Dids MacDonald OBE

Chief Executive of ACID


Podcast brought to you by The Design and Technology Association in partnership with The Edge Foundation. Listen now.

We talk with Dids Macdonald OBE Co-founder and Chief Executive of ACID (Anti-copying in Design). At the time of recording, Dids was also Master of The Furniture Makers Company, the City of London livery company and charity for the furniture industry. We were joined in the conversation by Anne Sampson, who was the outgoing Educational Events and Campaigns Manager. 

Designers are notoriously bad at protecting their intellectual property, while some are very aware that a good idea is easily stolen and copied, many get so wrapped up in the iterative process of bringing a design from concept to market that they completely ignore or are ignorant of simple actions that they can take to protect their design from being illegally copied. 

As a young designer herself, Dids was outraged by the audacity shown by some who openly copied and replicated her work and the work of colleagues. Instead of moaning about it, she decided to take action and Co-founded ACID, which has been working for the last 25 years to help to protect design intellectual property. 

In this episode, Dids talks us through the relatively simple steps that all designers should take to protect their work. We talk through how this could (and perhaps should) be taught as part of a D&T secondary or even primary education (it is taught to all primary aged pupils in China). 

Dids also takes us behind the scenes at one of the City’s newest livery companies. What is a livery company? How does this work with and for the furniture industry, and what can we do within education to encourage more students to consider furniture design as a worthy option? 

A wide-ranging and engaging conversation that lifts the lid on design theft and how to protect against it. 

Back to Podcasts