The Future of Design
As part of the festival, Design for Europe delivered a two-part event in the Czech Republic designed and facilitated by Design Council Design Associate Jonathan Ball. This took the form of a workshop co-creating of propositions for a design support programme for the Karlovy Vary region and a lecture titled ‘Democratising Design: Design as a system for innovation’.
The workshop was held in an airy and open space in the offices of Bohemia Lignum, manufacturer of doors and windows and exemplar of an innovative approach to business and manufacturing. The aim of the workshop was to bring people from different backgrounds together to use practical tools to devise and co-develop business support programmes for Karlovy Vary where the use of design and design thinking is currently rather low.
The approximately 20 delegates were mostly from the local public sector and development organisations with the remainder from business or design consultancies. The day kicked off with a welcome from Kamila Matějková and Ludmila Boháčová from CZECHDESIGN, followed by an introduction to Design for Europe by Kate Zechner from Design Council and an overview of design support programmes from all over the world by Jonathan Ball.
At the end of the workshop, four different programmes had been developed, focusing on design as part of the higher education curriculum, activities promoting old and new traditions of the region, a multi-culture centre and making the region more attractive for younger people. Each group was able to leave the workshop with a well-developed idea for their business support programme.
The evening lecture was held at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague to an audience of about 100, primarily comprising of students and design practitioners. Jonathan Ball gave an engaging, provocative and wide-ranging discourse on design, based on his personal experiences as a practising designer, “I have never designed anything I would buy…but I always knew the difference that the things I designed made”.
After demonstrating to the audience that ‘we are all designers’, he gave examples of how the user has been, indeed must be, fully involved in the design process, citing examples from Rolls Royce, Apple and others, showing where this approach had, and sometimes had not, worked well. He offered four design principles for democratising design:
- Adopt a people-centred approach
- Communicate visually
- Collaborate and co-design
- Iterate, iterate and iterate