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image by Elodie Meunier - WBI | BEDA Design Forum 2024, Dr Felix Kosok, Brussels 2024

Highlights from BEDA Design Forum 2024

Cool Europe – by Design
Connectivity, optimism, openness, and longevity in design

The BEDA Design Forum took place on 30 May at the Design Museum Brussels, bringing together professionals from Europe to discuss the creative sector’s current challenges and look for solutions. The speakers gathered from different fields of the design sector – from practising designers and design organisations to EU-level institutions.

The event started with Christina Melander, BEDA President and Director of Digital Transition at Danish Design Center emphasising the importance of positivity and being able to envision a better future through design. Despite the challenges and crises we face, fostering enthusiasm, optimism, and a focus on potential is essential for designing a meaningful and valuable future driven by creativity and courage.

Lisa Lang, Chairwoman at United Nations Global Innovation Hub Cultural & Creative Industries Taskforce and Ambra Trotto, Director of Transformation at the European Institute of Innovation & Technology Culture & Creativity spoke about the integration and recognition of design within the programmes and ambitions of international and European institutions. They talked about what design can do and how it can help. Ambra highlighted how design can facilitate clear targeted missions to make things happen.

Dr Felix Kosok, Director Design Discourse for World Design Capital Frankfurt RehinMain 2026 under the motto of „Design for Democracy” brought to our attention how we can design our lives through sustainable and participatory angles. Felix highlighted 10 fields of actions through which we can do so – work, construction & housing, education, health, industry, consumption, culture & media, mobility, public space and sport.

Gaile Sakalaite-Orlovskiene, Leader of the Designs Legislative Reform Group, Member of the Legal Department, Litigator at European Union Intellectual Property Office and Iiris Adenius, Legal Adviser at Ornamo Art and Design Finland discussed the evolution and potential challenges of intellectual property laws to benefit design. Gaile pointed out that the modernised intellectual property laws now include the protection of animations, GUIs, spaces, and objects and the scope of a design right. A new addition to the EU design law now allows designs generated by AI and related technologies to be eligible for design protection under specific criteria.

Gareth Broadbent, Freelance Creative Director at True Life Story reminded us about the power of design and how it can make a real-life impact to tackle the climate crisis among other global and societal challenges. Gareth has been actively using design as a tool to slow down the C02 graph of doom.

The SACCORD – The European Skills Accord is a project devoted to developing the skills of designers and promoting a life-long learning ecosystem. Isabelle Vérilhac, BEDA Past President, Director of Development at APCI – Promotion of Design, Founder of Design With Isabelle and Dimitris Kaboukos, BEDA Project Manager pointed out that one (of many) of the project’s goals where BEDA is directly involved is to investigate micro credentials accreditation.

Audronė Drungilaitė, Director of Design Innovation Centre of Vilnius Academy of Arts shared with us the Design Wings project that connects young designers with companies through the principles of innovation and the digital and circular economy. Laure Capitani, Coordinator of the Wallonia-Brussels Design Fashion (WBDM) Department introduced us to their way of promoting Belgian creative minds locally and internationally through ‘Belgium is Design’ initiative.

The event was moderated by Tom Watts, BEDA Board Member and Head of Design at the Design Crafts Council of Ireland.

See the speaker presentations below:

Ambra TrottoTransforming Europe: the Impact of Design and EIT CC’s Support
Dr Felix KosokDesign Discourse and Democracy in the World Design Capital 2026 Context
Gaile Sakalaite-OrlovskieneThe Future of Modernised EU Design Law is the Future of Digital and AI-Generated Designs
Isabelle Vérilhac and Dimitris KaboukosSACCORD Project – Skills for Designers
Audronė Drungilaitė‘Design Wings’ Connecting Design Graduates with Companies
Laure Capitani‘Belgium is Design’ – Some Viewpoints on Design from Belgium
Iiris Adenius‘Design as a Competitive Edge’ Empowering SMEs and Designers Through Intellectual Property

Last updated: 12/06/24

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