Connecting Design and Industry – Ambient 2012
The event “Connecting Design and Industry” was organized at the Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre in cooperation with the British Council in November 2012. A pilot business chain was presented at the event in which the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (ALUO), 17 young industrial designers, five furniture companies, the Institute for Economic Research (IER) and the Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban Region (RDA LUR) all took part. The designers, in cooperation with the companies, prepared 25 conceptual drafts and 11 prototypes of new furniture pieces. All the prototypes were presented at the Ambient fair in a single exhibition space in Hall A2, for which RDA LUR received the Best Exhibition Space Award. British trends in the field of design, the creative industries and the successful business management by creatives within the creative industries were presented at an event by the British experts on the creative industries: Luke Pearson and Ellen O’Hara.
Luke Pearson is the co-founder and director of PearsonLloyd, the renowned London design studio, which is instrumental in conceiving design solutions for a number of reputable organizations such as Lufthansa, Bene, Classicon, Artemide, the city of Bath etc. In presenting examples of successful design projects, Luke Pearson pointed out that designers must always strive to create products that are in line with the company’s business model and which provide users with a new user experience. Ellen O’Hara is head of business development and research projects at Cockpit Arts social enterprise. She manages the Cockpit Arts research projects, provides consultation services and is an authorized business instructor. Cockpit Arts is an award-winning social enterprise and the only creative business incubator for creative entrepreneurship aimed at creatives in the UK. Cockpit Arts currently employs 8 members of staff who are responsible for the successful development of 160 design firms in various stages of development. The enterprise offers training, consultations and networking services to the incubated companies, which are required for planning business strategies for long-term viability.
Glimpses of the speakers at the event
Lilijana Madjar, Director, RRA LUR: “We need new business models that will provide a new impetus for the furniture industry, give young talents an opportunity to work and place sophisticated products with high added value on the market. As far as the timber industry in Slovenia is concerned, we have the raw materials, the technology, the craft and design skills, which just need to be interconnected in an effective manner.”
Jelka Žekar, Deputy Mayor, MOL: “In the current economic and social situation, we need as many projects and initiatives that will enable economic breakthrough, which will be based on innovation, integration and the effective use of technology and creative skills.”
James Hampson, Director, British Council: “The creative economy in the UK represents an extremely important part of the economy, employing over a million creatives within the creative industries. According to findings by the British Council, Slovenia has a great potential in the field of the creative economy, but a national strategy for the development of the creative industries is needed, which will effectively interconnect the various local and regional initiatives and projects.”
Prof. Vladimir Pezdirc, ALUO: “Integrating design into development processes must become an established practice in both small and large enterprises in Slovenia.”
Matej Koren, IER: “Now that the prototypes have been produced it is actually the crucial time for the participating companies, designers and partners in the business chains to make the next steps, which will be directed primarily towards the promotion and design of successful marketing models for achieving product success on the market.”