The IV international creative congress “Design Plus” was held in Szczecin, Poland, on 10-11 October 2019. The event became an open platform for discussions, covering the future of sectors such as fashion, games and audiovisual production, as well as the design of products and services. Also speakers and organizers have addressed the topics of future design, sharing economics and circular economics.
For the partners, involved in the international project Creative Traditional Companies Cooperation (CTCC), “Design Plus” gave a strong boost of fresh ideas and hot trends before diving into the partner meeting and exciting workshop that also invited representatives from the traditional businesses and creative industries.
“The future we want must be designed, otherwise we will get a future that we do not want”, - the quote from Joseph Beuys became a key for deeper understanding about the goals of the “Design Plus”.
Importance of concious desisions
What if we had a new way to design products, services and businesses that would be good for people, the planet and business? If so, could you redesign everything? Start creating the future today? New tools such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things and biomimicry mean that today's design ambitions are limited only by our imagination.
The fashion industry is the second largest waste producer in the world. According to research, by 2030 the world waste will double. The largest dump is the Pacific Ocean Garbage Floating in the Pacific - it starts about 900 km from the coast of California and ends near Japan. How to reconcile changing trends, fashion passing from season to season - with sustainable development? Why (and whether) worth being slow and not fast? Developing technology gives almost unlimited possibilities of entertainment and moving into the virtual world. By 2017, the percentage of households in Europe with internet access has increased to 87% - an increase of 32 percentage points compared to 2007. We are buying more and more, we live quickly and we do not think about the consequences of their daily behaviors and habits.
Can informed consumers change the market? Or maybe the Schumpeter statement is still valid, which says that it was not consumers who first expressed the need and demand for electric lamps, nylon stockings, traveling by cars or planes, listening to the radio or chewing gum, but that the vast majority of changes were forced by the producers - precisely on consumers? The latter most often resisted change and had to be properly "educated" through extensive psychotechnics of advertising.
Design and business go hand in hand
While raising relevant questions, the “Design Plus” with its speakers, representing traditional businesses, startups and creatives from Poland and abroad, gave an opportunity to see that design and business go hand in hand. Entrepreneurs to attract customers outdo each other in originality, and creative competitions are very helpful in shaping the brand and designing good services, products and ecosystems.
The challenges faced by designers in the 20th century, such as the creation of a new object, a logotype, the insertion of simple technology into smaller or lager box, have ceased to be valid in the 21st century. If we are dealing with the massive, continual change that is characteristic of our time, we must all think like designers – with this idea CTCC project partners and related companies moved from the „Design Plus“ conference hall at CKE Old Slaughterhouse to the workshop space at the Academy of Arts in Szczecin.
Sharing different perspectives
The workshops on 11 October were led by professor Achim Hack from Germany who is an expert in the field of the design, especially in the scope of interrior design, furniture, interior architecture and construction. He gives lectures and seminars at Wismar University, advises students on the preparation and implementation of projects.
After introducing themselves and some networking activities, the participants of the workshops focused on the challenges, faced by various businesses, and tried to share their perspective on how to reach desired goals in most efficient ways and stay aware of the needs and wishes of their customers. Representatives from Klaipėda and Technology Park had an opportunity to discuss the development and goals of the polish startup Future Kids, selling sprint kayaks for children. Recently company started cooperating with famous company "Nelo" and moved production to their factory in Portugal.
„Polish startup could be an inspiring example not only of working and expanding on the international level – company also has a very successful collaboration with creative industries. With the help of designers "Future Kids" are creating strong competitive advantages – they are not the only ones, producing very specific sports equipment, but also already having unique visualisations which help to buid a really strong brand‘, - said Erika Zavackiene, Innovation Manager at Klaipėda Science and Technology Park.