Friday, December 18, 2009
Last week we were asked to contribute to the Design Council-organised event that looked at Design Networks in the UK. The day was divided between presentations from and discussions with the four key National Design Bodies along with representatives from Regional Networks and Regional Support organisations; we provided a short presentation in this last group.
There was quite a lot of discussion about how design networks can be financially sustainable in the future and the role they have for the wider development of the industry. The South Coast Design Forum raised some relevant points in the potential role for such networks as technology allows more creative workers to make a living away from the major cities.
Our presentation focussed on our growth from delivering only design support activities to now also engaging with regional policies that have an impact on how design is utilised and our experience of leading networks, particularly the current European SEE Project and how we make each meeting a meaningful experience for each partner with useful outputs.
Our concluding comments demonstrated our strong opinion that there is a substantial role for design to help realise future economic development policies at a European, national and regional level as the understanding of innovation becomes much broader; the role of the regional design networks is to make sure that those responsible for drafting future policies understand this potential.
Organisations that took part in this Design Council event were;
UK design bodies - DBA, CSD, BDI & D&AD
Regional design networks - South West Design Forum, South Coast Design Forum, Designer Breakfasts.
Regional Support – One North East, Yorkshire Forward, Design Wales.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The five day-long workshops are intended to introduce a new product development capability to small and medium sized enterprises by providing delegates with the capability and confidence to manage design within their own organisation.
There is much talk about the need for innovation in business and design offers a practical route to making this happen. Delivered only to small groups the course takes a workshop format, using practical exercises to both improve the skills of delegates and ensure the material is directly applicable in each company.
These five days will provide each delegate with the capability to champion design within their company; able to establish an appropriate product development process, be aware of the latest prototyping technology, manage the best external expertise and take control of your brand assets. In short, develop products that are more fit-for-purpose in a shorter time.
The programme will be accredited as a stand-alone module from the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC) Integrated Masters Scheme (Master of Design) and those that choose to can gain up to 60 credits of Approved Prior Learning (APL) for joining UWICs MDes or related courses, including those of other institutes.
The dates of the first set of five workshops are; 12th & 22nd February, 8th & 22nd March, 12th April. More dates will follow in the New Year.
For more information contact either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Anna Whicher, Design Wales Research Officer, attended this event in order to collate research and best practice examples for the second SEE Policy Booklet ‘Bridging Design, Sustainability and Innovation in Regional Policy’. This is an output of the SEE project, which aims to lobby regional governments to incorporate design into their policy measures. SEE is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG IVC programme.
The two-day event was opened by Odile Quintin, D-G EAC, who was keen to encourage horizontal cooperation between several Commission Directorate-Generals in order to bring design up the policy agenda. Highlights from the first day included the speeches from two of the EYCI Ambassadors, Erik Spiekermann, Designer, and Damini Kumar, Design Professor NUI Maynoot, who spoke animatedly about design thinking in diverse contexts.
The conference was also an opportunity for design stakeholders and policy actors to engage with one another. Anna used the event as an occasion to network with Commission officials in order to disseminate the first SEE Policy Booklet ‘Integrating Design into Regional Innovation Policy’.
On the Tuesday, the theme explored design thinking for sustainability in innovative organisations, processes and services. For the second SEE Policy Booklet, the most intriguing presentation was from Anne Stenros, Director of Design at KONE, who discussed design thinking as a “process between analytical and intuitive thinking”. Richard Hill, Managing Partner of EuroPublic, summed up the session by emphasising the need to “brand Europe as the place to create".
The next issue of the SEE bulletin, featuring an article on EU versus regional policy developments relating to design, will be published in January 2010. The second SEE Policy Booklet will be published in March 2010.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The SEE Policy Booklet presents an overview of innovation policy priorities in the SEE partner regions. These priorities were identified from national and regional policy documents and contrasted with the strategic priorities for innovation identified by the European Commission. From this comparative analysis six key issues emerged as common across the policy agendas:
- Innovation in Services
- Public Procurement
- Collaborative Clusters & Networks
- Lead Markets & Eco-innovation
- Intellectual Property Rights
- Broadening the Scope of Innovation
For each of these priorities, the SEE Policy Booklet outlines the drivers and obstacles for enhancing the performance of regional innovation policy, explores how design can be used to address the issue, provides illustrative case studies and puts forward policy proposals.
