Programme

This Event page will be updated regularly.


Topic 1: public design policy


As a European Member of ico-D, this is the first of a series of mailings you will receive including thoughts, questions and reading material expanding on the topics for the ico-D Regional Meeting Europe, which will take place on 20-21 June 2019.

These are some of the issues we would like to explore in Topic 01: Public Design Policy:

— successful policy initiatives: what they are and how they work
— educating the consumer: how CEOs and citizens consume design
— designing public services: how design methodology can be used by government
— building the national design brand by training better designers
— foreign trade: soft power industries like design need different selling tactics


While the European Union is currently the second largest economy in the world in nominal terms (after the United States) and according to purchasing power parity (after China), we all feel the ground starting to shift under us. The pace of Globalisation and its adherent technologies is not slowing down. People are moving and connecting in larger numbers and faster. Our competitors are no longer our neighbours. We now compete with, and outsource beyond, our own geographical location for high quality design services from places like Buenos Aires, Chengdu and Bali. With this increased competition so comes opportunity, because nothing is stopping clients abroad — China is now the world’s biggest consumer — from buying the established design brands of France, Sweden or Italy.

Smart governments at all levels — national, regional and municipal — are building policies to support everything from design education, to business aid for design SMEs, to reinforcing local design industry through procurement initiatives and putting in place tax cuts to bolster local design-based manufacturing industries. These measures give designers a leg-up on competition, giving value in ways that are both local and far-reaching. Public design policies sharpen local competencies, give opportunities to grow (effectively incubating businesses) and contribute to educating society at large to be better, more responsible consumers.

 

 

 

Questions

This Meeting is a unique opportunity to discuss issues that are important to design organisations with your peers who may have expereince in areas that you do not. Here are some questions we would like to see addressed.
 

— is there a National Design Policy template? what would that look like?

— how to convince your regional or national government that it is worthwhile to put policy in place supporting the design industry?

—what policy initiatives work best in which circumstances?

— how to create champions within the bureaucratic cadre?

— design public services: who knows how to do it? Have there been proven models?

 

Do you have answers to any of these questions? Would you like to present a topic to your peers? Contact Events Manager Elizabeth Carbonell with your ideas at




Topic 2: metrics + data


These are some of the issues we would like to explore in Topic 02: Metrics + Data:

— what are we measuring and to what end?
— assessing existing data on design (models)
— exploring ways of measuring: from conventional statistics to data-mapping
— measuring the intangible: determining criteria
— KPIs and RIOs: speaking the language of government and business


The nuts and bolts of gathering complex information and knowledge (data) and devising systems to measure it (metrics) is a resource-consuming exercise. Currently, most national-level census data on design industries and professions is incomplete. And without metrics, only a very partial picture of the design ecosystem is revealed. If governments had straightforward data on design it could empower them to put design policy in place and help them govern in ways that better capitalise on what the design industry has to offer. In this way, this topic is correlated to last week’s topic “Public Design Policy”.

Having clear data to describe and position the design workforce — the numbers of working designers and their contributions to the economy— is key for design organisations requesting government funds to develop resources for this sector, but also for these organisations to better understand their roles vis a vis the designers they serve.

After a decade or so of the corporate world co-opting terms like “design-thinking” and “innovation” to capitalise on the “power” of design for business, business — in the form of the big management consulting companies — is starting to understand that actual design, performed by professional designers, has an important role to play in business development. Deloitte now has its own “Design & Innovation” consultancy (Fjord). McKinsey is producing industry reports on both design and fashion, and the Boston Consulting Group has acquired a digital design and innovation lab to focus on the intersection of “human experience and technology”. Designers do not need big management consulting companies to understand their potential (or maybe they do?) but these case studies are a strong business argument for designers throughout Europe to better package and explain their value.



Questions

This Meeting is a unique opportunity to discuss issues that are important to design organisations with your peers who may have experience in areas that you do not. Here are some questions we would like to see addressed.
 

— Who are we trying to convince? And of what?
— From the perspective of business, some management accounting firms (like McKinsey) have started to create reports demonstrating the business-case for design and integrating design into the way they help their clients. How can this be leveraged by design organisations?
— Counting designers and their impact on national/ regional economies is a way to have some political impact. Can we do this regionally/ internationally?
— Can we pool resources to create a shared framework?


 

Do you have answers to any of these questions? Would you like to present a topic to your peers? Contact Events Manager Elizabeth Carbonell with your ideas at

 


Topic 3: globalisation

 

Some things to reflect on leading up to Topic 03: Globalisation:

— how globalisaton is changing the playing field
— the reality of economic, political and social disruption
— China: an undeniable force
— educating designers: how designers define the design profession
— new challenges, new opportunities


Globalisation is causing enormous economic, political and social disruption. The promises of faster and easier travel, better telecommunications and technologies that translate, connect, share and bring each of us closer — at least digitally— are moving entire industries across borders, opening up new markets, boosting certain sectors and opening an even wider divide between the haves and have nots. Whether consciously or not, designers play a primary role in this change and are also greatly affected by it as a profession. The attributes of tomorrow's markets, products and services are being determined today by social developments in distant lands and it is incumbent on designers, and particularly design organisations and entities, to better understand the implications of this. 

Countries like China and India are becoming not only sophisticated manufacturers but important world markets for goods. Where once it might have been enough to develop relations with key factories or develop partnerships to set up manufacturing plants to sell competitively to the rest of the planet, today any brand not selling to these markets is missing out on key growth sectors. But if we meet this growing market demand and produce as much for China and India as we do for North America and Europe, aren't we are going to be drowning in 'stuff'? Designers play a pivotal role in this evolution, mainly to assert their position as defenders of the interests of the end-user and to divert a situation which will have disastrous impacts on the planet. This includes making actual sustainable decisions — including making less— and finding solutions that take into consideration issues like accessibility, equality and improvement of quality of life. Are we equipping designers with the tools to cope with the full implications of globalisation?

 

 

 

Questions
This Meeting is a unique opportunity to discuss issues that are important to design organisations with your peers who may have experience in areas that you do not. Here are some questions we would like to see addressed.

 

— How has globalisation impacted designers in your region?
— "Wicked problems" like sustainability, urban expansion, and ageing populations: how is design positioned to find solutions? Should these solutions be shared with those less financially able to develop them?
— Can we face this alone and still do what we need to do? If designers need to take back some of the power from producers and marketers, can they do while still banding together more intelligently?
— Are there opportunities resulting from the disruption? How do we capitalise on them?


 

Do you have answers to any of these questions? Would you like to present a topic to your peers? Contact Events Manager Elizabeth Carbonell with your ideas at