Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Doing a webcast at 3pm CET

I have been invited by EDC in the Netherlands to give a webcast at 3pm today on the web platform www.howtogrow.eu. I am going to talk about the design policy journey in Europe, on changing design practice and on design learning for all.

This morning has been important with the launch of the European Creative Industries Alliance and the announcement of four new programmes for design funded by the European Commission.

An exciting time for design in Europe.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Vorsprung durch Branding

Not on his forearm. Not on his back. But on the back of his hand below the line of his shirt cuff.

This taxi driver in Graz was happy for me to photograph his hand and he proudly told me that he owns an Audi. I wasn't so sure about that as he didn't clarify which model.

The word 'brand' comes originally from the hot branding irons that burned the owner's mark onto the hide of a cow. So, in this case, who is claiming ownership of whom?

I didn't get to see his left hand...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Prof Gerhard Heufler, FH Joanneum Graz

Met yesterday with Professor Gerhard Heufler, Founder and Leader of the Industrial Design Course at the Fachhochschule Joanneum in Graz. It has a strong focus on transportation and I was there to learn about the accomplishments of the course and of his graduates - many of whom are now working internationally with key automotive manufacturers such as Audi, VW and BMW.

The course was established in 1995 by Gerhard and Gerald Kiska of Kiska design.

The focus on forward-looking design language and form integrated with a deep knowledge of three-dimensional, non-virtual model-making, (clay etc.) - as well as CAD of course - brings a level of quality that is very impressive. The integrated Bachelors and Masters programme is innovative and brings benefits to the level of quality that can be achieved. The workshops are impressive,(5-axis machine is on order), and the reach of top-notch placements in industry all adds to the quality.

I first came across the FH-J's work as jury member for CREATECH in Vienna back in 2009 and it has been great to see the work at first hand.

AA logo's flight through the years

I saw these in transit in JFK from the American Airlines terminal to the Delta terminal to get back to London. The only trouble was that when moving through the terminal, because American Airlines is so obsesive about not diluting its overwhleming brand presence in the new Terminal with competitor names, finding the route to the Delta terminal was very tedious and irritatingly un-signed. No presence of the Delta mark or name - at least certainly not obviously. I had to ask three times to get directions to the monorail. Made two wrong turns and found myself on a large flat mezzanine at one point. Not so good American. JFK sort out the wayfinding between terminals from within the terminals (the signing at the exit and entry nodes is quite reasonable).

International Design Alliance Montreal

I had the privilege at the end of January to facilitate a strategy thinking workshop with the three Executive Boards of the world design organisations Icograda, IFI and Icsid. We spent a half-day in Montreal thinking together and working through key strategies for the future regarding the ongoing development of the IDA Congress.

The next Congress is to be held in Istanbul in 2013 and looking beyond that to the years to come, there are many areas where innovation and development can occur in ways that would not be possible if the organisations were not working together. It was very exciting to hear the flow of ideas emerging over the day from across the three discipline domains.

It is because of this multi-disciplinary working in building an expanded view of design in today's world - without losing relevance to the individual disciplines - that I believe the potential of the IDA Congress is significant. Following on from the first IDA Congress in Taipei in October - Design at the Edges - the three organisations, their Executive Boards and their Secretariats are exploring exciting and innovative ways of continuing the on-going development of the IDA Congress as a positioning and influencing force for good for design in business, industry and society.

It was great to have the chance to work with the lead organisation IFI and their President Shashi Caan to shape and deliver a valuable experience for the IDA team.