8 September 2007

“Concept Design”, a new study from Denmark

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Concept Design
Fora, the Danish Authority for Enterprise and Construction‘s division for R&D, has just published “Concept Design – How to solve the complex challenges of our time“, which presents a new type of company – the concept design company.

The study focuses on how design can be utilised together with other disciplines to create new solutions to the global challenges faced by the private and public sectors in the twenty-first century, and is a follow-up to the report entitled “Et billede af dansk design” (A View of Danish Design), which was published in April 2007. It draws up a map of the proliferation of concept design companies and their areas of work.

Today’s companies are seeking answers to the question “what?”.

What should companies focus on? What problems should the companies’ innovation solve?

In the past companies wanted answers to the question “how?”. How do we develop a new product? How should it be designed? How should it be marketed, and how should the company be organised to achieve the best solution?

When companies seek advice and answers to how questions they can turn to consulting engineers, designers, advertising agencies or management consultants. Until recently, this has provided a reasonably clear division of labour between different consulting offerings.

In terms of answering questions related to what a company should innovate and produce, companies have no obvious place to go. For that purpose consulting engineers, design companies, advertising agencies and management consultants could all be involved. However, none of these companies are single-handedly able to answer the question “what”. Hence, we are witnessing industry break-up and gliding.

The study will contribute to shed light on this dynamic and fascinating development – with a particular focus on possibilities and consequences for the design industry.

Concept Design [August 2007] (pdf, 17.9 mb, 115 pages)
Et billede af dansk design – udfordringer og perspektiver [April 2007, in Danish only] (pdf, 11.1 mb, 118 pages)
Design Denmark [July 2007, Danish government white paper on the direction for design policy in Denmark] (pdf, 320 kb, 20 pages)

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