Danish design foundation Index is teaming up with the US professional association for design, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, to raise the profile of ‘social design’.
The not-for-profit design organisations have committed to running a series of events, scheduled to take place until 2015, with the aim of creating a universal multidisciplinary design process that incorporates social, inclusive, service and user-centered design.
The organisations hope that by ‘engaging decision-makers in design, business, non-governmental organisations and government’ it will bring about improvements in society at all levels through its proposed design process.
The groups also plan to make recommendations to influential design schools across Europe and the US for possible inclusion in their curriculum.
The programme will kick off in Copenhagen from 23-25 August, as a prelude to the Index/Aspen Summit 2008, which will take place in January next year.
The August summit will coincide with the Index Awards, the organisation’s annual inclusive design awards scheme.
‘Through the Aspen Institute, we have been fortunate enough to engage with business. Economic and political experts have been invited to both events. The idea will be to take all the information from the prelude and sift through it in Aspen. It will be about looking at stakeholders, identifying who and how, and getting them involved. Hopefully [those involved] will take some of the key findings away with them,’ says Index programme manager Lisa Klint.
Klint says that a UK event has not been planned, but is something that would ‘not be ruled out’.
‘We have been in close contact with David Kester at the Design Council and George Cox was one of the original participants planned for the Index Summit [in August],’ she says.
Both Index and the AIGA have a remit to bring about social change through user-centred design – Index’s maxim is ‘design to improve life’, while the AIGA’s mission is to advance design ‘as a professional craft, a strategic tool and vital cultural force’.