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Calls for designers to play a part in Manchester’s 10-year strategy

A Manchester Design Manifesto has been launched to help the city produce better outcomes as it works towards aims in its 10-year strategy.

Designers in architecture, transport, services, products, media and digital are said to have a contribution to make when it comes to achieving a clean, prosperous, diverse and inclusive metropolis through the ‘Our Manchester’ plan, which was adopted in 2015.

Design Manchester which has run a design festival in the city since 2013, was asked by Manchester City Council to investigate how designers, design skills and design thinking could help solve challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

The resulting manifesto suggests areas including industry to education and public services to public realm would benefit from design.

Council leader Sir Richard Leese says: “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.”

Lou Cordwell OBE, CEO of magneticNorth, advisory board chair of Design Manchester and co-author of the study, adds: “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.”

Study co-author and Design Manchester director Kasper de Graaf, goes on to say: “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.”