Thinking, Testing, Making: A Manifesto for Design

Ahead of the General Election, the Parliamentary Officers of the APDIG launch a new manifesto warning that the next government must put design at the heart of the UK’s ‘political, economic and educational systems’ to ensure the ‘opportunities of the future are fully realised’.

The manifesto, entitled Thinking, Making, Testing: A Manifesto for Design, calls on all political parties to not only provide greater support for the design industry itself, but also to realise the enormous potential that design can offer in improving the very process of devising government policy. The incorporation of design into policymaking, the manifesto argues, must become a ‘fundamental tenet’ of delivering effective public services now and in decades to come.

The manifesto is authored by Lord Richard Rogers, Caroline Dinenage MP, Barry Sheerman MP and Baroness Whitaker on behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Design & Innovation Group. It makes a passionate case for the benefits of adopting a ‘design approach’ to public policy formation, utilising design’s natural focus on solving complex problems creatively, understanding user needs, utilising data and prototyping solutions effectively.

The document makes key recommendations across four key areas of public policy - Industrial Strategy, Public Services and Government Infrastructure, Housing and the Built Environment, and Education. These policy areas, the group argues, could be significantly improved by the application of design and design thinking.