PhD content in brief

Internationalization of design research and education centers.
Promotion of international design networks
Valentina Auricchio

Today, small enterprises and artisans are facing a difficult moment in which they are not able to understand how to survive in a evermore competitive and global market. They no longer have contact with final users, which often live in other territories and belong to different cultures, and do not have the tools to connect and innovate at an international level.
Since the early 70’s, designers around the world have been working in this arena with the aim to help artisans reach new markets and learn how to develop autonomous innovative processes. Through transfer of knowledge and support in creating networks, designers have shown unique capabilities that can support internationalization processes of territories worldwide by:
_identifying new markets and interpreting cultures (EXPORT);
_identifying new technologies (CO-PRODUCTION);
_identifying new cultural context (CO-DESIGN).

In this scenario, design research and education institutions have had a fundamental role in engaging new research paths and developing education programs in the fields of design management and strategic design in order to support international competitiveness. The strive for internationalization has pushed design institutions to enlarge their networks, connect with territories and give students and staff the opportunity to widen their view. By doing so, they have become strategic entities for the internationalization of their countries.
In the knowledge based society, education and research institutions have become important actors in supporting the international competitiveness of their territories by developing innovative researches and forming new professional profiles.
Therefore, design research and education institutions have become gateways for companies interested in connecting and competing internationally.

The main aim of the research is to identify projects in which design institutions have supported the internationalization of productive territories in order to stimulate an international debate in this area.
The area of reference of the research is Social Design and it historically refers to those projects in which designers have had an important role in connecting the periphery with the center. Victor Papanek, Gui Bonsiepe and Victor Margolin have been the main design theorist in this area.
The research developed has aimed to collect projects that have been carried out in the past ten years in this field. Projects that have been developed by design centers, institutions, individual designers that demonstrate that design can have a strategic role in social and economical development. These projects are mainly lead by the desire to help artisans and small producers to reach new markets and to build connections with partners worldwide.
The research has been lead through on field research and interviews of actors involved in the debate and in the projects detected. The projects collected have been saved in an “online platform” (blog of the research www.innovstrategy.blogspot.com) which has been the a first interface with the research community.
Fifteen projects selected out of the many projects collected in the blog have been briefly explained through graphs and maps which give a general understanding of the state of the art in this field.

The analysis of the project has been done at different levels:
_geographical map of territories and actors involved;
_chronological map of the projects;
_role of the design actors in the projects;
_results respect to the internationalization of the territories involved;
_aims and objectives of the projects;
_project phases.

The final analysis of the projects aims to give a future view on the trajectories taken by the actors involved, the lessons learnt and the suggestions on how to take forward a debate in this field in order to develop new research and form professionals.
Today, there is a large amount of design centers, institutions and professionals who believe that design can have a strategic role in helping artisans and small companies in building global value chains. This belief has been demonstrated through real projects that show that designers are capable, not only in developing new products and services, but also in building global value chains that allow artisans to access new markets. Through these projects, designers transfer innovation capabilities to communities, enabling them to connect with partners worldwide.
However, this field is still not recognized as a research field in design and there are very few courses which aim to form professionals capable to replicate successful experiences in other contexts. This is also due to the fact that, up to today, design tools applied have not yet been codified.
Although the methods and tools identified in the projects still require confrontation and verification in other contexts, the catalogue of projects collected throughout the research is the first of its kind and the hope is for it to be a starting point for an international debate on design methods and tools applicable in this research area.

CASE STUDIES

The following list of posts are a collection of interesting articles which have been collected during the PhD research. Some of them are Design Centers, others are projects, others are links to websites.
Of these posts, 15 case studies have been picked out to be analysed in depth.

TO ADD PROJECTS OR LINKS PLEASE WRITE TO:
valentina.auricchio[at]polimi.it

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Des+gn mais


The Des+gn Mais programme began in 2004, when CPD coordinated the funds and a team to get it underway. It was originally called “Plan for Design in Productive Sectors”. The aim was to use design to enhance competitiveness and economic development. The programme was planned to run for 24 months under the auspices of the Centro Português de Design (CPD). The programme is now drawing towards its close in the first half of 2007 and results are already being evaluated.

The aim of Des+gn Mais is the internationalisation of Portuguese economy. This is to be achieved in four separate ways: by penetrating external markets; by promoting a design culture; by improving companies’ capabilities and by developing products, images and brands. The programme was aimed at graduate designers looking for their first job, or unemployed young designers and Portuguese companies and businesses. In total 76 professionals, 66 companies and 10 associations were involved in the programme.
DETECTED BY: SEEDESIGN - www.seedesign.org

Friday, 19 October 2007

ART, NATURE, DESIGN


AND (Art Nature Design) is a young design-organisation that has a special interest in connecting “poverty reduction" to “environmental issues" in third world countries. With the “African skin" project European designers develop new products out of bark cloth for the international market. Essential to these designs is that the production has to take place in Uganda to generate income for Ugandan women and to improve local environmental aspects at the same time.

René Malcorps, winner of the BiD Challenge 2006, proved that not only do SMEs generate employment and income, they are also an engine for innovation and expertise. Malcorps won one of the main prizes with his plan “African Skin”, a unique concept to develop products from bark in Uganda. With his business he supports local society, as well as the environment. The first products of “African Skin” have recently been launched.

