A well attended Pioneering Event

On 18th October 160 De Montfort University (DMU) Design Students used their valuable non-tutored day to attend the first of BIDA’s university ‘roadshow’ engagement events. They heard BIDA Chairman, Steve May-Russell give his insight into the future of Industrial Design and its implications for the next generation of Industrial Designers.

This afternoon event had a range of presentations to give the students an opportunity to gain direct appreciation of day-to-day design practice.

First up was designer, Ben Irvine. He shared his experience of a typical day working at Bluefrog Design and gave a fascinating presentation on one of his projects - the new Thirty6 range of sanitaryware.

Zoe Bryant followed Ben with a typical day at her office.  Zoe is currently a third year student on a one year placement at Smallfry.  She’ll return to Loughborough in September 2018 for her final year.  Zoe encouraged the audience to take a placement year and outlined the experiences and opportunities presented to her.  She hopes to join Smallfry once she graduates.

Paul Surridge from RHL Recruitment, gave the students invaluable advice for putting together their CV’s as well as what prospective employers are looking for.  Paul gave the students several key interview tips.

Carrie Johnson from Patent Attorneys, Barker Brettell, gave an interesting presentation about Intellectual Property; protecting brands, ideas, innovations, designs, business solutions and trade secrets, with a particular slant on Industrial Design and IP assets. 

The opportunity to learn more about specialist manufacturing methods was provided by rotational moulders and precision woodworkers Gordon Ellis & Co and specialist aluminium casting manufacturers Harrison Castings.

The DMU placement team, who also had display material on show, were inundated with questions once Zoe Bryant had given her presentation on the importance of a placement.

Based on the positive feedback from the students, the design faculty and our speakers, the event was judged as hugely successful. BIDA look forward to repeating this ‘roadshow’ format with other leading universities.

Our thanks to DMU for hosting and supporting this pioneering event. We hope to strengthen the links between industry and academia to the benefit of the next generation of Industrial Designers.



BIDA Industrial Design graduate employability survey 2017 results

BIDA’s graduate employability survey once again confirms the value of industry links with a top 5 colleges all having placement schemes and longstanding industry networks. This group includes, in rank order, Loughborough, Brunel, De Montfort, Northumbria and UAL (Central St Martins).

Loughborough and Brunel University in 1st and 2nd place were each selected by over 40% of the total participants. 

A recruiter comments on graduates from this group: “(they have all had) 1 year’s industry experience within an in-house team for a big brand or a consultancy environment. They have a good design process, good sketching and CAD abilities. Have strong sensitivity/passion for user experience, CMF and the latest trends/technologies.” 

A further group of Universities receiving multiple endorsements includes: Nottingham Trent, Coventry, Ravensbourne, Sheffield Hallam, Bournemouth and Glasgow School of Art. 

There’s a long tail tail of a further 45 Universities with either a very few, or no votes. 

BIDA invited our industry to select up to 5 Universities which their experience suggests produce the most employable graduates for industrial design roles. There were a total of 206 participants, many providing detailed comments. The overall results closely match the earlier 2015 survey. 

BIDA is currently conducting a nationwide series of visits to design courses, pairing BIDA members with Universities keen to provide their ID students with extra industry expertise and insights through talks and advice sessions. 

BIDA Chairman Steve May-Russell comments “Our motivation is to raise awareness of the factors which distinguish the very best of UK design education to support the development of future generations of Industrial designers with the right skills. Well done to our top 10!”

THE DESIGN ECONOMY – the value of design to the UK

THE DESIGN ECONOMY – the value of design to the UK

 Here’s a compelling reason why we need a strong BIDA to make sure we are heard and to get our fair portion of support that UK Government seems to be keen to offer our profession.


The recently published Design Council report The Design Economy, is the first to look at ‘design’ across the whole UK economy and covers a wide spectrum from human centred design to technical design. It covers the period from 2009-2013 so whilst not exactly ‘up to the minute’ it contains some useful statistics that should help us – industrial designers – to do two things:-

  • Persuade clients and senior management alike that good design makes seriously sound commercial sense with success far outweighing the cost
  • Grow exports significantly whether through directly selling our services or by creating world class products

We are productive when measured against the UK workforce and as a subsector we are major contributors showing a growth of 63.2% in the period and along with architecture and the built environment collectively contributed £13.2bn to the UK economy. We might be the smaller of the two but its still an impressive figure.


Having worked together with the DBA (Design Business Association) and APDIG (All Party Design Industry Group) on a submission to Government the Design Council Report is further evidence of the increasing value and power of design in the economy.


The Design Economy Report is available as a download from Design Council website www.designcouncil.org.uk


Plastics Industry Awards 2017

Now in its 17th year the Plastics Industry Awards have firmly established themselves as the forum for recognising and rewarding excellence in an increasingly competitive market. Launched in 2001, and held annually in London this event is dedicated to rewarding innovation and exceptional performance. The Plastics Industry Awards acknowledge the best companies and the best people in the market

UX Design Awards 2017 - Call for Entries

Call for Entries | Deadline: March 31, 2017 | Final Submission: April 21, 2017

Full Details and registration: www.ux-design-awards.com

 Bestowed by the International Design Center Berlin (IDZ), the annual awards honor outstanding design and intuitive quality in electronic products, digital solutions, services and environments. From this year on, the competition also includes professional concepts, prototypes and research projects. Corporations, design consultancies and agencies worldwide are invited to submit their user-centered product solutions and services until March 31st. All nominated solutions and services will be exhibited from September 1 – 6, 2017 at IFA, the global consumer electronics show in Berlin.

Competition jury

The jury is the core of the UX Design Awards. The independent experts’ many years of experience guarantee the highest quality of the competition. The jury members’ different competencies and specializations ensure a balanced evaluation of the various competition entries in the fields of user orientation and design quality.


Submissions in the following product areas are accepted:

Product Solutions: Launched or market ready products, services, physical and virtual environments

Concepts: Professional product studies, product/service prototypes, research projects


Participation in the competition is open to companies of all sizes from around the world, to design and architectural offices, to communication and PR agencies, to development and engineering offices as well as to consortia comprising of companies, science and academic institutions.

Full Details and registration



Get involved in running BIDA - National Board elections

In August 2016, BIDA members will elect our National Board in open elections.  Members have the opportunity to stand and/or propose other members.  Nominations must be received by July 29th.

Board positions are voluntary and a great opportunity to help to influence the future of Industrial Design education, practice and representation.  If you are not a member already, please follow the simple online process to join and get your vote.  As member you could stand for election, promote and run BIDA.  Please contact info@britishindustrialdesign.org.uk if you need more information

See us at Innovate UK 2015

At Innovate UK BIDA will be encouraging companies to invest in design at the early stage of their new initiatives. See us in the Support Zone. For more information on the event, taking place from 9-10 November at London's Old Billingsgate. See here.