What is the Design Policy Beacon?

As part of Design for Europe, the Design Politecnico di Milano has launched an initiative called Design Policy Beacon, an evidence-based online resource building on the principles of Politecnico’s design policy actions. It uses data visualisation to pinpoint the network of initiatives and organisations in support of design across Europe.

Our aim with the Design Policy Beacon is to support the growing community of policymakers who are working to make design a key part of national and regional policies for innovation and growth. By visualising the network of initiatives and organisations in this field we want to document the most pressing issues for design and policy.

At its simplest we want to help policymakers share stories and insights –connecting and building an international network of colleagues working to address similar challenges. Answering questions like: What type of investments have been made to support design? What has been achieved? Who is investing in this area?

The Design Policy Beacon was released on the Design Policy Lab's official website since May 2016.

What do we want to find out?

Through surveys, interviews, and desk research we’re bringing together the perspectives of a wide range of design policy experts and experiences. The key areas we’re focussing on are:

  • What are the needs of policymakers who want to create policy actions to support design?
  • How can design help in the policymaking process to make its needs heard?
  • What are the barriers to including design in innovation and growth policy?

What is the Design Policy Beacon offering?

We are creating a resource that provides an up-to-date map of design policy actions across Europe – alongside first-hand stories of their development and impact. By visualising these stories we hope to help uncover trends at a European level, as well as providing practical insights about initiatives that have responded to specific regional challenges.
To make sense of the rich corpus of quantitative data and qualitative information collected, we have made them available through a ‘Landscape’ and have organised them into three different formats:

  • Expert interview - an opinion piece that focuses on the expert’s perspective about what is the design policy landscape in his/her context.
  • Country Profile - a generic national overview focusing on the main policy actions in support of design and listing the most important organisations.
  • Country Analysis - an in-depth analysis of the design policy ecosystem in a country, developed according to The Design Policy Lab's framework.

All policy actions collected are also displayed and made accessible into the "Catalogue" section, where they can be sorted and filtered using selected parameters.

Who is the Design Policy Beacon for?

We want to make the resource as accessible as possible, but our key target audiences are:

  • Policymakers and policy implementers
  • Governmental institutions
  • Design policy beneficiaries
  • Design professionals and design advocates
  • Academics

The inspiration

We were inspired to start this project by our work with policymakers and some of the great data visualisation that has taken place in the policy and innovation space over the last couple of years, in particular:

Open Call to Engagement

The Design Policy Beacon is an ongoing project and we are always looking to collaborate with experts and organisations that can help us expand our dataset and get a more accurate picture of the European landscape of design policy actions.

That's why we have launched an open Call to Engagement for the design community at large, both inside and outside Europe (although Europe has been our main focus). If you are interested in supporting our project or providing input based on your experience and expertise, please get in touch with us.

We welcome your input!