Workgroup 2015, International Council of Design

Certification and Professional Development Workgroup
Lead: Adrian Jean (Canada)

Having the skills and experience of a designer’s work recognised and codified, much as other professions do, represents a major challenge to countries that are yet to put such certification systems in place. Thus the role of this WG has, in large part, been the transference and sharing of knowledge from established schemes to those countries seeking to establish their own frameworks, along with what steps must be followed in order to do so. Therefore an analysis is taking place that fleshes out the components of the various systems already in place, which will essentially serve up a menu of options on how to approach certifying the design profession. Moreover, a roadmap is being developed whereby the first steps that need to be established are identified (such as a code of ethics for example) before a true certification process can be built. This research will be viewable through a template that displays the attributes of each scheme, with the aim of providing optional pathways that can be followed, be it through seeking official government recognition of the profession, through self-governing professional association initiatives, or through other efforts to establish and enhance recognition of the design profession with other entities.

National Design Policy Workgroup
Lead: Rebecca Blake (USA)

Research has been undertaken to ascertain which countries officially adopt stand-alone national design policies and which nations have design policies as elements of broader growth, trade or economic strategy. The first step is to take a snap-shot of the current international landscape. Then, a more in depth analysis will take place into the specific elements of each countries design initiatives, identifying commonalities and highlighting individual countries particularisms. A first effort will be viewable through a matrix of countries design policies, which will serve as a discussion document in Gwangju. Experts in design policy formulation as well as major contributors to individual states’ policies, have been contacted by the Secretariat and indicated a willingness to offer expert opinion and even contribute as guest contributors to our online meetings.

Communicating the Value of Design Workgroup
Lead: Tyra von Zweigbergk (Sweden)

This truly broad topic has engendered a lively online discussion and the varied nature of the many audiences that design needs to be better communicated to, has been identified throughout the discussion. It was agreed that one thing lacking in getting the message across to these disparate audiences is evidence—be it through the measuring of design’s value using metrics, or accumulating case studies to highlight instances where design has fundamentally affected the outcome of a particular project. It is important to note that such efforts must be directed to design practitioners as well as users.The scheduled meetings in Gwangju will be a starting point for focusing on the development of the Platforms and communication and educational tools and materials. The Platforms will be crucial in clarifying the ico-D Agenda gearing up for the World Design Summit in Montréal in 2017.

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