Design Group

Established in 2019 to inspire renewed ambition for the quality of the UK’s infrastructure.

Design Group

The Group exists to inspire, promote and champion design excellence in all nationally significant projects.

The National Infrastructure Commission’s Design Group was established in 2019 to inspire renewed ambition for the quality of the UK’s infrastructure.

Our mission

The Design Group’s mission is to inspire, promote and champion design excellence in all nationally significant infrastructure projects. This approach produces infrastructure which has social value and responds creatively to the needs of people, places and the environment.

We believe design processes help convene and engage people, to ensure new infrastructure improves quality of life across our communities and enhances the UK’s natural and built environment.

Having diverse professionals in the Design Group means we see and experience the world differently, though we are united by our shared belief in the transformative power of great design.

Design Group Chair Professor Sadie Morgan speaking at launch event for Design Principles
Design Group Chair Professor Sadie Morgan launching the Design Principles for National Infrastructure

Design Group members

A team of creative and technical design leaders, with experience spanning architecture, landscape, engineering and transport.

Design Principles

Guidance for embedding good design at every stage of infrastructure projects.

In February 2020, the Design Group published its Design Principles for National Infrastructure. This followed a recommendation made in the National Infrastructure Assessment.

These four principlesclimate, people, places and value – aim to guide the planning and delivery of future major infrastructure projects in the UK.

Download the principles

The principles build on the work of the Design Task Force established in the run up to the first National Infrastructure Assessment, which commissioned research on how such principles might be developed, sector attitudes to design, and a portfolio of examples demonstrating the value of design.

Case studies

In the four videos below, members of the Design Group and contributors involved in infrastructure design discuss four case study projects, each of which exemplifies one of the four National Infrastructure Design Principles.

Climate

 

 

People

 

 

Places

 

Value

 

 

 

Latest updates

What makes good design? Commission’s Principles help frame civil engineers’ approach
Cover of report on good design in infrastructure by the ICE and NIC

What makes good design? Commission’s Principles help frame civil engineers’ approach

The National Infrastructure Commission’s Design Group has collaborated with the Institution of Civil Engineers on a major report examining the barriers to embedding good design at every stage of infrastructure projects. In September 2020, the ICE, in collaboration with the Commission’s Design Group, surveyed ICE members to establish how relevant they believed the Commission’s four...

13 Jul 2021 By
Commission response to government’s National Infrastructure Strategy
Portrait of Sir John Armitt

Commission response to government’s National Infrastructure Strategy

Alongside today’s Spending Review, the government has published a National Infrastructure Strategy and a detailed response to the National Infrastructure Commission’s landmark Assessment published in 2018. Sir John Armitt, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, said: “Publication of the UK’s first ever National Infrastructure Strategy is an important moment, given the vital role infrastructure can...

25 Nov 2020 By
Infrastructure should “celebrate our nation’s ambition,” says Stirling Prize winner as she throws down new design challenge for the industry
Portrait of Sadie Morgan 2017

Infrastructure should “celebrate our nation’s ambition,” says Stirling Prize winner as she throws down new design challenge for the industry

Professor Sadie Morgan, Chair of the National Infrastructure Design Group, has today thrown down a challenge to everyone involved in major projects to embrace new principles to enhance the quality of the nation’s infrastructure. The UK’s first ever Design Principles for National Infrastructure, developed by the expert Design Group, seek to embed four key considerations...

5 Feb 2020 By
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