New Framework for Design

Generously funded by Dreyers Fond, Design denmark is creating a new digital platform highlighting the many different aspects of design work to facilitate more transparent designer-client relations.

Design denmark is creating a new digital platform highlighting a standard framework for design services. The ambition is to create greater transparency between the designer and design buyer – both in the negotiation phase as well as in the understanding of the final deliverables. 

The idea is not new, as in the late 90s, Danske Designere produced the “Handbook” for designers. At the time, Danish Designere was the de facto sole representative of designers and a slowly consolidating design profession. A lot has happened since then, says Henrik Lübker, CEO of Design denmark.

“We don’t need a new set of contracts but a guide to help the design industry and buyers understand each other and identify common ground. With standards and rules for organizing the meeting between customers and designers, we create transparency on both fronts. For the supplier in terms of what design consists of as a service and for the customer in terms of clarifying their needs. Design has become so broad that there is a need for an overview that everyone understands.”

ENSO Lamp by Lars Vejen, Photo: Jakob Lerche Fotografi

The field of design has developed and expanded at a rapid pace over the last 20 years. Design education has become academicized, and design research has taken an important place in the overall value chain. New disciplines have emerged, and design professionalism has shifted from being primarily based on material, form and function to being much more about design as a process, both physically and increasingly also digitally, with the design of relationships, transactions, services and organizations. In addition, the number of design-related education programs at all levels has exploded over the past 10-15 years. Together, this has put pressure on traditional design fields and created a need for a unified overview that everyone can use.

“A digital platform that everyone can access will create clarity and facilitate the dialogue between designers and their clients. In particular, the increasing focus on user involvement has increased the need for buyers. In order to lay the best foundation, we are in dialogue with many different parties, and there is widespread recognition that there is a lack of such a framework of understanding, which Design denmark has now taken the initiative to create.”

This is according to Steinar Valade-Amland from Three Point Zero, the project manager responsible for developing a framework for design services in collaboration with relevant and interested representatives of the design industry and design buyers. 


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