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Danish Designers publish "The Role of Design in the 21st Century"
Mar 11, 2010

Danish Designers, an organization which promotes intelligent use of design and of the thinking, skills and capacities of designers, has launched the third edition of the manifesto, "The role of design in the 21st century: a Vision for the Future of Danish Design." The manifesto describes the triple bottom line "design for people, profit and planet" and discusses what design can do and which role design support, design promotion, design commitment and design research & education plays in the development of design. Highlights from the manifesto include: • A growing number of corporations worldwide have adopted the concept as a natural consequence of both legislative and market driven demands for transparency with regard to their environmental and social commitments, and it is expected by responsible companies that they take their social and environmental bottom line as seriously as they have always done with regard to their financial bottom line. • The role of the designer has increasingly become that of facilitating qualified choices by individuals, enterprises or society between real and more sustainable alternatives than current ones – rather than creating more of what’s already there. • Design used strategically improves the overall performance of companies. • Design is also about rethinking organizational and bureaucratic traditions – not least through active involvement of employees, clients and users and through disclosing and exploiting resources that are already present in the organization and among existing stakeholders. • Design fundamentally builds on an analysis of what could possibly be done to improve the perceived quality of any given situation. • All designers have an influence on the future of the earth through their work, and they can all work towards more sustainable solutions and to optimize the products, services or environments they work with within the limitations of the task at hand. • The designer of the future is expected to deal with concepts like service design, strategic design, user-centered design, digital design, experience design or interaction design – and yet retain their role as creators of beauty and functionality. • Research show that most companies would actually benefit from integrating design into their daily operations, while those reporting the highest output from investments in design work with both internal and external design resources. • Design promotion is also about showing who we are – or rather who we want to be – to people from other parts of the world. • At the same time – as the largest client account for numerous manufacturers – the public sector ought to lead the way in demanding higher quality and better designed products to increase the user experience – whether the users are patients or clients, employees or in any other category. • A new European policy for innovation – integrating design for the first time – will be launched in 2010. The manifesto has been sent to about 250 Danish and International business, cultural and innovation decision-makers and design organizations.

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