Points of view
The DME Award: Winners, and plural perspectives on the contribution of design to business
The Design Management Europe (DME) Award was launched in 2007 by a consortium of European design support organisations, with initial funding from the European Commission. Since 2009 it has been supported through the commitment of many of the founding partners.
The award rewards excellence in the inclusion of design in businesses of any size, as well as public services or other non-profit organisations.
More than 500 applicants have entered the award since its inception. Although the last four editions have suffered from a lower number of entries, the economic crisis being partly to blame, we can proudly say we have noticed an increase in the level and depth of the integration of design by businesses. The selection is too scattered over sectors and regions to be able to draw any solid conclusions from any quantitative sample. This doesn’t mean that qualitative working hypotheses cannot be made:
The first is that all sectors can benefit from design management. This statement should not be misinterpreted: it is not a claim that a single generic model can crossover fields of activities, but a pledge for tailored, bespoke, crafted models. Priorities differ, stakeholders vary, design cultures are diverse, but what remains is the idea that how clients will perceive the offer cannot be left to chance or to marketing. The genuine commitment of the design team, and through it, of the whole staff - including top management - shows in the background of all applications for the award.
Secondly, the NGO/NPO category for public organisations has proved one of the most exciting. I personally believe that it offers fresh alternatives to the stubborn way of running public sector activities as if they were businesses.
Most of the posters and other material are available through the project’s website. I invite all BEDA members to use these to promote design and design management. The project partners are also familiar —in fact most of them are also BEDA members— so can be approached easily for support.
Finally, let me say that I have found my three years as chairman very challenging - trying to keep a consortium and its assets alive when the budget dropped to zero has been a lesson. My term ended with my capacities as well, and I am glad to see that a new board is in place to drive a fresh vision.
Find more information at http://www.designmanagementeurope.com
The winners and honourable mentions for the Design Management Europe Award 2012 were presented November 15th 2012 at Casa da Cultura in Paredes, Portugal.
The winners and honourable mentions in each category are:
Best management of design in a large company:
Beiersdorf (Germany) - www.beiersdorf.de
Best management of design in a medium-sized company:
Leborgne (France) - www.leborgne.fr
Best management of design in a small company:
Tyromotion (Austria) - www.tyromotion.com
Shadelab (Italy) - www.shadelab.it
Best management of design in a micro company:
GMG (the Netherlands) - www.yepp.nl
Bolin Webb (United Kingdom) - www.bolinwebb.com
Best poster (1st time awarded):
GMG (the Netherlands) - www.yepp.nl
To view their design management strategy posters, visit www.designmanagementeurope.com.
In 2005 seventeen different design organisations in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden joined their forces and organised the World Design Congress (the joint congress for the three major international design organisations, ICSID, ICOGRADA and IFI), which is held every six years.