PRESS RELEASE
Amsterdam, April 2007
Fighting poverty with profit
The BiD Challenge 2007 is opened!
http://www.gvepinternational.org/_file/111/BiD%20Press%20Release.pdf
http://www.artnaturedesign.nl/

NEW DIRECTIONS IN CRAFT



“Design can be used as a tool for cultural exchange, connecting people”

We, along with nine other Man and Humanity Master students from the Eindhoven Design Academy collaborated in a project together with craftspeople in the area of Kachchh, India, to contemporise the crafts.
Crafts are an integral part of Indian identity. These once commonly used crafted objects now struggle on the market in competition with mass-produced goods, therefore reducing sales and viability of the craft. This scenario also forces sons and daughters of craftsmen to take up menial jobs in the city rather than learn the craft, customarily passed on through the generations.
For a period of six weeks we lived and worked together with local craftsmen to share our culture, know-how and skills, in order to commonly develop alternative ways to maintain their rich, traditional crafts in a post industrial world. The results of this collaboration were exhibited in New Delhi at the India International Centre.
This project was done in association with Eye, Icco, the Royal Netherlands Embassy, and local NGO’s: Dastkar (Delhi) and Khamir (Kachchh).

ENJOY THE DIFFERENCE


Man & Humanity proposes an intensive program of design studies that respond to the increasing concerns of
Globalisation. It seeks a profound engagement from creative individuals who wish to readdress the role of the designer in this context and apply ideas to designing products and systems that help sustain the future of our planet and its inhabitants at the same time taking into account ethical standards of production and distribution that
respect Man and the Environment.
We interrogate the direct effect of design on people’s livelihoods and consider our responsibility towards communities we encounter during the projects. The master education develops a full awareness of the humanitarian and environmental context, and the long-term strategies and methods that can be applied to move development forward, for the betterment of our planet.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

DESIGN SOLIDARIO

A exposição Design Solidário Brasil - Holanda pretende divulgar o desenvolvimento do projeto Design Solidário, um trabalho conjunto de A CASA - Museu Virtual de Artes e Artefatos Brasileiros, URBAN FABRIC/Holanda, Academia de Design de Eindhoven, Holanda, Fundação Padre João Câncio e Associação dos Artesãos do Sertão Central de Serrita, Pernambuco, e Associação Comunitária Monte Azul, de São Paulo.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

TODOMUNDO


http://www.todomundo.org/vision.html
TODOMUNDO is an international network of creative people interested in design as a powerful tool for social innovation.

RED - Design Council



RED is a 'do tank' that develops new thinking and practice on social and economic problems through design-led innovation.
RED was set up in 2004 by the Design Council to tackle social and economic issues through design led innovation.
http://www.designcouncil.info/mt/RED/publications/publicationscontainer/About_RED_presentation.pdf
http://www.designcouncil.info/mt/RED/transformationdesign/TransformationDesignFinalDraft.pdf

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

DESIGN GATEz



DESIGN GATEz: You are leaving the European sector. Intercultural communication through design
15th November 2007, 10:00 - 17:00 h
The changing economic conditions in the wake of globalisation are opening up new opportunities for all participants, but, on the other hand, are also calling into question privileges, traditions and habits. In export, cultural differences of the individual markets form an enormous challenge for products and services. Shapes, colours, symbols and names have different meanings in other cultures. Interpretation, orienting yourself towards the values and experiences of your own cultural area can lead to fundamental communication problems. Within the framework of the seminar, these differences will be discussed in relation to products and marketing strategies.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

PEOPLink



PEOPLink is a US based non-profit organization helping artisans all over the world sell their handmade items on-line while showcasing their cultural richness. We empower them to use our CatGen (for "catalog generator") e-commerce platform to create their own web catalog. Each artisan group maintains its own catalog up to date with the latest offerings and lots of information on the artists and the culture.

Craft and Design as a Career



Friday 31 August, 2007
Making it: Craft and Design as a Career
From identifying opportunities, dealing with business and commercial issues to a bit of creative inspiration, this professional practice seminar is for emerging craft and design practitioners.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Co-Creando


Co-Creando’s multicultural team is an international network of consultants from Italy, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and the Middle East. What makes this team unique is that it groups local talents and indigenous knowledge and operates in a global market.
Specific competences are required for the development of every single research, design or consultancy project. Co-Creando’s distinguished approach to work is based on the creation of On Demand Project Teams that rapidly unite the best necessary competences, made possible by the Co-Creando network, which brings together highly competent professionals and academics who have developed strong relationships with creative and business practices.

CRAFT REVIVAL TRUST



Accessing Markets
An enormous challenge faced by organizations and artisans is the challenge of accessing markets. Market Access is often cited as being the pivotal element for a sustainable future. As Ikhtiar, a bell maker from Jalesar, Utter Pradesh observed that though “all learning is important, market information is primary”
While design intervention in crafts is welcomed by some as a necessity and an opportunity for exploring new prospects, it is often considered by others as a threat. Designers Meet Artisans aims to address these concerns in an objective manner and clarify the scope, processes and modalities of a proper design intervention in crafts. This volume offers, for the first time, a dual presentation of the experiences of two countries—Colombia and India—which have a particularly rich and dynamic craft tradition. The case studies include the perspectives of design students and professional designers, thus offering analysis at two levels.

SEMINAR - INDIA

March 2003
CELEBRATING CRAFT
a symposium on the stateof handicraft

September 2005
CREATIVE INDUSTRIES
a symposium on culture based development strategies

February 2007
CRAFTING AN EDUCATION
a symposium on introducing craftlearning in modern education

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