Industry-specific design centres

Scope and Content

DCA/5 documents the Council"s efforts to communicate the benefits of sector-specific Design Centres to a wide range of manufacturing industries. Discussions were opened with the following: Aluminium; Boots and Shoes; Carpets; Cast Iron; Corsets; Cutlery; Display; Electrical products; Engineering; Furniture; Gas; Glass; Gold, Silver and Jewellery; Hardware; Hosiery; Hotels; Lace and Embroidery; Leather; Light metal trades; Linen; Linoleum; Motor Industry; Packaging; Paint; Pottery; Printing; Rayon; Silk; Toys; Wallpaper; Watches and Clocks; and Wool. This model of design promotion did not, however, meet with widespread enthusiasm. The bulk of the material dates from 1944-1949. A small amount is generated in the early 1950s, but the decision to open a single Design Centre for British Industries in London brought such discussions to a close.

Administrative / Biographical History

Under the terms laid out in the President of the Board of Trade"s instructions to the Council"s first Chairman, the new body was intended to co-ordinate the activities of a series of industry-specific Design Centres. Grants would be made to these Centres by the Board of Trade, in consultation with the Council. First of all, however, the Council needed to cultivate a desire for such Centres among the industries concerned. Files in DCA/5 document overtures made by the Council to this end.


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.


Paddy Maguire, "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