Designing Manchester

Feb 14 2019

Back in 2015, the Our Manchester strategy outlined a new ten year vision for the city. With the halfway mark fast approaching, how much of the plan has been delivered so far and how close are we to reaching our goals? At 2018’s Design Manchester festival in October, Sir Richard Leese announced the city’s pledge to develop a Manchester Design Manifesto. The study, co-authored by our very own Lou Cordwell, details why we are putting design at the forefront of Manchester’s future.

Manchester Design Manifesto. Credit: Andrew Brooks

Design, like technology, plays a part in everything we do. We have an unprecedented opportunity to choose how we design the future of Manchester in areas like housing, healthcare, education and skills. We don't want to design it by default.

Lou Cordwell, CEO magneticNorth & Advisory Board Chair of Design Manchester

In true Manchester style, the delivery of the Manifesto will focus on collaboration. Design is already tightly woven into much of the city’s culture and we now need to leverage its influence across the board from industry to public services, into education, and even into the public realm. The Manifesto recognises that designers, a design-led approach and design skills will be key in driving the city’s transformative change. Putting design at the core of our social and economic strategies will allow us to better deliver on our ambitions as well as to help establish our position as a world leading design city.

Manchester is at the heart of the largest digital and creative cluster in the UK outside London. Design is central to growing this opportunity. By engaging the design community in this way, the city will benefit from the growth of the cluster and from the improvements it will deliver in products, services and the environment.

Kasper de Graaf, Co-Author and Design Manchester Director

We have the ability to deliver better solutions across so many aspects of Manchester life and the Manifesto gives us the momentum to make that happen. Working together, we can adopt a user-centred approach to the way every facet of our city is designed and continue Manchester’s journey towards becoming a true international design city.

Design represents a significant opportunity for Manchester. We live in an age of transformative change. Design can help us make sure those changes work for the benefit of our city and our communities.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council

Read more about the Manchester Design Manifesto scope here.

Sophie, Studio & Brand Manager

Manchester Design Manifesto

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