This is the first of four SEE Policy Booklets to be published between 2009 and 2011. An electronic copy of the booklet is available to download from the SEE website: http://seeproject.org/publications. If you would like to receive future SEE Policy Booklets please email email@example.com.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Design Wales has special pride in Nomad’s success for playing instrumental role in assisting in their design strategy. In no small part, the advice given by my former Design Wales colleagues Simon Chaytor, Lucy Richardson and Alan Mumby has been recognised by Jon and Mark Owen of Nomad, as well as the invaluable creative work of Elfen, Attic2 and Studio SDA. The DME Award is the first Award gained by Nomad since the two brothers started to work together on developing a new and desirable wheelchair. Their excitement and pride was tangible as at last their hard work and intelligent management have been awarded.
With more than 250 events across 60 locations, the Dutch Design Week is an impressive event. It has taken place in Eindhoven every year since 2003.
Among the highlights of this year’s exhibitions are the Design Academy Graduation show and the Dutch Design Awards. I particularly liked the Paper Zoo exhibition, with very interesting conceptual creatures made of paper, a lot of creativity and clear conceptual thinking, At the Graduation show students were able to show interesting and challenging concepts, presented with functioning prototypes and well written brief justification of their ideas. Also impressive was the attendance to the exhibitions. The student show was buzzing even though it was a midweek morning.
Another fun element of the event’s infrastructure were the ‘design rides’, specially decorated taxis to transport visitors around the many design venues. Great service and good fun adding to the city’s creative atmosphere!
The Week’s key event was the Design Management Europe (DME) Award 2009 (following the DME Award 2008 which took place in Cardiff) on Thursday 22nd. The venue was one of the old Philips factories, the De Machinekamer in the Strijp-S. Being the decommissioned power station for the Philips Factory, the venue provided an authentic experience to the DME Award attendees.
Friday, October 16, 2009
In order to enhance the quality of the research presented in the SEE Policy Booklet, an output of the SEE project (co-financed as part of the INTERREG IVC programme), I attended the First European Innovation Summit held in Brussels on 13th and 14th October.
On the Tuesday morning I met our Belgium partner in order to find out about the new Flemish Innovation Policy being published this month as well as to discuss a case study on intellectual property rights, both of which will feature in the booklet. I also had the pleasure of meeting Prof. Mary McBride, Director of the Pratt Institute Design Management programme (New York) to moot the contribution of design to innovation in public policy and discovered the Catalyst Strategic Design Review.
In the afternoon from 14.00 until 18.30 I attended a series of three lectures focusing on ‘Innovation Policies and Practices Across Europe’ at the European Parliament as part of the First European Innovation Summit. The first panel, moderated by Claus Schultze, Director of the European Regions Research and Innovation Network, centred on the strategic role of the Regions in the European Innovation System. The second panel, moderated by Gernot Klotz, Director of Research and Innovation at the European Chemical Industry Council, discussed private sector participation in the innovation process; while the final panel, chaired by Andre van der Meer, Permanent Representative for the City of the Hague to the Institutions of the EU, centred on future EU innovation policy and concluded with insightful questions from the floor.
The event was a great success and enabled innovation practitioners and EU policy-makers to engage in dialogue. However, design as a strategic disciple for innovation and public policy did not feature on the agenda so the SEE Policy Booklet will be an opportunity to advance the debate.
Special commendations were given to Jeff Banks and Michael Peters but I was really pleased when the award for 2009 was given to Andrew Ritchie, the man behind the Brompton folding bicycle. I’ve had a Brompton for about 11 years and love its simplicity and functionality – apart from pumping up the tyres and giving it the odd drop of oil it just keeps going. Children in the rougher parts of town do make the odd funny comment when you whiz past them but you soon get your own back when it folds into a tiny package to fit behind the seat of the train or into the boot of a car.
Also interesting during the presentations was hearing about the origins of the Award. Launched in 1959 the original drive was to encourage manufacturers to make use of design to develop affordable and desirable products that could compete on the World stage – we’ve come a long way since then but it does still sound rather familiar.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Divided between presentations from design organisations in the South West of England and discussion between the attendees from across the UK, the three key topics of discussion during the meeting were: funding sources, the promotion of design, and how to work together. One simple suggestion we made was sharing the cost of bringing overseas speakers to the UK – hopefully we can make this work.
The UK Design Support Network was established by Design Wales in 2007 as a platform for any UK organisation involved in supporting and encouraging the use of design in industry. The group meets twice a year at venues across the UK, each meeting hosted and organised by the regional design organisation/programme. The next meeting takes place in the South East of England.
Friday, August 28, 2009
This edition includes a research paper presented by Dr James Moultrie (University of Cambridge), interviews with Mika Takagi (Design Policy Office, Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry, Japan) and Dr Julio Frias Peña (Design & Innovation Centre, Monterrey Institute of Technology, Mexico), an article on the future of EU innovation policy, a special report on the SEE partners’ study visit to Helsinki, two design policy case studies and a Library of references to related research and policy documents.
