Wednesday, 30 April 2008

A Look into International Design Centres

Over the Easter weekend I visited Copenhagen, Denmark, and Malmo, Sweden. I have had a keen interest in international design centres for many years now, especially those funded by Government.

Two destinations I put on my list to visit was the Danish Design Centre (the UK Design Council equivalent in Denmark) and the Form/Design Centre in Sweden.

The Danish Design Centre is all about design exposure.

Located on a central city road and open to the public, it contains a cafe, shop, numerous exhibition spaces and a conference centre.

Visitors have free access to the shop and cafe, but a small fee is required to see the exhibitions which celebrate Danish design, design in business, designers in society and design icons.

The Form/Design Centre is much smaller and tucked away in the Small Square of Malmo.

It is also open to the public and is entirely free to enter. Spread across 3 floors are exhibition spaces, a shop and a cafe which invites visitors to sit down, have a coffee and browse international design magazines.

Shortly after returning home from Denmark and in the Design Council's library, I met a group of people from a Design Centre in Malaysia. I am yet to find their website, but when I do I shall post it up here.

Other international design centres or bodies I know of are:

Design Institute of Australia (Australia)

The National Design Centre

German Design Council (Germany)

Centre for Design and Innovation (Ireland)

Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organisation (Japan)

Better By Design (New Zealand)

Norwegian Design Council (Norway)

Design Singapore (Singapore)

Hong Kong Design Centre (HK)

Design Council (UK)

Corporate Design Foundation (USA)

Design Management Institute (USA)

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Service Design in M. Design at UTS, Australia

Sometimes it's funny to be led right back to where one started.

I completed my undergraduate design degree at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Australia and just discovered they have added new majors to their Master of Design Degree, inclusive of Service Design. Here's what it says:

Service Design

The future of business is the delivery of customised experiences. This future depends upon design, on the expert ability to visualise and plan interactions. This specialisation puts designers in the driving seat of a major economic shift now underway. It shows designers how to shift from product development to service innovation through techniques like experience notation, service blueprinting and touchpoint management. This is the first service design degree program in Australia.

Sunday, 6 April 2008


The third International Service Design Northumbria conference happened last week on Wednesday 2 April and Thursday 3 April, 2008.

The event was to illustrate the scope of PhD research in design around social issues and design which places people in the middle of both the design process and design outcomes.

The conference kicked off on Wednesday evening at Northumbria University's School of Design gallery space with an introduction from Robert Young, Associate Dean of the School and keynote presentation from Anna Meroni, Assistant Professor in Service and Strategic Design at the Politecnico di Milano.

Anna talked about her involvement and the project called Creative Communities, which aimed to increase our understanding of innovation through identifying and presenting case studies of social innovation throughout the world. Anna's keynote was right on the mark. Messages and themes from her presentation were carried throughout the conference, especially through the 7 PhD research presentations the following day.
For a run down on each presentation, Bas Rajimakers, blogged the event, in situ on his website here.

The conference was not without some good social mixing, even though some feedback requested for more next time. Our first night saw the majority of us hit The Cluny in Newcastle's up-and-coming creative hub the Ouseburn Valley.

A well-timed 10am start the following morning launched us into 7 PhD research students' presentations. These students, including myself, were PhD's of both past and present, and I know that most of us felt disappointed we did not have more time to discuss ideas, themes and issues.

A plenary session closed the conference. It took us all a bit of time to warm up, but then good conversations happened right up until the clock struck 4pm. We adjourned having made new contacts, new friends and taking away with us a whole load of new ideas.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Endnote for PhD thesis referencing

Am just finishing up Endnote training at the University this morning. What a great little tool to help with the massive amount of references for PhD students. Would highly recommend it as it saves loads of time with referencing in your documents and also your Bibliography. I think the niftiest thing is that the references can be linked to pdf documents saved on your computer.

However, some limitations of the programme include:
  • It doesn't have a spell check
  • It doesn't consistently format your references so you'll have to tweak things yourself
  • It won't put the page numbers in your document referencing so you'll need to do this manually