What Design Can Do

Bijlage Items no.4 2011

Een verslag van de internationale conferentie What Design Can Do, op 26 en 27 mei in Amsterdam, over de impact van design op de samenleving. Deze bijlage is Engelstalig.

Stories that made me feel humble

What Design Can Do! (WDCD) was developed as part of the Dutch Design Fashion Architecture Programme (Dutch DFA) to strengthen the international position of the Dutch creative industries. Richard van der Laken, initiator and creative director of WDCD, and Christine de Baan, director of Dutch DFA, look back at the conference.

Contact helps designers come up with better solutions

Design can offer solutions to all sorts of problems and contribute to a better society. What Design Can Do! offered proof of that assertion in many ways. In a personal account of the conference Premsela director Els van der Plas concludes that many contributions focused on reinstating values that seem to have vanished and that ‘contact’ is a dimension that unites many of the visions presented.

We must have the courage to risk being different

Creativity in communication today is conditioned by an obsessive search for consensus, leading to the most banal mediocrity, Oliviero Toscani says. At What Design Can Do! the Italian photographer, famed for his provocative advertising campaigns, condemned commercially driven fear and pleaded for creative freedom. ‘We have the creativity to change the messages, rearrange the entire image.’

Reports and sessions

Quotes and impressions from the two-day conference and the breakout sessions which ran parallel to the main program, demonstrating what design can do for a host of social issues.