Formation and policy development

Scope and Content

Files in DCA/1 relate to "core" issues, such as relations with key bodies, sources of funding, the opening of the Design Centre and its evolving programme. A group of files from the 1940s relate to the earliest formulation of policy and funding issues for the newly formed body. They also encompass relations with the Royal Fine Art Commission, voluntary associations in the field, the Treasury, the House of Commons, and the Board of Trade. A second cluster dating from the 1950s relate to the planning of the new London Design Centre. The multiple parts of file DCA/1/23.3 (1957-1980) cover the discussion of future activities. A final group of files from the 1970s and 1980s relate to shifts in policy following the name change from CoID to Design Council in 1972. Five sub files containing the Design Centre's Weekly Bulletin from 1956-1961 have been added here to complement the Future Activities files. These were not for public distribution, but were summaries of issues of immediate concern to Design Centre staff.


The surviving files have been retained in their original numeric order as allocated by the Council"s Registry. This means that records in a series do not necessarily have consecutive file numbers, and may not be located together.

Archivist's Note

Record created by Lesley Whitworth with minor amendments by Sue Breakell, June 2010.

Related Material

An additional group of files with alpha-numeric designations (such as T1, H1 and D1) were the first Director"s own files and almost certainly originated in this series. For ease of reference these have been relocated with the substantive body of material on the subjects concerned.


Coulson, Anthony J. 'A Bibliography Of Design In Britain, 1851-1970', London: Design Council, 1979.

Farr, Michael, 'Design In British Industry: A Mid-Century Survey', Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1955

Maguire, Paddy, "Designs On Reconstruction: British Business, Market Structures And The Role Of Design In Post-War Recovery", Journal of Design History, 4:1 (1991), 15-30

Whitworth, Lesley, "Inscribing Design on the Nation: The Creators of the British Council of Industrial Design", in Business and Economic History Online, Vol. 3, 2005.

Woodham, Jonathan M., "Managing British Design Reform I: Fresh Perspectives On The Early Years Of The Council Of Industrial Design", Journal of Design History, 9:1 (1996), 55-65

Whitworth, Lesley, "Anticipating Affluence: Skill, Judgement and the Problems of Aesthetic Tutelage' in L. Black and H. Pemberton (eds), 'An Affluent Society? Britain's Post-War 'Golden Age' Revisited', Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004, 167-183.