Friday, 8 June 2012

SA's Integrated Design Commission to be axed

I was literally just checking out the website of the IDC, when the latest Architecture & Design Newsletter arrived in my inbox with this news, in an article exhorting readers to campaign to save it.

South Australia established it's Integrated Design Commission along with the position of Government Architect a bare two years ago, in an apparent enlightened attempt to leverage the added value of design across both government and private enterprise in that state.  With already a reputation for historical best practice initiatives in urban design, sustainability, and a vibrant design culture, the State had nothing to lose and everything to gain by repositioning itself as it loses the last of its conventional manufacturing base.

That said, I am not an uncritical fan.  Looking at the IDC website, one sees a lot of promise, but a fairly limited outcome.  Conspicuously missing are the promised handbooks and other professional resources that were supposed to be the outcomes of the research partnerships the commission is meant to facilitate.  The elaborate, and on first sight thoughtful, framework of design review panels is supported by the IDCSA DESIGN REVIEW PANELIST HANDBOOK, which I read fairly carefully.  Unfortunately I concluded that rather than being a useful guide to inform the professional conduct of panel members, it is more a well written, bureaucratic feelgood instrument.

Perhaps two years is not quite enough.   But apparently, you can't trust politicians to have a long-term vision.  Read the whole article here.

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