One consequence of Azerbaijan’s industrial development is increased demand for the design of new products. This has led to the creation of job opportunities for designers, especially for young creatives.
Despite this success there is currently an imbalance in the supply and demand of design graduates between the industrial sector and educational establishments in Azerbaijan. The country produces less than 200 design graduates a year.
However, in the workplace design companies in Azerbaijan prefer employees with work experience over ones who have just completed university with a diploma in design.
The absence of a design centre in Azerbaijan could lead to both a lack of a centralised knowledgebase system, as well as cooperation between organisations working in this field (institutions, trade unions, associations, companies, etc.).
Creating an institution that will explore innovation in the design sector may resolve these issues.
How could a Design and Innovation Centre (DIC) be formed in Azerbaijan?
Here are five possible options:
• Create a design sector department within the Institution of Architecture and Art.
• Create a DIC within the Division of Humanitarian Sciences of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences.
• The Azerbaijan Designers’ Union (ADU) could be re-established as a nongovernmental organisation and the DIC could be created within this organisation.
• Create a DIC within the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts.
• Establish DIC as an independent, self-financing organization.
The policy briefs are the result of capacity building work undertaken by the EU-Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme in 2016-2017 with 240 Programme Associates, who had completed a series of eight workshops in business management for mid-career cultural operators. The purpose of these briefs is to help them additionally understand the role of professionals in providing concise and neutral policy advice in the area of their competence. The task was to identify problems within the sector, provide potential models, options and solutions, support critical thinking, evidence-based policy analysis and the formulation of recommendations. The ideas were developed by the Associates themselves.