Organisation not person should lead Birmingham's Creativity

On Saturday 6th I noted the discussion within Birmingham's creative community and bloggers on the topic of a Creative Director, a discussion that has exploded with the Big City Plan; Pulling the brands together - a creative director for Birmingham? the bloggers start to talk.

The City Council has responded with comments in the Birmingham Post by Birmingham City Council assistant director of regeneration Philip Singleton suggesting an organisation rather than a person would be better.

The article from the Post is reposted below. It will be interesting to see if a body could give the leadership needed and not be stifled by the stamp of City Council control or straightjacket of 'approval' by the suits in office.

Senior council boss insists Birmingham doesn't need a creative director
Dec 8 2008 by Anna Blackaby, Birmingham Post

The debate over whether Birmingham should have a creative director continued as a senior Birmingham City Council regeneration boss spoke on the issue.

Reignited by the visit of branding expert Michael Wolff to the city last month, the discussion took another turn when Birmingham City Council assistant director of regeneration Philip Singleton said he believed the figure of a creative director may not be best for Birmingham, instead suggesting it could be an organisation that fulfilled the role.

Last year Mr Wolff sparked controversy when he accused Birmingham of trailing in Manchester’s wake in the creativity stakes, and consequently the image stakes, saying the city should appoint a creative director along the lines of Peter Saville in Manchester.

Mr Singleton said he did not believe the city should necessarily look to Manchester’s model for inspiration on how to promote Birmingham as a creative city.

“We need to find a Birmingham way to do this - we need to find out what we need to do for Birmingham,” he said.

Meanwhile the discussion continued to rage on the Birmingham It’s Not Shit site sparked by a post by Birmingham blogger Jon Bounds entitled “Why Birmingham needs a creative director - the problem they could solve.”

He said: “There have been discussions for years about Birmingham having a ‘creative director’, and it’s time to realise that this would mean not just someone to oversee and reform the appalling design that almost all council work seems to have - but someone who would be strong enough to say “that’s not good enough for Birmingham”.”

Among other issues, he pointed to the promotion of ArtsFest and the design of Council leaflets as areas a creative director should take action on.


Popular Posts