine lives. Many of these retail brands also abuse
their power often employing and keeping their employees under harsh; boarder line
torture; conditions. With little to no payments made to minor employees in
third world countries unethical practices has dominated design and the design
industry. In 2010 H boasted of selling ‘organic’ cotton often mass
produced in less fortunate countries. Soon after 21 Bangladeshi factory workers
died after one of their factories caught on fire. The incident is now known as
the ‘Rana Plaza disaster’
Other high end brands may not use fibers such as viscose, however
they have had their own fair share of damage done to the environment in the
name of design. Although cheap brands
such as Asda and Primark are demonized to the public; brands like Prada and Hugo
Boss have also recently been outed for their unethical ways. Cheap brands such
as Primark and Tesco depend on workers from Moldova who also assembles and sew
for Versace, Dolce and Gabanna and Armani. A report by the ‘Clean clothe
campaign’ also found that workers in some of the European factories were kept
under harsher condition than compared to the workers in Asia. For example, in
Croatia Hugo Boss paid one third of what would be considered minimum living
wage. High end brands are also known for unethically killing animals purely for
business gains. While some may argue that killing of animals to retrieve
clothing has been generations worth of practice; it was done so due to necessity.
Fashion houses like Prada and L.V have been known to use snake and rare
crocodile skin to produce their products. Hermes is another known brand famous
for their rare and expensive ‘Himalayan croc birkin’ bags. These brands lack of
empathy in the name of design is unethical and ‘not good’. Their corrupt and
selfish ways of retrieving materials for business in the name of design is
unethical and ‘not good’. Thus, further proving why design due and its industry
is unethical and ‘not good’.
Through the research
and analysis on ‘is design good’, I therefore conclude that design has taken a crude
turn in the last 70 years or so. Perhaps this is due to the demand in ideas or
generation of idea during recessions and hard times. In my opinion Design in
our generation is ‘not good’ due to the influence business and economy drive. A
designer must develop a strategically active mind to sell products and ideas,
however, they should also be capable of distinguishing between being selling
ideas and being responsible of design ideas that will have no negative effect
in the environment and every person they deal with within their design process.
The Guardian: May 207
Business insider: Jan,2016
Mamamia (Online newspaper article): May 2015