International Workshops on Design Support
SEEdesign Network - Database
Measuring the Impact of Design Support
Series of International Workshops for exchanging experience
The overall aim of the INTERREG IIIC programme is to improve the effectiveness of regional development policies and similar instruments through large scale information exchange and the sharing of experience in a structured way. For this reason, the core activity of the SEEdesign operation is a series of International Workshops whose aim is to facilitate the exchange of experiences and information among design organisations, policy makers, representatives of the regional governments and the small business sector.
In total twelve meetings will take place over the three-year lifespan of the project. They will focus on the dissemination of good practice in design support, providing participants with an opportunity to learn about methodologies that could provide more effective advice for their own SMEs.
The European Workshops on Design Support (EWDS) are hosted in a different country every six months. These meetings are attended by a select audience, involving the group of partners with invited EU design organisations and representatives of local governments.
In May 2005, the SEEdesign partners met for the first European Workshop on Design Support, which was hosted in Copenhagen by the Danish Design Centre. Presentations by the Design Business Group and Oresund Design were followed by a SME seminar, comprising a presentation by the Danish company 1508 and a hands-on workshop on user centred design. Scandinavian companies and design consultancies joined the SEEdesign partners in this seminar, which was attended by 40 people.
The second European Workshop on Design Support was hosted by the Design Centre Rhone-Alps in Lyon in October 2005. It included presentations on European design promotion issues from the Design Centre Poland and the Portuguese Design Centre, and finished with a SME seminar featuring speakers from Nokia and Delsey, amongst others. This was attended by nearly 150 participants.
The next workshop was the International Workshop on Design Support (IWDS 2006), hosted in Cardiff in May 2006 by Design Wales. This two-day event focussed on the need for further discussion and evaluation of current design support activity, whilst providing inspiration for new challenges and directions. Speakers from a number of different countries and backgrounds, including Professor John Heskett (Hong Kong) and Taewan Kim (South Korea), addressed current design support issues such as strategy, impact, challenges and evaluation. Over 100 delegates attended, from 23 countries worldwide. In June 2006, Design Wales also hosted a seminar on service design for SMEs - Service Design for Business Growth. The seminar featured presentations about The Guinness Storehouse and Orange, and was attended by over 70 delegates.
The third European Workshop on Design Support took place in Florence, Italy, in October 2006. Hosted by CSM, the event featured presentations from regional policy-makers and local government representatives, as well as design centres from the Slovak Republic and Denmark. This was followed by a seminar for SMEs on the theme of 'Design, Identity/Image of a Territory', which was attended by 40 delegates from local companies.
The fourth European Workshop on Design Support was held in Belgium in May 2007. The two day event included the launch of the Belgian Design Club at the Flemish Parliament. This new initiative aims to promote professionalism, quality and internationalism in design and design management through networking events and activities for designers and SMEs. The event was attended by 160 Flemish designers and companies, presenters from UK, LU and USA and the SEEdesign partners. On the second day, 30 delegates saw presentations on design support programmes in Finland, Ireland, UK and Belgium.
Transcripts of the presentations in Brussels are available in pdf format to download here:
Design Flanders, Brussels, Belgium - Johan Valcke
Centre for Design Innovation, Sligo, Ireland - Justin Knecht
Design Forum Finland, Helsinki, Finland - Kristina Noor
Design Center De Winkelhaak, Antwerp, Belgium - Klara De Smedt
The fifth European Workshop on Design Support
was hosted by the Design Centre of the Czech Republic in Prague in October 2007. In addition to presentations on design programmes in the Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark, Belgium and Slovakia, the partners visited a number of exhibitions being held as part of the DesignBloc festival and attended the awards ceremony for a student design competition.
100 designers and business people attended the workshop which was held in the Austrian Cultural Forum in central Prague.
