To keep up the good work and remain a significant local industrial player, L’École de design organizes a number of business-oriented events that address hot design topics. Co-design was at the heart of the debate in 2010...
Every year L’École de design organizes Design Development, a conference day, to enable creative professionals and industrial players to discuss significant design isssues. This year, Design Development focused on "co-design, social networks and innovation."
Information and communication technologies now offer many interaction-facilitating solutions in a wide variety of sectors and contribute to producing ideas. Creativity draws from this interaction to reach relevant and unique outcomes. Social networks and collaborative platforms appear as a new outstanding way to find ideas.
Six billion designers?
Designers are fundamentally creative and their creative process is undergoing great upheavals due to the ongoing technological revolution. Today, creation is no longer a quest remote from the world, creating now means interacting with an extended community via new communication tools. Therefore, designers must take to co-design methods and open up to the ideas thought up by those 6 billion creative professionals. The world of creation is currently being shaken up and members of the design community must understand how to make the most of this tremendous creative emulation.
The impact of online communities
Concerning companies, co-design is a new way to define customer expectations and requirements. Companies now rely on social networks to conduct surveys, anticipate, assess and engage in co-creation. Today, Lego proposes his clients to think up their upcoming products and Gap take their fans’ opinion into account to define their new identity. Network influence and availability are forces not to be overlooked by innovation-oriented companies. Industrial players willing to optimize their creative approach must make use of all available creative resources.
Collaborative design projects
Co-design can also take the shape of collaborative projects. Collaborative work blurs the boundaries of expertise and makes it easier for players to participate in or contribute to collective initiatives. Projects are now interactive, they are ceaselessly appraised, modified via a number of experiments throughout its elaboration. To do so, collaborative workers can no longer do without specific tools and places such as living labs, virtual reality platforms and multi-touch tables. To bring a project to completion designers can no longer remain isolated, they must move forward by working in continuous and immediate interaction.
Towards mass customization
Another type of co-design increasingly resorted to is mass customization. Designers must stop thinking of their projects as finished items and consider them as a series of endlessly combinable bricks. This way customers are given the possibility to appropriate a unique composition they can identify with, thus becoming a creator.
All these new approaches to design raise new intellectual property and confidentiality-related issues. When a new item is created the matter of royalties, patent and model registrations arise. In co-design situations, how can clear intellectual property guidelines be established? How can industrial players reap the benefits in terms of intellectual property when projects are handled as open initiatives? How can companies make sure that strategic items and ideas don’t leak or get plagiarized?
Jean-Luc Barassard, Head of Business Strategy Department
Design Dévéloppement’s website (only in French)