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A+DS welcome review findings

Architecture and Design Scotland has welcomed the Scottish Government’s review findings into the future of the design body

According to the report, published yesterday (28 April), the review finds there is a clear role for a national design body to promote the benefits of good quality design. ‘There is no reason why A+DS should not build on its strengths to perform a vital role in Scotland, similar to those by CABE in Scotland, and the Design Commission for Wales,’ said the report.

A number of recommendations have been made by the review panel including a simplification of the body’s structure, as well as focusing on a limited number of priorities. ‘One of the recurring comments from external stakeholders about A+DS’ performance to date was that the breadth of its activities at times diluted the effectiveness of the organisation.’

Furthermore, despite criticism of the design review, which ‘has operated in the form of negative criticism rather than constructive comment’, it has been decided to retain the process with a number of changes, recast in an enabling role rather than judgemental. Another key finding was that A+DS establish a design review panel similar to those with CABE and DCfW.

Sebastian Tombs, chief executive of A+DS said: “This review gives A+DS a clear remit to champion the opportunities that planning reform offers to create better buildings and spaces in Scotland. Additionally, we will be targeting skills development to help raise the capabilities of place-makers to create places that the people of Scotland deserve; places that work, which provide real choices and are place where people want to be.”

The review was commissioned in September 2008 by the Scottish government and the Architecture and Place Division, the sponsoring division of A+DS within the Scottish government.

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