Trancsripts of the workshop in Prague are available in pdf format to download here:EWDS Prague October 2007 Session 1EWDS Prague October 2007 Session 2
Available copies of the individual presentations:EWDS Prague - Polish presentationEWDS Prague - Danish Design Centre
EWDS Prague - Design FlandersEWDS Prague - Slovak Design Centre [Back to top]
SEEdesign Network - Database
SEEdesignâs objective is the dissemination of information about the practice of design support. In order to manage this task in an efficient way, a database has been set up to store contact details of the agencies willing to take part on this network.
The SEEdesign Network comprises design programmes, regional agencies, public funded organisations and other structured bodies involved in providing support in design for regional small companies.
Members of this Network will benefit from updated information about the practice of design support, receiving the SEEdesign Bulletin every 6 months.
SEEdesign Library (good practices in design support)
SEEdesign has been compiling information about the different experiences of design support working on the basis that it is possible to learn (or be inspired) by other organisations that have developed successful projects or approaches to problems.
The SEEdesign Library gathers examples of good practice on design support, and includes methods for promoting design among the small business sector, programmes for encouraging local companies to the best use of design tools, and models for the provision of design support services at a regional or national level.
Although the meaning of 'good practice' can vary from region to region due to differences in culture, economy and development, 'good practice' is recognised as an innovative idea that has been successfully implemented (a practical solution for an existing problem). Its implementation has to be economically viable and represent an efficient use of available resources. An example of good practice has to comply with local regulations and contribute to the regional directives for development. [Back to top]
Measuring the impact of design support
The lack of accurate data (or feedback) concerning the effectiveness of design in enhancing the competitiveness of enterprises and its economic impact is the reason for including this topic in the group of activities for this project.
During its three-year lifespan, the partner organisations will develop and review a methodology to measure the effectiveness of their design support services. They will be involved in identifying appropriate indicators and in applying them in the evaluation of their performance. The aim will be to measure the impact (or value) of these services, and to provide tools which might enable local policy makers to focus design policies on those areas where they are most likely to be effective.
This is an extremely valuable opportunity to create metrics that will review design support services in a variety of European countries and that will encourage a more professional and strategic approach in this field.
At the 6th SEEdesign Steering Committee meeting held in Prague, October 2007, Dr Bruce Tether presented his final report on the methodology developed and tested by the partnership. Due to changes over the 3 years of the project, the partners became more diverse in their activities. Comparison of such different programmes was difficult, however useful data was gathered and the work has formed a valuable basis for future evaluation.
The transcript of Dr Tether's presentation and a pdf of the presentation itself can be downloaded here:TRANSCRIPT Dr Bruce Tether SEEdesign PragueOct07
PRESENTATION Dr Bruce Tether SEEdesign PragueOct07 [Back to top]
In line with the SEEdesign project aim of sharing information and experiences of design support, highlights of SEEdesign events are now produced as podcasts. The SEEdesign Podcast Library contains three podcasts.
The first podcast features the International Workshop on Design Support (IWDS 2006), which was held in Cardiff Wales/UK in May 2006. The sixty-minute programme presents the important considerations outlined by the speakers during the two-day event, as well as some challenging questions raised by the audience to the speakers.
Podcasts 2 and 3 present the highlights of the European Workshop on Design Support, held in Florence, Italy in October 2006. They comprise a brief introduction (approximately three minutes) and a more detailed version (23 minutes). Presentations from the Slovak Design Centre, the Danish Design Centre and representatives from the Italian regional government are included.
How to Subscribe to the SEEdesign Podcasts:
Subscribing to podcasts using "podcatching" software makes it relatively easy to automatically receive audio files on your computer and download them to your portable MP3 player.
To subscribe: Copy and paste this URL according to the instructions in your podcatching software: http://www.seedesign.org/seedesign/RSS/SeeDesignPodCast.xml
If you use iTunes (download free from http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/
Open iTunes Select Menu > Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast
Copy and paste the following into the URL box: http://www.seedesign.org/seedesign/RSS/SeeDesignPodCast.xml
Once the subscription is complete, click the arrow to the left of the title and again on 'get' for any of the podcasts that haven't downloaded automatically. [Back to top]