BEDA Design Forum 2020

On Thursday 10 December 2020, BEDA held its 2020 BEDA Design Forum.

The two-hour on-line event was attended by over 50 participants including BEDA members, applicant BEDA member Turkey Design Council and guest association Cumulus along with Alessandro Rancati of the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and representatives of DG Grow and DG EAC.

Our guests Vera Winthagen, (who is designing the process to deliver the co-creation phase at JCR), and Ruth Reichstein of I.D.E.A., (the new advisory service in the Commission providing and accelerating innovative ideas, and reporting directly to the President of the Commission), both gave presentations on the New European Bauhaus.

These provided background insight and a clear overview of key aspects of how the Commission is planning for the initiative to be taken forward in 2021 including the implementation of the Design Phase of the New European Bauhaus evolving through a co-design process across Europe.  All BEDA members have been circulated the two presentations and a detailed summary note of the meeting.

The presentations stimulated a lively debate and issues covered included the NEB’s overall purpose, their approach to transparency, anticipated impacts and the specific methods to be used by the Commission for gathering stories and ideas from around Europe and beyond. The international dimension was also touched upon as although there is a strong EU focus, the idea is, over time, to connect people globally. The need for education to be included as a core factor was also given as a clear feedback to the Commission team, along with the potential to engage with existing Design Weeks and Design Festivals as existing platforms to involve larger and more diverse audiences. Gaining access to new and ‘hard-to-reach’ audiences that lie outside the usual circles of the design field was given as a key criterion for success.

The initial responses to an internal BEDA Questionnaire exploring ways in which BEDA Members can play a part was highlighted, (see separate news item) – in particular, with relation to ways in which they could support the development of the co-design phase. The overall message is that BEDA Members are willing to participate in a variety of ways and stand ready to take part in 2021.

The Commission team informed the Forum that they will be launching a website early in the new year and will support the ongoing process through providing toolkits.

Building on this first successful meeting and the enthusiastic response of BEDA members willing to participate, a follow-up meeting has already been held between BEDA and the Commission team with a view to further developments in the new year.