News Releases

Ministry of Design: From Cottage Industry to State Enterprise - UWI colloquium

For Release Upon Receipt - April 9, 2015

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago – The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus, will host a colloquium from May 28 to 29 to generate public discussion on design, a multi-faceted global industry that affects the national community on a daily basis – from the design of the best vehicular path to negotiate Port-of-Spain traffic during Carnival, to signage on the path, to the design of a mobile app to solve that challenge.

According to the organisers, the Department of Creative and Festival Arts, research suggests that design has a significant positive effect on the economies of countries by making industries more competitive, by stimulating manufacturing as a tool for social development and even by addressing issues to improve basic systems for health infrastructure, crime prevention, education and transport.

‘Ministry of Design – from cottage industry to state enterprise’ explores the general public perception that design relates primarily to fashion, graphic design and Carnival. The colloquium will highlight the impact of design on the wider economy and, indeed, the man-in-the-street through his interface with well-designed products such as mobile phones and cars.

Currently Trinidad and Tobago has neither design policies nor programmes although there is an avowed focus on innovation and competitiveness. Colloquium chairs Lesley-Ann Noel and Michael Lee Poy will guide the process over the two days and encourage debate on the possible outcomes should the government of Trinidad and Tobago direct substantial financial investment towards design initiatives on a national level.  How could a ‘Ministry of Design’ encourage and stimulate design and create awareness of its importance among individuals, families, educators, business and non-governmental organisations?

For further information, please contact Roberta Quarless at


About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)