German-speaking markets targeted by UK showcase

British product designers are hoping to gain greater recognition in ‘valuable’ German markets, with a touring exhibition in Austria, Switzerland and Germany.

Organised by the Design Council, The British Council, Government and industry body Design Partners and Government trade support service Trade Partners UK, the exhibition, Designed for Use, opens on 13 November in Zurich.

Created by Tom Lipscomb and Amos Marchant, the show features graphics by Eyefood.

Designed for Use marks the launch of a three-year strategy to tap into the ‘potential’ of Austrian, German and Swiss territories.

It is hoped that partnerships between UK groups and German companies will come to fruition 18 months or so after the events, says Trade Partners UK country and design sector manager for Northern Europe Michelle Davidson.

British designers already do well in the three countries and ‘could do even better’, she adds. The exhibition will feature British products that show how design links business strategy to customer needs.

Design Council director of design and innovation Clive Grinyer has curated the exhibition. There is a real hunger for British design in Germany, where designers have ‘little knowledge of, but lots of interest’ in the UK scene, says Grinyer.

Products such as stereo speakers created by Factory Design, Hollington Associates’ Kodak zoom camera (DW 8 September 2000) and Cambridge Consultants’ bluetooth e-mail pen will be exhibited. The emphasis, according to Grinyer, will be on the ‘story behind each product’.

The exhibition will tour Austria and Germany in Spring 2002. Product design groups taking part include Priestman Goode, Seymour Powell, Tangerine, Therefore and Kinneir-Dufort. All have expressed an interest in German markets.

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