01 National Design Policy

Lead: Bradley Schott, Design Institute of Australia (DIA)

Board Liaison: Rebecca Blake, ico-D Treasurer (2017-2019)

Work Group Members:
Peter Florentzos, ico-D Treasurer (2015-2017)
Des Laubscher, ico-D Vice President (2017-2019)
Ron Leung, Hong Kong Designers Association (HKDA)
Sami Niemelä, Grafia - Association of Visual Communication Designers in Finland
Zachary Haris Ong, ico-D President (2017-2019)
Wulan Pusponegoro, Indonesian Association of Graphic Designers (Adgi)
Gabriel Tang, DesignSingapore

As a means of increasing global competitiveness and addressing sustainability challenges (both environmental and social), nations are increasingly turning to the design sector for solutions.  Conversely, designers look to governments to support their industry, and promote design locally, within the business and industrial sectors, and internationally. National design policies are an effective tool countries can use to develop a cohesive strategy.

The National Design Policy Work Group (NDP WG) reviews the many forms national design policies have taken, from fully developed strategic plans, to ongoing programmes executed by design centers, to precursor strategies, such as design awards programmes, exhibitions, and manifestos. 

Montréal Platforms: National Design Policy from Both Ends of the Spectrum

National Design Policies have been implemented in a number of countries to achieve an ambitious set of goals: to increase national competitiveness in a global economy, create a national brand, support SMEs and the design sector, integrate design thinking into the business environment, and provide a structure to promote national design. It’s a wish-list of possible outcomes that seems too good to be achievable – and in many cases, ambitious plans fall short.

So how is a National Design Policy successfully implemented – and better yet, how does one measure that success? While there is no easy answer to this question, by looking at how National Design Policies from both ends of the spectrum – at the point of conception and after completion – we can gain a better understanding of the complexity of the process. Our four-part session on National Design Policy will feature a panel of speakers – all designers — with direct experience in working on National Design Policies:

An overview of National Design Policies: We’ll cover the different models of National Design Policies, and how they are shaped by the unique political and economic structure of a country.

The starting point: Representatives from countries taking the first steps in initiating a National Design Policy will share their experiences in initiating a dialogue with policy makers, and the challenges the design sector faces. We’ll also cover a stalled effort at a Design Policy, and the lessons learned from that process.

Evaluation and evolution: Representatives from countries with implemented and completed National Design Policies will review how the outcomes of those policies were evaluated, and how subsequent Design Policies were shaped from that experience

Questions, answers, and a dialogue: We’ll open the floor to questions from attendees, so that our panelists converse with the audience, and each other, on the challenges the design sector faces in facilitating the implementation and execution of a successful Design Policy.