The SEE bulletins will be exploring the opportunities for integrating design and creativity into regional and national innovation policy as well as policy areas relating to competitiveness, entrepreneurship, sustainability and economic and social development. We hope you enjoy reading it and we welcome contributions, comments and feedback.
If you would like to receive SEE bulletins in the future please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, August 7, 2009
Our work over the last couple of months on both of these levels is starting to come to fruition with the launch of a series of design workshops for business (delivered in partnership with the Wales Quality Centre) and support for another UK region in helping them to understand how their design support programmes might develop in the future.
The design support workshops make up a five day course intended to introduce a new product development capability to small and medium sized enterprises. The five day-long sessions will not transform delegates into designers but provide them with the capability and confidence to champion design within their company. Dates are yet to be agreed, but it looks as though the first workshops will be delivered at the end of September.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
The first meeting was with Mel Taylor (Head of Knowledge & Research) and Sara El Nusairi (Head of Government Relations) at the Design Council. The meeting was an opportunity to gain an insight into effective methods of lobbying the government. Sara described how they are encouraging the government to adopt a more systematic approach to design policy and provided us with examples of policy submissions they had produced on various topics. Mel discussed her work on evaluating the impact of their design support programmes, which we are keen to include as a case study on the SEE library. The meeting gave us real food for thought on how to achieve our policy objectives.
Our second meeting was with Jocelyn Bailey, Manager of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Design and Innovation (APGDI), which is the leading advocate for design in Parliament. We learnt about some of the group’s projects including a series of recommendations to improve public procurement, which will be presented to Parliament in October. As Jocelyn will be preparing her own policy suggestions, she was able to give us insightful tips on what strategy would be best for presenting our booklets to policy-makers in the SEE partner regions.
Having done our research, we are looking forward to collaborating with the SEE partners in developing a blueprint for our first Policy Recommendation Booklet on ‘Integrating Creativity and Design into Regional Innovation Policy’.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
These and other activities will be the basis for a new organisation we will launch in the next few months that will better define our objectives and capabilities. At that time Design Wales will become a regional brand for our activities in Wales and as a regional partner in the European SEE network.
So far our portfolio of services includes:
Support services & workshops delivered to business.
(either directly to industry or in partnership with regional business support organisations).
Managing new product development.
Includes 5 day-long workshops over 10 weeks that identify a design champion within an organisation and develops their skills to manage design and increase their capacity for new product development.
Managing service innovation & design.
Includes 2 day-long workshops to raise awareness of how design can help services businesses be innovative, followed by practical tools and techniques to start making it happen.
Brand Essentials workshops.
Half-day workshops to help SMEs understand the value of design, take ownership of their own brand, draft design briefs and identify appropriate expertise.
Colour & trend prediction seminars for the fashion & textile sector.
Seasonal half day seminars aimed at the fashion & textile sectors.
Support services for regional business support staff.
Design, innovation and creativity for business support staff.
A day-long practical workshop for general business support personnel to help their understanding of design, how this can help the businesses they support be more innovative and how they can facilitate them in working with the most appropriate local design expertise.
Development course for specialist design advisory staff.
A two-day short course to help new specialist design or innovation advisors in the transition from industry to being effective part of the business support infrastructure.
Recruitment of design & manufacturing advisory staff.
Assistance in the recruitment of staff with the combination of the right industrial experience, business knowledge and approach towards business support.
Support services for national & regional economic development offices.
Design and Innovation for policy makers - introduction.
A one-day workshop for regional policy makers that provides an overview of the current and potential future state of European policy and best practice models of support.
Design and Innovation for policy makers – practical tools & techniques.
A three-day practical workshop that includes the introductory course above but goes on to provide practical sessions that enable delegates to map their regional design & innovation system, develop appropriate intervention strategies and measure the potential future outcomes.
Bespoke regional design policy, strategy and support advice.
We can provide bespoke support to;
Map national design systems,
Develop regional design policy and support programmes,
Establish evaluation models for current & futures support programmes.
Conduct independent audits of the impact, service quality and regional integration of
current regional business support programmes.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
The SEE project is funded by the European Commission under the INTERREG IVC programme and brings together a network of 11 design and innovation organisations from across Europe to further understand how design can help realise national and regional innovation policy. That’s interesting enough, but each of the 11 design partners has to not only demonstrate a close link to their regional policy makers but also ensure they bring their representatives with them to the workshops and events.
Working for their lunch.
It might seem obvious, but from our experience of a previous network (SEEdesign) the most constructive and rewarding outputs resulted when we pushed the partners to work on addressing a topic together – rather than only listening to presentations from regional initiatives. This is the approach we are taking with the SEE project and in June the partners and their regional policy makers (24 people all together) gathered in Lyon to work on developing material to guide policy makers on - Integrating creativity and design into regional innovation policy – which is the first of four themed workshops to produce policy guidelines.
