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Watch video: 1 part; 2 part.

Happy to share some pictures and video material from conference “Future of Lithuanian design”, which was held as a part of  already 10th festival DESIGN WEEK 2015 at our IT partner TEO conference hall. On May 6th our special guest, the president of The Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA) and chief executive of Swedish Industrial Design Forum (SWID) – Robin Edman – presented the importance of design in Europe. Some examples of successful design from Estonia were also shared by delegate from Estonian Design Centre – Maris Takk.

Our guests’ reports were followed by a discussion “Future of Lithuanian design” which was moderated by a board member of Lithuanian Design Forum (LDF) Marius Dirgėla. During the discussion, opinions were expressed by chairperson of Lithuanian Association Of Graphic Design (LGDA) Gediminas Lašas and commercial exhibition organizer Eglė Opeikienė. Businessmen interests were represented by the director of „Vilniaus kailiai“ – Neila Šveikauskinenė. Leader of Design Innovations Centre (DIC)  Marius Urbanavičius presented the results of  the design sector development feasibility study. Chief executive of Lithuanian Design Forum (LDF) Audronė Drungilaitė presented experiences from other countries. Chairman of LDF Vytautas Gurevičius reminded about the previous initiatives to develop Lithuanian Design Council.  Members of The State Patent Bureau, Economic Research Centre, Lithuanian Culture Research Institute also took part in the event.

In Lithuania there are some high level education institutions preparing design industry professionals. What is more, design is also supported by governmental institutions and promoted by small and medium-sized enterprises, but, according to the Design Policy Monitoring presented by European Commission in 2013, Lithuania is one of the countries that have no design policy. Lack of design policy makes obstacles to consistent and purposeful development of design industry and reaching its’ goals. Formation and implementation of design policy may create favorable conditions for innovations and new business models.

Based on the experience of foreign countries, one of the suggested solutions is to create an umbrella organization. Such organization would unite the design of the organizations that could work together, coordinating their actions and having only a small competition between each other. Design Council would also have enough competence to represent the design industry and act as an advisory voice in shaping design policy. When brought together all the active organizations, faster communication would be expected. In order to reduce competition among organizations operating in the Council, needs and knowledge should be analyzed and clear list of positions should be provided. The relevance of such an organization was mentioned in the design sector development feasibility study (2015) and in the previous Lithuanian design review (2009) carried out by P.Mollerup.

The discussion concluded that there is a need of research that could prove the impact of design to the country. The new stage of feasibility studio should provide structured information that is attractive to government and business sector. To sum up, Design Council would help to absorb national and European-level financial support for the design sector. Designed could also be integrated in other means of financing models. In the future, the Design Council could represent the interests of Lithuania in the international context. We hope that this discussion inspired to cooperate and create a Lithuanian design policy together.

Partners: TEO, Lithuanian Institute of Culture. Video material was provided by team.

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