UNIVERSAL DESIGN – MAPPING THE POTENTIAL AND ENGAGING THE NEXT GENERATION IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES
Universal design, a principle that seeks to design products and services that are accessible to the widest possible group of users. Our aim is to better map how this topic is perceived by designers and architects in the Czech Republic, what is the potential for further development and to encourage the involvement of a new generation.
Within Europe, we see different perceptions of this principle, which is why Zlin Design Week creates a space for discussion, different perspectives and experiences. The partners of the project, which is supported by the EEA Funds, are Kreativní Praha and Design and Architecture Norway (DOGA), because Norway is one of the countries that has been incorporating a universal design approach into legislation and strategies for more than 15 years, and has become a huge role model for other designers and architects in Europe.
What will the project bring?
- trips to Norway and the Czech Republic, which will be available to selected students
- interesting speakers at two conferences (Zlin Design Week 2022 and 2023)
- research mapping the perception of universal design among Czech designers and architects (autumn/winter 2022)
- workshops to test the principle on a specific assignment and to connect young designers, business and the public sector (Zlin Design Week 2023)
- an exhibition dedicated to universal design (Zlin Design Week 2023)
- an independent web platform that will serve as a basis for the long-term development of the issue
Design and Architecture Norway
DOGA’s goal is for Norway to use design and architectural competence to create economic, social and cultural opportunities, environmental value for the business community and the public sector. Therefore, they focus on connecting creative talents and business, thereby strengthening the position of design and architecture in the country’s development process, social conditions, and creating solutions to meet future challenges. Their projects are based on three key principles: connect, experiment and learn. These create a space for new solutions, their testing, discussion, increasing competences and the value of innovation.
Creative Prague is an organization of the City of Prague, whose aim is to conceptually develop culture and creative industries and to implement this knowledge into specific cultural projects and the development of the Prague Creative Centre. It is based on the belief that culture and human creativity are indispensable for quality of life and cities. Creative Prague approaches this change through systematic data collection, a conceptual approach to culture, raising awareness of the creative industries and the entrepreneurial and cultural emancipation of the city centre. It is important for them that these activities are based on interdisciplinary collaborations, communication, knowledge sharing and a strategic approach to the city’s culture.
What was the first trip to the Czech Republic like?
The first trip to the Czech Republic took place from 6 to 13 May during Zlin Design Week 2022. Jannicke Holen and Knut Bang from Design and Architecture Norway (DOGA) and 3 Norwegian students took part in the excursion. You had the opportunity to meet Jannicke and Knut as speakers at the ZDW Conference, where they presented inclusive design thinking. Did you miss the Conference? Listen to the podcast that Design KANTINA prepared with them! The students visited the conference, workshops, openings and fashion show, where they met other designers from the Czech Republic and abroad and also actively participated in the festival programme themselves – Herman Freng Bilett, one of the students, prepared a workshop for the visitors about inclusive design in intergenerational relationships. The excursion also included a tour of local businesses.
What could you experience and who could you meet at the ZDW 2022 Conference?
Rama Gheerawo, Ivelina Gadzheva, Bori Fehér, Mariana Chytilová as well as Jannicke Holen and Knut Bang. The conference brought together a diverse range of individuals from across Europe who are committed to creating more inclusive environments, products and services through design. We had the opportunity to compare different approaches from Norway, England, Hungary and Bulgaria and compare them with accessibility solutions in Czech institutions. The Conference also included a panel discussion with representatives of the creative industries in Zlín, a podcast was created which you can listen to right now and in the meantime you can look forward to the online recordings which we will publish in spring 2023.