Industrial design is the creative engine of economics
It’s hard to look around and not admire the imagination behind the range of new products that have improved our quality of life over the past century. From smartphones and computers to household appliances, electrical appliances, heavy industrial equipment and more, we have realized the importance of industrial design to enrich our lives and strengthen our economies.
In this context, economists should pay tribute to the behind-the-scenes industrial designers who have created and marketed endless mass-produced consumer products in a way that is user-oriented, functional, visually appealing and competitive. Indeed, industrial design is rapidly emerging as a creative and dynamic force shaping global economies today. It is also an essential lever to find innovative and sustainable solutions to many of today’s challenges.
At the beginning of the 20th century, many of the leading industrial designers made history with groundbreaking inventions and everyday practical products. Examples include car and motorboat interiors, furniture, glassware and internal combustion engines for aircraft and boats. Well-known shops and museums began to appreciate the beauty and function of well-designed consumer products and certified designers through exhibitions that demonstrated the ingenuity of industrial design.
Today, industrial design is one of the basic principles of large economies, and many governments have dedicated government agencies to support this sector. At the same time, many successful companies have set up internal design teams to lead work on product innovations along with research and development activities. In fact, a growing body of research is highlighting the design sector’s contribution to thriving economies. Investment in industrial design is associated with improved sales performance, innovation, unique competitive advantage, business growth and job creation. In 2018, the Design Council published a report highlighting the significant contributions of the design sector to the UK economy, pointing out that it generated £ 85.2 billion in total value added in 2016, while reaching around 1.69 million people in design roles and employed 78,030 designers. – Intensive companies of the country.
For very obvious reasons, a number of design-intensive economies create policies to support industrial designers. For example, Finland is a design leader, generating € 12.3 billion in 2018 thanks to its design firms. Finnish companies make an indelible impression on consumers with their unique beauty that celebrates Scandinavian simplicity combined with functionality. These characteristics are evident in the design of products, services, heavy industrial products and business processes.
Design Finland’s national program has highlighted a number of important policies to improve design and research skills, such as introducing design culture into educational curricula. Special design training programs have also been developed for public sector employees to provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to take advantage of design in the rediscovery of public services. Design toolkits have been released to further enhance design-driven activities such as crowdsourcing, co-design, prototyping and experimentation. Companies are also encouraged to experiment with the latest materials and manufacturing techniques, such as 3D printing. In addition, collaboration between academic institutions, research centers and companies is encouraged to further promote development and marketing.
The role of industrial design as an essential lever for our societies and economies must be recognized.
Sarah Al Mulla
Other policies have focused on integrating design into business operations, promoting design in research and development activities, supporting creative and design-intensive work, and supporting the production of design-related products and marketing of design products. Particular attention is paid to how design can benefit from smart technologies, as well as to the organic and circular economy.
This field also became popular in the Middle East. For example, the UAE Ministry of Industry and New Advanced Technology promotes the industrial sector by attracting talented innovators, providing world-class infrastructure, logistical support, advanced technological capabilities, patenting and raw material availability. Materials to support the industrial production process. Saudi Arabia offers courses in industrial design at a number of its universities, and Effat University in Jeddah hosted the Saudi Industrial Design Week, which brought together the smartest minds in the field.
The MENA region must adopt industrial design as a primary economic lever by implementing revolutionary political measures. Governments need to integrate design education and skills development into the curriculum and introduce design degrees at universities. Several South Korean universities offer cutting-edge industrial design programs with the latest technology and equipment to support innovation in information technology, automobiles, robotics, biometric products and digital consumer electronics.
Design-intensive firms should receive support services such as free zones, design spaces with incentive incentives, incubation centers, advisory and mentoring services, local and foreign product promotion programs, and tax credits. The designers’ intellectual property rights must be protected, while providing immediate patent registration services. Many financial aid solutions need to provide support and financing to industrial innovators to market their products. Special guidance should be issued on how companies can integrate design into business processes to increase productivity and performance. The world of industrial design should be at the center of trade shows to raise awareness of emerging innovative products and their value in public life and economies. In some cases, drafting quotas for design investments can also promote acceptance.
It is clear that industrial design is evolving with the requirements of strategic sectors, in parallel with the needs of society. The role of industrial design must therefore be recognized as an essential lever for our societies and economies.
• Sarah Al Mulla is an Emirati employee interested in human development policy and children’s literature. It can be obtained at www.amorelicious.com.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the authors in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Arab News