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EU Design Days in a nutshell

Are you ready to share your experiences with design as a tool for innovation? Do you want to get inspired by innovative stories? Then take the next step and register for the EU Design Days 2017.
This is the sixth edition of our successful series of EU Design Days. This year we will focus on the transformation of cities and regions and how design and innovation contributes to dealing with challenges such as an aging population, sustainable energy, climate adaptation and mobility solutions. In collaboration with practitioners, researchers and policymakers the EU Design Days 2017 seek to take an important next step in the transformation of cities and regions towards high quality of life, building on but also going beyond current practice.

Design Days

The EU Design Days is launching its 6th edition in 2017. Over the last couple of years a diverse range of design and innovation topics has been covered - from “Education and Design” to the “Economic Value of Design”. The EU Design Days stress the added value of the use of design in tackling societal, economic and environmental challenges in an efficient and effective way. Several speeches, breakout sessions and networking opportunities offer the chance to share experiences, elaborate on challenges and learn about each other’s success stories. By doing so the EU Design Days format organically creates a unique platform where researchers and designers come together with stakeholders, policy makers and SMEs form from regions all over Europe. This distinctive concept enables all participants to walk away with not only new contacts and possible new partners, but also with valuable input to tackle current challenges in an integrated manner.

EU Design Days 2017: “The Next Step”
Regions and cities across Europe are in transformation. This transformation is already driven by smart and social innovations, but how can we improve the practice by looking at the future?
EU Design Days is an initiative from ERRIN’s Design and Creativity Working Group.

For many of Europe’s cities and regions transformation through design and innovation are a top priority. Challenges like population-aging, sustainable energy, climate and mobility solutions that accommodate both growth and a liveable environment for citizens have become key domains for both research and investments. Over the course of the last 10 years our cities and regions have become “smarter”. Technology and data lay the basis for an infrastructure on which we can build solutions that provide answers to the challenges we are facing. But this new infrastructure also poses new challenges: privacy inflictions, technologisation of social issues, data deserts, and the confusion between means and goals.

In past years, this has led to a new awareness among practitioners. We want our cities and regions to face both the pressing challenges and to be socially, culturally and economically desirable place to live; and addressing these new challenges is key to building a sustainable practise.

EU Design Days 2017 brings together the practitioners, designers, researchers and policymakers of this transformation from smart region and city to smart society and explores what the next steps could be - in both the perspective of the smart and the social.

Going beyond the mere exchange of best practices, the EU Design Days 2017 aim much higher. This year’s event combines an innovative format with a collaborative organisational approach.
A close cooperation between the European Regions Research and Innovation Network (ERRIN), 15 committed ERRIN regions, Dutch Design Foundation (DDF), the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA), the city of Eindhoven, Brussels Fashion and Design Platform – MAD, Architempo and renown keynote speakers, has resulted in an innovative bottom-up format that aims to provide each participant with a valuable experience. Ultimately those impressions will nurture inspiration and stimulate innovation, which will then benefit the participants as well as their regions, institutions and businesses in the future.

Design in EU Policy - Role of EU Design Days

According to a report of the European Design Leadership Board, design has a role to play in business processes and metrics (such as value-adding or cost cutting) and is considered as a sector in its own right of specialised, professional economic activity by trained and qualified practitioners and as a tool for business and organisational growth at the highest strategic level. In addition to its economic benefits, design also encompasses sustainable and responsible behaviour.

It should also be highlighted that design has been recognised as a key discipline and activity for bringing ideas to the market by the Innovation Union, one of Europe 2020’s flagships and in line with this initiative, the European Commission has launched a European Design Innovation initiative in order to raise awareness and enhance the role of design in Europe.

EU Design Days forms a regional input to these initiatives by unifying stakeholders active in design from different regions in Europe. Moreover, EU Design Days adopts a cross-sectoral stance by involving not only enterprises but also representatives from the world of education and service.

This multidisciplinary approach may lead to new and innovative solutions to everyday challenges, thus highlighting the role design plays today and in the future.