Friday, December 18, 2009

Shape the Future of Design Networks

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

Managing New Product Development Course launched.

Early in the New Year Design Wales are to run a 5 day workshop programme entitled The Management of New Product Development in SMEs. This will be run in partnership with the Wales Quality Centre and, for certain sectors of industry, be co-funded by SEMTA (the Sector Skills Council for the manufaturing sector).

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 or