Design Is Not Just About Creating Products But Also About Creating The Future You Want To Live In

The UK’s experience shows that for every euro invested in design, businesses can expect EUR 20 in higher revenues and EUR 5 in increased exports. We publish the 10 best quotes and recommendation from Design for Ukraine, a forum organised in Kyiv by the EU-EaP Culture and Creativity Programme.

Why Governments Should Support Design

Doctor Anna Whicher, the lead researcher on policies at PDR International Centre for Design, UK, believes that governments should support the design sector since it promotes economic growth and more effective policies.

“The study conducted in the UK shows that for every euro invested in design, businesses can expect EUR 20 in increased revenues and EUR 5 in increased exports. It is very important for to put the user at the heart of the development process. The main stages of design revolve around research, understanding the needs of users, developing a concept, testing with users, and finally expanding these concepts and evaluation.”

The Emigration of Creatives: A Challenge and An Advantage

Jorge Pinto, an expert from Portugal and an EU adviser (H2020, Creative Europe, Cosme, and Interreg) advises against pessimism. He believes that every country has potential, great specialists and the prerequisites for change.

“Someone mentioned during the forum that young designers are leaving Ukraine to work abroad. For example, in my country, 50% of young designers leave the country because there are no workplaces. They are an important asset because they work in the best companies in the world, and they have experience and contacts. Hence, we developed a programme that brings together the design diaspora and small companies in Portugal that wish to export their products and are looking for new markets. So, start with what you have!”

More in the expert’s presentation:

Louise Allen, Head of Innovation and Development at the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, dedicated her lecture to the high results her country achieved by support design at the government level. Now design brings in EUR 38 million in exports for Ireland.

“One of the significant initiatives is the development of a professional community. Today a question was raised: How to keep designers from leaving Ukraine? In Ireland, we have the same problem. It can be partly resolved by creating a community, building relations, providing support, so that designers don’t feel they are alone.”

Service Design as the Fastest Way to Solving Problems

The Swedish expert Margus Klaar is the founder of Brand Manual. 

“What we do while developing a service design is talk to people, trying to understand the actual behaviour of clients. If we know the client’s behaviour, then we understand the problem and immediately solve it without resorting to expensive processes. Design is a discipline that helps solve problems. The product should be understandable, stand out from the others and be aesthetically pleasing.’

The expert’s presentation.

Renovation: An Inexpensive Solution for Cultural Managers

Peter Lenyi (Slovakia) is the author of the Design Handbook for Cultural Centres. The handbook contains 30 renovation cases of abandoned factories, railway stations and even ships that were converted by activists into cultural clusters.

“If you’re an independent cultural manager, then you probably don’t have funds, and this means no possibility of creating a cultural centre in a new building. That’s why you need to work with your surroundings. So, the solution depends on the local situation in the city or country.”

Design Thinking Every Day: What Ukrainian Should Do

Iryna Solovey, Garage Gang:

“We need centres for training. And these centres need to understand that design is facing a challenge: it’s not only about creating products, tools and services, but also a way of learning. Analytics, philosophy, skills and new models are the important elements that help a system gain momentum, grow and be fruitful for the field’s players and the society at large.”

Volodymyr Vorobey, PPV Knowledge Networks:

“We live in a post-Soviet society, and we need to understand which practices we would like to use and which ones we can drop. We are only just becoming different and are in the process of designing ourselves and the society. Any crisis is a unique opportunity and a reason for redesigning.”

Design Shapes Our Future

Fionn Dobbin (Germany / Latvia), the creative director and partner of Age5 and MAMMU agencies, talked in his presentation about trends in design and how they will affect our future. 

“I am, among other things, an activist in the social business. I believe that an important role of design in the future is to be part of our society, to shape its energy. Design is not only about creating products, it is also about creating the future in which you want to live.”

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