Excellent design will be at the “beating heart” of all new UK infrastructure, vows Stirling Prize winner as she announces members of influential new Design Group

Published: 6 May 2019

By: NIC

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Picture of Sadie Morgan

Professor Sadie Morgan, a National Infrastructure Commissioner and Stirling Prize winner, today hails a “pivotal moment” for the future of UK infrastructure, as the ten members of a new Design Group are revealed.

The Design Group will be champions for design excellence in all new national infrastructure. They will lobby to ensure that design is considered at the outset of every major project, and at every stage of delivery to make the most of our infrastructure without increasing costs.

The first National Infrastructure Assessment, published by the Commission last year, set out the benefits of effective design, highlighting how embedding it into the culture of planning and delivery leads to an outcome that both works well and looks good, enhancing the quality of life for the communities who experience it every day.

Professor Morgan, who will chair the Design Group, congratulated the five candidates who beat off tough competition to be selected as the inaugural cohort of the pioneering initiative.

They will sit alongside three members of the Commission’s existing expert panel, who informed the design recommendations in the Assessment. The tenth member of the Group is a representative from the Commission’s Young Professionals Panel who will ensure a strong voice for the next generation.

The experience of the members spans transport, engineering, landscape and architecture.

“Too often, and at great social cost, design is an afterthought – a tick box exercise tacked onto a project at the 11th hour,” said Professor Morgan.

“The establishment of the Design Group marks a pivotal moment for the future of UK infrastructure. Our ambition is to put excellent design at the beating heart of all new projects. These schemes have a lifespan over generations – and it will be design that defines the legacy they leave behind.”

“Our individual experience of the built environment speaks to our national identity, it says a great deal about who we are and what we are good at.”

“That’s why all nationally significant projects should have a board level design champion and use a design panel to maximise the benefits the infrastructure will bring.”

“I’m delighted that we’ve received an unprecedented level of support, not just from people working in the sector, but also the wider design community and others who see how such a step change would have a huge impact on the quality of thousands of people’s lives.”

National Infrastructure Design Group

The members of the National Infrastructure Commission’s Design Group are:

  • Professor Sadie Morgan (Chair)– Architectural Designer – National Infrastructure Commissioner and Founding Partner of dRMM Architects
  • Isabel Dedring – Lawyer and Management Consultant – Global Transport Leader at Arup
  • Anthony Dewar– Civil Engineer – Professional Head, Buildings and Architecture at Network Rail
  • Clare Donnelly – Architect – Director at Fereday Pollard Architects
  • Andrew Grant – Landscape Architect – Founder and Director of Grant Associates
  • Professor Hanif Kara – Structural Engineer – Co-founder and Design Director of AKT II
  • Madeleine Kessler – Architect – Haptic Architects
  • Lucy Musgrave – Urban Designer – Founding Director of Publica
  • Judith Sykes– Civil Engineer – Director at Expedition Engineering
  • Louise Wyman – Chartered Surveyor and Landscape Architect – Design Lead for the West Midlands Combined Authority

The Design Group is expected to meet formally at least four times a year. Their work will include undertaking research examining the added value that design can bring to infrastructure and developing design principles that could be applied to all nationally significant projects.

Full biographies for each of the members can be viewed on the Design Group page.

Supportive statements in favour of the Design Group are published here.

Details of the National Infrastructure Assessment’s recommendations on design can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

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