Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Design Wales draws attention to the British Standard for Web Accessibility

Attention all website designers! The British Standard Institute has begun the process of issuing a British Standard for the creation of websites which are accessible to disabled people. The draft document entitled, ‘Web accessibility – Building accessible experiences for disabled people – Code of practice’ is now open for public comment.

The draft document can be found here. In order to view the document and make comments, reviewers are asked to register. The registration process is easy - name and e-mail address; the password will be e-mailed to you.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Design Wales contribute to the design policy

After Turin (see post below), the discussion about design policies continued in Barcelona, at the DME Workshop. At this meeting, speakers presented their work on methodologies for measuring the impact of design and for design management. Gisele Murphy from Design Wales contributed to the programme with the speech “Policies in support of design”. The meeting was moderated by Keith Sequeira, from the DG Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission.

The DME Workshop took place on the 11th November. It was part of the Barcelona Design Week, organised by Barcelona Design Centre.

Design Wales take part in Turin Conference

The first-ever dedicated conference to the discussion of design policies took place in Turin, Italy, on the 6-7 November. Shaping the Global Design Agenda – an International Conference on Design Policy was extremely useful in raising awareness about policies for design and in sharing information about the different approaches that have been adopted around the world. Speakers attended from Qatar, Costa Rica, China, Japan, Finland, UK and the European Commission. Design Wales senior researcher Gisele Raulik-Murphy was invited to take part in discussion panel “Design and the Economy”, moderated by Jean Schneider from APCI (Paris). It was interesting to hear about the concerns that drive the design policy agenda in the different countries: Qatar is facing the risk of losing their cultural identity over the recent developments; China develops the manufacturing industry but faces environmental issues; Costa Rica is improving their design infrastructure with support of the Ministry of Culture…

The conference was part of the celebrations of Torino World Design Capital 2008, which organised hundreds of events during the year.

Design Casa was one of these events, timed to coincide with the international Design Policy conference. It aimed to reveal to the people of Turin and international visitors how the culture of design is expressed in other parts of the world. Several “Casas” were set up around the town, presenting design exhibitions from France, The Netherlands, Singapore, Japan, Belgium, Norway, Spain (photo), Eastern-Europe, Austria and South Korea.

The Dream exhibition presented over 50 car prototypes, in a review that started in the 1950s and included legendary models by Fiat, Bertone, Pininfarina, Ghia, Ferrari and Maserati. The Dream exhibition took place at the Torino Esposizioni, designed by Piero Luigi Nervi , venue that hosted prestigious motor shows in the past.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Design Wales are pleased to announce ...

Kerry, the website design advisor at Design Wales, gave birth to a healthy baby boy yesterday. Samuel weighed in at 6lb 5.

Congratulations Kerry, Ed & family.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Design Wales at Wrexham Business Week

Wrexham Business Week 2008

If you want to get one step ahead of the fashion market, the next Design Wales event may be of interest to you. The event will take place during Wrexham Business Week and will focus on three key areas: Colour & Trends for Autumn/Winter 09/10, presented by Alison Hughes of Carlin International; Developing a fashion brand and promoting it off and online, presented by Victoria Jones of Design Wales; Intellectual property in fashion design, presented by Nicola Giles of Design Wales.

The event will take place on Thursday 23rd October, 2.00pm – 5.30pm at the Ramada Hotel, Wrexham. The event is free, but entry is by ticket only. If you would like to attend, please contact Design Wales (T: 0845 3031400).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Design Wales presented Blair Enns... but what next?

As widely anticipated Blair Enns came to Cardiff and spoke to the Welsh design community about his 'Win Without Pitching' campaign. DesignWales has been keen to have Blair come and speak as part of our ongoing research into the impact of free pitching and speculative work on design, particularly graphic design businesses.

The core of Blair's stance, is that in order for design businesses to flourish, they need to focus on specific business areas and become known as experts in that area. The examples he gave, were of a mobile telephone fascia company and a catalogue design company. In order to be perceived as expert, design companies must write about their expertise as well as demonstrate it. They must continually build on their knowledge and not become complacent. The idea being, that if you are considered an expert in your chosen field, then you don't have to look for clients... they look for you!

