The Design Community Hub is a support network for designers affected by the pandemic

Tim Greenhalgh: We are still building it… but we want to create a place where the design industry comes together to collaborate, work, and share expertise with graduates. So in that respect it is a hub that facilitates connections and a wider positive conversation.
INT:What other organisations are there out there like yours and what sets yours apart?
From the outset we were clear that we needed to do something to help those who are at home with their parents, struggling to find ways of connecting with the industry. Now that they are qualified, they are keen to join. Equally we were concerned that the pandemic and the following dislocation could result in individuals considering retraining in other areas or flatly rejecting a career in the creative industry. So, whilst not an obvious issue now, we did wonder that, if we did nothing, whether we could find ourselves asking in five years time “where did all the designers go?”
As such, a number of us who have been lucky enough to enjoy long and rewarding careers in the design sector have got together to create the Design Community Hub, a portal to keep engaged those currently displaced, to stay close to the industry, with support from the industry. To support by way of mentorship and the opportunity to be involved in industry events and in so doing keeping [them] close so that they are in a prime position to seize opportunities as they arise, when better times return.
It’s Nice That: What about the creative industry are you hoping to change and why does it need changing?
The Design Community Hub has therefore been created (albeit in its infancy) to try and step in and fill a void which is not directly supported by existing bodies or infrastructure. A void that has left many designers displaced from roles that they had made commitments against and pinned high hopes on, and for a raft of students who have now completed their university studies, proudly holding their scrolls, but have emerged triumphant with no roles to go to.
INT: What have you built and how does it tackle the industry issues?
Jonathan Sands: I don’t think we are trying to change anything but we are trying to fill a gap. And specifically a gap in the design sector. There are many design support organisations from the Design Council which are there to promote design best practice and a focus on SME’s – The DBA, which is the trade body for design, The Creative Industries Federation, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes the entire creative sector, etc. But we live in a dynamic environment where our world has been seismically affected over the last year by the global pandemic. And the casualties from this fallout need support.
JS: There are many organisations supporting the design profession but none are there to provide direct intervention post-pandemic to support individuals within the industry. However inspiration can be found in other sectors, with perhaps NABS in the advertising sector being the best example. NABS is a charity set up to help “improve the wellbeing of everyone in the industry”. We share the exact same mission for design and going forward, assuming that what we have started can gather momentum, we too would like to see the Design Community Hub incorporated as a charity. One where all services are offered free to members to help with things from financial support to career advice for the betterment and wellbeing of our industry.

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