Using a combination of Pecha Kucha presentations and large format questionnaires on the walls we were able to quickly map the clarity, longevity and scope of each regional or national innovation policy and related design programme. We are all European but each region and nation has a unique economic, political, industrial and cultural environment that has resulted in a broad variety of approaches to innovation policy and related support for design. This approach to mapping the current state was very successful and we intend to further interpret the results before we make them available more widely.
Following the mapping exercise the two groups, design organisations and policy makers, divided to discuss how design could be integrated into innovation policy and the barriers to actually making this happen. By placing these thoughts in priority of importance on the walls of the meeting room the groups were able to switch positions to interpret and comment on the postings from their policy or design colleagues.
The findings from this workshop will be published as guidelines for policy makers. To get this right we are asking the policy makers what they actually want in terms of format and supporting information; by doing so we are hopefully taking more of a user-centred approach and will produce something that’s actually used rather than filed!
The next workshop is not until November and takes place in Denmark, but there is a great deal to do before then.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Building on 15 years experience of the delivery of design support programmes and leading networks in the UK and Europe, Design Wales is an international centre of expertise for design support and related national & regional policy.
Our programme of activities includes:
Support services delivered directly to business.
Delivered on behalf of regional economic development offices and independent business organisations these workshops, training courses and events support industry in understanding and managing design issues such as branding, new product development and service innovation.
Support services for regional development offices / innovation programmes.
To help regional economic development offices understand the role of design, develop their own regional policy & support programmes and train local business support staff.
Design Wales already leads a network of 11 European design organisations and regional policy makers and established the UK design support network in 2007. The insight gained from engagement with this broad network of partners provides invaluable knowledge of the current level of regional engagement and best practice delivery. (visit http://www.seeproject.org/).
The SEE network involves both design organisations and policy makers from each of the 11 European regions. SEE is funded by the European Commission under the INTERREG IV C programme.
Design Wales undertakes research to understand the role of design support and promotion in economic development at a policy level and to further highlight best practice in support programmes. Design Wales have hosted a bi-annual International Workshop on Design Support (IWDS) since 2002 each time attracting up to 100 delegates from around the World.
In addition to the SEE network we are already delivering design support services and providing advice to several regional business support organisations in Wales, Scotland and as far afield as South America. We are also starting to grow again. This week a new member of staff joined us with specialist knowledge of European policy to help us further understand how design can be integrated into or developed alongside innovation policy and support programmes.
With changes and cuts in the business support infrastructure, the wider economic downturn and the potential for future European and regional policy to at least include significant aspects of design and non-technological innovation these are exciting and challenging times. We intend to make full use of our past business support experience, policy knowledge and networking capability. We have already formed a revised management board and over the next month we will announce firmer plans for our objectives and activities.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
All free advisory support services for industry are now provided under the banner of the Welsh Assembly Governments Flexible Support for Buisness programme (http://www.business-support-wales.wales.gov.uk/).
Design Wales will continue with a revised programme of activities to be announced in the near future that build on our experience for the provision of practical services and events to encourage and facilitate the use of design and support the development of regional design policy.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
venue: National Museum of Wales, Cardiff
time: doors open 7:00pm for 7:10 start
Design Wales would like to invite you to the annual Design Futures event.
In addition to presenting the annual Ffres Awards to the best entries from graphic, textile and fashion design students from Wales, this year’s speakers will be:
Angus Struthers: Head of Service Design
“Find out why Virgin Atlantic has a Service Design team, what we do and how we do it”.
Steve Masterson, Partner & COO,
Kiska Design, Austria
Founded in Salzburg in 1990, KISKA has grown to be one of Europe's largest design companies with more than 100 employees from 15 nations offering design services that range from brand strategy to transport and exhibition design.
The Ffres Awards
Launched to help design students from Wales gain experience in working with industry, this year’s briefs for the competition were set and judged by:
Seren for graphic design
New Look for fashion design
Mothercare for textile design
All three companies will be talking about the brief, the challenges they set for the students and presenting the awards to the winning entries on the night.
The Design Futures event is free but all delegates must be registered in advance.
To request a ticket and receive more information please
e-mail email@example.com or call 0845 303 1400
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
The first international Service Design conference in Europe took place in Amsterdam on 24-26 November 2008. Design Wales attended the 2nd day ‘Share’ of the three-day conference organised by the Service Design Network. During the day academic experts and practising service designers shared their knowledge and experiences of service design projects. As Service Design is a relatively new discipline it was especially useful to gain insight into real life projects through the case studies from live|work and Engine.