Operations Director of Design Wales, Gavin Cawood in conversation with Blair Enns

The baton has now been passed to the designers present at the talk... so tell us in the comments below, if Blair's talk has given you food for thought.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Design Wales Attends the Launch of the Cardiff Design Festival

Thursday the 2nd of October saw the launch of the Cardiff Design Festival at the Senedd building in Cardiff Bay. Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM hosted the event, with speeches from Olwen Mosely the director the festival, and Tom Bewick representing the Cultural Skills Council.

Olwen announced a series of interesting events occuring during the festival. Design Wales is pleased to support the festival by hosting some of these events. A full list of Design Wales events during the Cardiff Design Festival is on our site

The launch event also featured a selection of the finalists' artwork for the Cardiff Design Festival was encouraging to see such a high standard of design work. During Tom Bewick's speech he made reference to a recent study which showed that a higher than average proportion of Welsh companies had design embedded into their businesses. This fact married with a vibrant design community, should make for an optimistic economy!!

The Cardiff Design Festival runs until the end of October.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Booking Open for Blair Enns Design Wales Visit in October

Design Wales is pleased to confirm that Blair Enns' talk on October 17th 'Win Without Pitching' is now open for booking. The event is open to Welsh design businesses only. Places are restricted to two per company and are allocated on a first come first served basis.

Click here for the booking form

Design Wales presents Blair Enns 17th October 2008

Booking is now open for Blair Enns' talk in Cardiff on the 17th of October 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Design Wales discusses the recent Barbie v Bratz case

Although this IP news item is a month old now, it’s such a good story from an IP ownership and employment contract perspective that we had to include it.

Most designers are aware that the work they create during the course of employment usually belongs to their employer; but what about the designs they create in their own time? Can their employer also claim ownership of these works? A Californian court hearing the Barbie (Mattel, Inc.) v Bratz (MGA Entertainment, Inc.) case believed that this is exactly what an employer could do.

Mattel ex-employee Carter Bryant claimed he created the Bratz doll whilst on a leave of absence from the toy giant. Bryant briefly returned to Mattel after this break, eventually leaving to go and work for MGA. Shortly after starting his employment there, MGA launched the Bratz range of dolls. Mattel took umbrage at this, insisting that Bryant was still an employee of Mattel when he created the drawings for the Bratz dolls. Mattel consequently initiated legal proceedings against both Bryant and MGA for breach of contract and copyright infringement.

Although it was a victory for Mattel, the case was not as straightforward as it first appeared. As reported by LexisNexis, Bryant was still under contract when he created the drawings of the Bratz dolls, even though he was on leave of absence. It also appears that he deleted computer files before submitting the computer as evidence.

From an employer’s perspective this is an interesting case because it emphasises the importance of including IP clauses in contracts.

The BBC’s report on the case can be found here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Star Wars - Design Wales highlights the problems of relying on copyright to protect designs

We’re often asked how designs can be protected; unfortunately the answer to such a pertinent question is not always straightforward. A common misconception is that all designs can be protected by copyright; this isn’t the case as the recent Lucasfilm v Andrew Ainsworth case illustrates.

Andrew Ainsworth a prop designer based in Twickenham, was said to have infringed the copyright of Lucasfilm by selling replicas of the Imperial Stormtroopers’ armour and helmet. Ainsworth, who was commissioned by Lucasfilm to create the armour and helmet for the initial Star Wars film released in 1977, used the original moulds to make the alleged infringing articles. By making a replica of the helmet, Lucasfilm claimed that Ainsworth had infringed the copyright in the design drawings of the helmet. The judge hearing the case disagreed, explaining that if the helmet was to be protected by copyright, it would have to be regarded as a sculpture or a work of artistic craftsmanship and not as an artistic work which the design drawings would be considered as. The judge concluded that since the helmet was a prop, it could not be regarded as a sculpture or a work of artistic craftsmanship, ruling that copyright had not been infringed.

Admittedly this is a complicated case, but if there is a moral to this tale it is this - before taking legal action against a third party that you feel has infringed the copyright in your designs, make sure that copyright subsists; otherwise it could be a very expensive lesson in copyright law.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Design Wales Discusses the Olympic Torch

The Olympic torch has caused much controversy during its journey in 2008. Named the 'Cloud of Promise', this year's torch was created by Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo.

Symbolic of freedom, youth and unity, the Olympic torch has had many redesigns over the years, testing creative prowess in the way the games test physical prowess...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Confirmed! Design Wales Will Present Blair Enns in October

Design Wales have confirmed that Blair Enns founder of the Win Without Pitching movement will be giving a speech in Cardiff on the 17th of October. Having previously seen Blair present we know how inspiring and insightful he is!

