London-based consultancy Prospect, whose strategic director Richard Eisermann is a former director of design and innovation at the Design Council and worked on the Designing Demand project, is acting as advisor to the Humin initiative.
Humin will receive €1.4m (£1.2m) in funding over the next two years from Limburg/Genk, Design Region Kortrijk and Flanders in Shape.
The Humin programme aims to connect designers with small businesses in the region, using methods including training 20 people to become design coaches and creating a practical set of tools for them to apply innovation.
Eisermann, who has been working on the project for about a year, says, ‘The principles [of Designing Demand] had to be contextualised. Many of the businesses in this area are third-party suppliers of partially finished goods, and are interested in their place in the supply chain. Service design will be very important here.’
He adds, ‘Hopefully this project can provide a model for regions close by, such as The Netherlands, Germany and France, as well as raising the understanding of what design can do in Flanders.’