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“Design for societal challenges”: PROUD Forum in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen

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On Thursday, 8 May 2014, the Red Dot Design Museum Essen is organising the PROUD Forum “Design for societal challenges”. Experts from around the world will give insights in new design tools and methods and assess their potential in terms of their productive and social value. During the morning, lectures by renowned keynote speakers introduce current approaches, developments and opportunities in English. In the afternoon, various workshops offer the opportunity to discuss single aspects in more depth. Anyone interested can register as a participant until 2 May 2014 at The cost sharing is 30 euros (students: 15 euros) and includes drinks, snacks and lunch.

Nowadays societies are faced with political and economic changes that effect a fundamental transformation of their social structures. Globalisation on the one hand combined with the desire for individualisation on the other, the reimagining of the public sphere with the help of social networks, but also the loss of optimism about progress are just some of the developments that have altered our social structures and behaviours.

As a hybrid discipline, design walks a tightrope between economic success and social responsibility, between creativity and continuity, between technical innovation and human conservatism. How does design react to this social change? What methods and tools does it use in an effort to respond to – or even influence – this realignment of social and economic realities? How can design values be conveyed in a society where the word “design” is applied to almost everything? These and other questions will be discussed during the PROUD Forum “Design for societal challenges” on 8 May 2014 in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen.

Keynote Speaker
During the morning, renowned keynote speakers open the forum with interesting lectures: Among them is Professor Dr Mugendi K. M’Rithaa, Icsid President-Elect and Professor of Industrial Design at the South African Cape Peninsula University of Technology, who will talk about ”World Design Capital 2014: co-creation and innovation for societal change in Cape Town”. Insights into the changing role of designers will be granted by Prof. Ad van Berlo. The Part-time Professor of Entrepreneurial Design of Intelligent Systems at Eindhoven University of Technology and Founder of VanBerlo will focus on the development of the designers’ mission – from giving form to facilitating innovation processes. Moreover, Krister Torssell, CEO of Veryday from Sweden, and Professor Dr Peter Zec, founder and CEO of Red Dot, will give lectures during the PROUD Forum.

Workshop “What is the role of education in design museums?”
During the afternoon session, the participants of the PROUD Forum can choose one of three workshops in order to discuss one special aspect of innovative solutions for societal challenges more intensively. The workshop “What is the role of education in design museums?” will deal with the potential of design museums to offer design education programmes to pedagogic institutions since the basic principles of form giving are not yet incorporated in curriculums for primary and secondary schools in the European Union. Among others, Jukka Savolainen, Director of the Designmuseo in Helsinki (Finland), Prof. Dr. June H. Park, Professor of Design Education at the University of Vechta (Germany) and Sarah Campbell, Head of Schools, Families and Young People at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, will participate in the workshop and share their experiences and expertise with the participants.

Workshop “What is the future of design innovation centers?”
In parallel, another workshop will concentrate on the question “What is the future of design innovation centers?” After explaining the different design innovation hubs within PROUD, a practical test case, named Buda::lab (Fablab Kortrijk) will be illustrated. The future of design innovation centers within Europe will be discussed in the course of a lively debate, among others with guests, such as Rodolfo Baïz, Architect and Fab Lab Manager from Luxembourg, and Joe Lockwood, Deputy Director of the Institute of Design Innovation at The Glasgow School of Art. Which innovation centers are sustainable? How will they look like in the future? And which services will they have to offer?

Workshop “What is the effect of co-design?”
The third workshop of the afternoon session raises the question “What is the effect of co-design?” Since co-design is becoming a common approach to involving people into the design process, in the course of the PROUD project, principles of co-design have been identified and are being developed. Looking to numerous examples, the participants of the workshop will reflect on the complexity, criteria, and impact of co-design. Bas Raijmakers, Design Researcher, Reader at Design Academy Eindhoven and Creative Director at STBY London and Amsterdam, as well as Dr. Leon Cruickshank, Director of Knowledge Exchange – The Creative Exchange and Reader in Design at Lancaster University, will contribute to this workshop.

The forum “Design for societal challenges” is part of the EU project PROUD (People Researchers Organisations Using Design for innovation and co-creation).

About PROUD:
PROUD (People Researchers Organisations Using Design for co-creation and innovation) is a European project with the objective to make Europe a better place by co-designing for all and by all. PROUD brings designers together with public organisations, businesses and user communities to experience the added value of design thinking and design, while working on innovative solutions for today’s real world problems. PROUD helps and supports designers to have the right facilities, knowledge and expertise to play this key role in innovating, improving and consolidating Europe.

PROUD Forum “Design for societal challenges”
Thursday, 8 May 2014
9.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.

Red Dot Design Museum Essen
Gelsenkirchener Str. 181
45309 Essen

Further information and registration at

The PROUD Forum will be held in English language.

The cost sharing is 30 euros (students: 15 euros) and includes drinks, snacks and lunch.

Press contact:
Marie-Christine Sassenberg
Communications Manager
Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen
Gelsenkirchener Str. 181
45309 Essen
Phone +49 201 30104-43