UK: Adding style to the high street.

UK: Adding style to the high street. - The decline of product design in the UK has slowed, but industry is still wary of investment, says James Woudhuysen.

The decline of product design in the UK has slowed, but industry is still wary of investment, says James Woudhuysen.

Britain's battered design "industry" knows the problems all too well. This country's product designers, ignored by manufacturers at home, now work more and more for foreign clients - who then add to the UK's balance of payments woes by exporting their goods back to us. In France, Seymour Powell develops cookware for Tefal, and Fitch-RS designs computers for Groupe Bull; further afield, Hollington Associates consults with the American furniture giant Herman Miller in office desking and chairs, and youthful upstart TKO boasts a ghetto blaster for Sony which comes across like a Jules Verne submarine.

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