Design Council’s purpose is to create a world where design, as a force for change, makes lives better for all.
We are an independent charity and the government’s advisor on design. Our mission is to make life better by design, working with people to create better places, better products and better processes, all of which lead to better performance.
We are ambitious, agile and not afraid to take risks.
Ambition with inclusion
In order to reduce inequalities and include everyone, we are ambitious in how we work.
Collaboration with agility
We spend time building trust with partners, being flexible and open to new opportunities.
Innovation with expertise
We use our specialist knowledge of design to research what works now and experiment with others to find out what will work in the future.
What will Design Lead do?
Design Council’s Design Lead will manage and evolve the design quality and content of our Growth and Innovation programmes – ensuring our they not just reflect cutting edge design practice and thinking, but they push it forward, developing new practice. They will be part of the business development team, taking forward programme development work with key strategic partners which reflect our new strategy for 2020, as well as playing a pivotal role in forming responses to bids and tenders.
The role will be responsible for developing programmes with existing and new partners around our three key strategy aims: health & wellbeing, sustainable living and design skills, incorporating evolving and new design practice in order to achieve systemic change and social and environmental impact. Programmes that the role is likely to work on include: homelessness, civic participation, health and work and climate action.
The role will require imaginative, entrepreneurial and collaborative talent to identify programmes that meet both income and impact objectives, and bring together a broad and fresh design practice. The role will work closely with our growing cohort of Design Associates to reflect the diversity of practice they bring to our work, report to the Head of Growth & Innovation and work with the Director of Architecture & Built Environment and the Chief Design Officer.
The kind of work you might do in the role:
Through research, programme development and delivery, develop new design practice & methods around sustainable design, community design, good business design and systemic design
Building great relationships with new and existing clients and designing innovative programmes for them with multidisciplinary teams
Playing a pivotal role in bids, tenders, presentation and pitches for new business
Delivering excellent client and participant experiences
Being an exponent and ambassador for Design Council - facilitating workshops and sharing our practice across the UK and internationally
Telling the story of our impact and ensuring that its told widely and accessibly
Work with and manage our Design Associates and in-house team to develop and deliver new, boundary-pushing design programmes that deliver our strategy objectives
Use your knowledge and experience to review existing and develop new tools and methods, and work with the Policy & Research team and project leads to develop and evaluate new ones, collecting them together and sharing openly
Deliver programmes alongside our Design Associates and in-house team, testing, iterating and evaluating methods and codifying for the wider team
Manage our network of Design Associates, facilitating a community of practice and ensuring that we continue to recruit to reflect the diversity of the UK and design practice.
As part of Design Council’s business development team, contribute to achieving the annual income targets and strategic impact goals by:Identifying potential funded opportunities for existing or new programmes, developing relationships with partners and developing programme propositions
Ensuring that existing clients have outstanding experiences, leading to expanded programmes
Leading creative input to bids, tenders, presentations and proposals
Ensuring income pipeline is kept up to date
Presenting to potential clients, partners and key stakeholders about our work, in presenations and pitches
Programme Management and Delivery
On progammes that role manages, ensure delivery is on time, within budget and that strategic goals are achieved:
Use agile project management to make sure the multidisciplinary team (including Design Associates and Built Environment Experts) know what they need to achieve, within what resources and to which timescales, and review and iterate to reach programme goals and budget.
Monitor and evaluate to ensure that project is on track, that new insight and stories are captured, and used to inform new design methods and also thought leadership against our strategic goals
Be able to provide intellectual design leadership on work, facilitate workshops, engage citizens and deliver prototypes of services and products that can be tested with users
Manage the contractual relationships with suppliers and third-party organisations and groups
Work with our partners to oversee the recruitment of participants onto programmes
Day-to-day line management of Programme Co-ordinator, including performance management, setting objectives, performance appraisal, training and development. Ensure goals and objectives are cascaded through the management line.
Ensure you comply with Design Council operational policies and procedures including financial and risk management, data management, Quality Assurance, project management and evaluation processes, brand guidelines, internal health and safety policy and safeguarding policy.
Does this sound like you?
A passion in the strategic role of design in tackling complex social and environmental challenges
A degree qualification (or similar) and/or demonstrable experience in design /design leadership
Significant experience successfully leading, developing and managing complex multiple programmes which generate income
Examples of developing innovative design approaches
Proven business development skills with a track record of bringing in and developing new business
Strong client relationship management skills
Experience in working and engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, including groups that may not have previous experience of strategic design
Excellent experience of budget management, forecasting and risk management
Excellent interpersonal and written, visual and verbal communication skills
Proven experience and ability to use Agile project management methodologies and tools, as well as reporting and presentation tools (ie Microsoft Office, Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook, miro)
Proficient user of reporting and presentation tools (ie Microsoft Office, Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook - PLUS digital collaboration platforms like MicrosoftTeams, Slack, Miro
Understanding of the social design landscape, including the third sector, and how the system works in practice
An existing network on contacts in the public and third sectors
Experience of public speaking and presenting
Creative, curious and experimental
Agile with the ability to flex and spot problems before they happen
Entrepreneurial - scans the horizon and is open to commercial opportunities and change
Independent and proactive
Collaborative and inclusive - able to work with others across teams and learn from others
Daring and provocative – willing to try new ideas
Focuses on impact and results for citizens
The Design Council is committed to providing equal opportunities for all. Applications are welcomed from all sections of the community. Public appointments are made on merit with independent assessments, openness and transparency.
Closing date: 19 August 2020