Dyson digs deep for British manufacturing

Published 09 February 2009

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: dyson, royal college of art

James Dyson, renowned inventor and hoover enthusiast, has made a giant donation of £5 million to the Royal College of Art to rediscover the nation’s talent for making things and rescue the manufacturing industry.

Speaking to the Observer this week, he said: “You often hear of British designers who’ve gone abroad and designed things for Apple, Volvo, Sony and so on, but if we are able to go on training very good designers and engineers, and manufacturing is given the right sort of support by government, I believe we can turn the tide and start exporting more than we import – and have great fun in the process.”

His educational charity, the James Dyson Foundation, makes the donation to help fund a new building on RCA’s Battersea campus in south London, including a lecture theatre, gallery space, studios and 40 business “incubator units” where recent graduates will be able to take their designs from the drawing board to production.

Dyson added: “Manufacturing is not a Dickensian, dark-satanic-mills place where you end up if you’re thick: it’s a very exciting intellectual exercise that is clean, poses fresh challenges every day and involves using science, design and engineering to make groundbreaking, wonderful products that the world wants.”


As we see in this article, Mr Dyson uses the British Design card alot in his publicity which gives the impression of the Great British Inventor and the Great British company<BR><BR>So why did Dyson abandon manufacturing his products in the UK and move it to Asia? a trend which the company is still pursuing. I know the reality of having to have things made in Malaysia etc., I just wish he'd be a bit more honest about it and the press would look beyond the press release.

Posted by Anonymous on 01 January 1970 at 02:00 AM

Very true, and something I considered at the time of writing this. However, how many other British designers are:<BR><BR>A) Designing and building things solely in Britain?<BR>B) Pledging vast sums of money to develop future generations in this country (a £56m school of design is still being planned through his foundation)?<BR>C) Bringing a considerable media spotlight to the subject of an undervalued industry?<BR><BR>The reason why he moved to Asia is the same reason as why most products are manufactured there – it’s cheap. As much as the media build him up to be the Great British Inventor, he is doing his share and putting something back.

Posted by Stephen Holmes on 01 January 1970 at 02:00 AM

I think in today’s world, you have to seperate Design, from Manufacturing and Production. For the UK, unless its specialised, mass scale manufacturing is done, dusted and packed off to the far east. For design, nothing could be further from the truth.

Posted by Al Dean on 01 January 1970 at 02:00 AM

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