DEI is a project that aims design-driven innovation in industries to strengthen Cávado's competitiveness.
Design is at the center of economy and culture or, in a more tangible way, of creative economy. Design’s definition ought to be understood in a holistic perspective, both strategic and integrated: traversing economic development, social cohesion and urban culture. Design aims at contributing to business development, as a strategic constituent acting in management processes and changes. Thus, in search for a shared vision, creative processes aim at optimizing corporate performance. This performance envelops innovation, quality, product appearance, environments, communication and brands, involving industries, publics and markets.
“Capacitar pelo Design” (“Empower by Design”, in Portuguese), an applied-research project currently in development in the Cávado region, in Northern Portugal, namely working with organizations from three of its most representative industries: textile, ceramics and wine.
In cooperation with some national and regional development agencies and programs, CAOS researchers (ESD-IPCA) planned a training project for small businesses and companies in Minho. ESD-IPCA is committed to regional, national and international cultural and artistic activity and to the fundamental role that design has, and can have, in society and organizations, and in its regional development.
The project includes a capacity building training program through design, knowledge transfer at the level of communication design, digital design and product design for companies of those predominant areas in the region. This industrial context is formed by small and medium-sized family businesses that have been recognized by the quality of its products. However, there is a lack of visibility of the existing brands and services offered, resulting in a decrease in competitiveness. This is where the design thinking strategy may act, bridging cultural and creative activities and territorial development
The outcomes will look forward the creation of a toolkit to enable small businesses and companies for this development, creating methodologies for the enhancement of communication strategies and boost their real and virtual presence in the global market. The materialization of ideas is the result of the focus on developing the right solution for each project, reinforcing the message, linking codes and languages, enhancing affections and considering the needs and desires of the audience.
So far the following companies have participated in the capacity building training program:
IF - Irmãos Ferreira
Cerâmica Lourenço e Inês Machado
João Joaquim Salgueiro
Quintas de São Cláudio
Quinta do Homem
Quinta de Curvos
Pedrosa & Rodrigues, S.A.
Valérius - Têxteis, S.A.
Keywords: Design; Industry; Strategy; Cávado region