Design management

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Terence Conran (b. 1931)


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This important area of activity was concerned with the management of the design process within a company or corporate setting and was pioneered by individuals such as Michael Farr of Michael Farr (Design Integration) Ltd. in Tottenham Court Road, London. He wrote an early book on Design Management in 1966, suggesting ways in which design projects should be managed, accompanied by systematic flow charts and diagrams to explain the process. Such an approach was in tune with a growing contemporary interest in Design Methods from the early 1960s. The London‐based Royal Society of Arts also recognized the importance of design methods with the institution of its Presidential Awards for Design Management in 1965. Amongst early companies to receive the awards were Heal's, Hille, London Transport, and Conran. Since that period many larger design consultancies have for some years offered managerial, financial, and business analysis as important dimensions of their professional portfolio. The Society of Industrial Artists and Designers (See Chartered Society of Designers) established its Design Management Group in 1981, publishing its Design Management Seminars two years later. The London Business School, particularly through the initiatives of Peter Gorb, also ran Design Management Seminars in the 1980s. Such ideas were explored elsewhere in the industrialized world with the establishment of International Conferences of Design Management and the publication of associated papers.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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