by Pau Rausell
At the request of the Socialist parliamentary group, led by the Valencian parliamentarian Ana Botella, a non-legislative proposal for the development of a National Design Strategy was presented in November 2017. The texts and resolutions in the form of NLP serve to urge the Government or any of its members to take concrete actions, to give the majority opinion of the Courts on any issue or to lay the foundations or principles with respect to any action of the administrations.
The Information Day, held on 12 January 2018, aimed to visualize the current situation of Spanish design and discuss with stakeholders about the challenges it faces in the current international economic situation.
The conference gathered more than 250 people from a wide range of backgrounds, from designers, researchers, heads of public and private institutions related to design to parliamentarians from different political groups. The strategic line of design as the driving force of European innovation is of interest to Spain, especially because it fits in with the strengths of its business fabric in non-technological innovation, its economic importance within the EU, and its active management emphasised and encouraged in H2020. According to the latest Balance Sheet of 24 October 2017, Spain has an outperformed success rate of achieving the participation of 1.743 SMEs in comparison with the EU-28 average and positions itself among the top European countries in returns under the SME Facility. Spain has learnt lessons from the recent international economic crisis that resulted in the lasting and severe influence on all walks of life in this country, which shows how urgent it is to take measures in favour of Spanish design in order to rescue it from the marginality in the ministerial policies of the current government.
It is in this context that the Econcult group from the University of Valencia participates in this conference on the behalf of the DESIGNSCAPES project and its high-level and excellent consortium including the design departments of Politecnico Milano (Italy) and Aalborg University (Denmark), the Tavistock Institute (UK) and the Surrey Business School (UK), among other partners. The project has a budget of around 4 million euros to encourage, experiment and evaluate the possibilities of effectively incorporating design-driven innovation into economic, social and cultural processes, as well as to looking for feasible and effective ways to include the issue into the political agenda with concrete recommendations for action.
For DESIGNSCAPES, the discussions, contacts, and materials obtained during the Information Day will help to form policy recommendations that are framed under the supportive governance approach as one of the key characteristics of the value proposition of this project. Econcult will lead the process of developing a set of policy recommendations on how to support and activate design in user-driven innovation at local, regional, national and EU level as well as in various policy areas taking into account the urban context as an innovation generator, with a series of outputs including policy forums, academic publications and a White Paper.
Related article (in Spanish regional media)