PROUD Forum: Design for societal challenges

8 May 2014
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10 5 PROUDInspiring exchange: PROUD Forum “Design for societal challenges” in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen
How does design react to social change? Which methods does it use? And how can design values be conveyed in a society where the word “design” is applied to almost everything? On Thursday, 8 May 2014, more than 120 attendees joined the PROUD Forum “Design for societal challenges” in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen. Experts from around the world offered insights into new design tools and methods and assessed their potential in terms of their productive and social value.

During the morning, keynotes were delivered by four renowned design experts. Professor Dr Peter Zec, Founder and CEO of Red Dot, talked about “Design for a better quality of life” and pointed out that design is strongly oriented toward socio-cultural responsibility. Icsid President-Elect Professor Dr Mugendi K. M´Rithaa from Cape Town enthused the audience with his inspiring keynote “World Design Capital 2014: co-creation and innovation for societal change in Cape Town” and explained that design is less about stuff but more about people: “I participate, therefore I am”.

Professor Ad van Berlo, part-time Professor of Entrepreneurial Design of Intelligent Systems at the Eindhoven University of Technology, thematised “The changing role of designers: from giving form to facilitating innovation processes”. The founder and owner of the design agency VanBerlo emphasised that new ways of approaching problems and transdisciplinary designers are needed for the future: “Let’s make our own experimental design landscapes”. Krister Torssell, CEO of Veryday, also contributed to the PROUD Forum and introduced the Swedish design and innovation agency’s method “People-centred design”. “Putting yourself in the user’s perspective is very important”, said Krister Torssell. He explained that it is important to get a deeper understanding of what people say and think, do and use, know, feel and dream.

During the afternoon session, the participants of the PROUD Forum chose one of three workshops in order to discuss one special aspect of innovative solutions for societal challenges more intensively. On the agenda were the questions “What is the role of education in design museums?”, “What is the future of design innovation centers?” and “What is the effect of co-design?”.

About PROUD:
PROUD (People Researchers Organisations Using Design for co-creation and innovation) is a European project with the objective of making Europe a better place by co-designing for all and by all. PROUD brings designers together with public organisations, businesses and user communities to experience the added value of design thinking and design, while working on innovative solutions for today’s real world problems. PROUD helps and supports designers to have the right facilities, knowledge and expertise to play this key role in innovating, improving and consolidating Europe.

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