Places for the Blair's talk will be on a first come first served basis and restricted to two places per company. The event is open to Welsh design businesses only.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Design Wales represented at the 2008 Design Research Society Conference

Design Wales researcher Gisele Raulik-Murphy attended the “Undisciplined! - the Design Research Society Conference", from 16 to 19 July in Sheffield. This biennial event is the main conference for design academics. This year “Rigour in emerging design disciplines and professions” was chosen as the conference theme. The objective was to discuss the new kinds of “designing” that have been emerging to challenge the traditional design professional profile and reshape the field of design practice.

Gisele presented the paper “A comparative analysis of strategies for design in Finland and Brazil”, emphasising ‘design policy’ as a new discipline for design research. The paper was co-authored with Gavin Cawood from Design Wales; Dr Povl Larsen and Professor Alan Lewis, from PDR.

Product design edition of ‘Design Matters’ launched by Design Wales

In July Design Wales presents a special edition about product development. As well as stories from the mountaineering equipment producer DMM and the boatbuilding company Mustang Marine it also shows that there can be risk in launching new products and how it is crucial to make sure that products are aimed at the right market. Issues related to risk management and sustainable design are also explored in this on-line magazine.

Download the Design Matters:

Monday, July 7, 2008

Design Wales and intellectual property

Who owns the designs you’ve been commissioned to create? What are the pitfalls of selling goods bearing your brand name outside the UK? At Design Wales we are often asked these questions and as you would expect the answers can be quite complex.

Although this blog will focus primarily on design, we will also include design related intellectual property (IP) items that we find interesting/useful. The inaugural IP entry concerns IP courses, specifically the online IP course offered by the British Library. It focuses on trade marks, copyright, registered designs and patents - what they are, how to claim ownership, how to carry out searches, etc.

We are often asked if any distance learning IP courses exist that could provide a basic overview of IP; hopefully this offering from the British Library will appeal to many people.

Monday, June 30, 2008

A design policy for Europe? Design Wales take part in the discussion

The Innovation Policy Workshop – Design as a tool for Innovation took place on the 26th and 27th June in Marseille, France. About 20 people from different countries in Europe were invited to join this meeting, organised by the European Commission - INNO-Grips. The objective was to get a better view of how the use of design can help tackling the challenges encountered by European companies and society today and to come up with concrete proposals for European action in support of design. In support to the discussion, Gisele Raulik-Murphy, Design Wales researcher, was invited to attend the workshop and present results of her current studies on design policies around the world. Conclusions of this meeting will be edited by INNO-Grips into a report which will help during the public consultation for the need of a design policy on European level.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Design Wales has Visitors from Poland

Last week Design Wales received a delegation from Poznan in Poland. The group included the Vice Marshall of Poznan, university academics, a local entrepreneur and the president of the industrial design association in Poland. The group are part of a move to establish a design centre in Poznan.They have been travelling across Europe to examine different design centre models. They were welcomed by Gavin Cawood (Operational Director) and Gisele Raulik-Murphy (Senior Researcher) of Design Wales; and Darragh Murphy European Project Manager at PDR.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Design Wales Design Films

In Autumn 2007 Design Wales commissioned three films about Welsh businesses who use design strategically. 'Twice the Boat in Half the Time' describes how the effective use of design changed the fortunes of a boat yard in Wales, UK.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Design Wales' Design Matters Goes Online

Design Wales' design magazine Design Matters has now gone online. In keeping with our eco ethic we have decided not to produce a print version of the magazine just an online one.

The new edition is a food industry special, featuring many great examples of good design and branding from food producers in Wales.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Design Wales presents Stefan Sagmeister

Stefan Sagmeister visited Cardiff last night on the end of his tour promoting his book 'Things That I have Learnt in My Life So Far' ... and how fantastic and inspirational his talk was!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Encouraging eco design and Stefan Sagmeister

Design Wales staff are all ex-designers but we are not allowed to design when we work here... doesn't stop us talking about design...

Today we were quite taken with some bio-degradable flower pots. The pots are made from PAP 22 polymer which is fully compostible in a home composter. We are quite curious about how the material could be applied to other products... like food packaging.... as we advise quite alot of food producers about design...

We are all excited by the visit to Cardiff on Monday of Stefan Sagmeister. We are looking forward to what he has to say and how he is going to say it!