Design Policy in Context: Finding Ways to Action

The Better World By Design Conference held in Providence, RI in September 2014 hosted a panel discussion about design policy in action. Three panelists from different design policy perspectives presented their most recent experiences of design policy development and outcomes: Moderated by Stephanie F. Yoffee, Design Policy Researcher; Carol Strochecker, Vice Provost, Rhode Island School of Design;  Jeff Davis, Principal Planner, Rhode Island Statewide Planning Program; and Lynne McCormack, Director, Rhode Island Department of Art, Culture and Tourism.

The panel demonstrated an example of how a design advisory council might function as a State sponsored organization. The panel showed the importance of collaboration between member representatives from a private educational institution encouraging public/private partnerships in design and innovation, State Planning programs providing data-driven design processes, and recognition of state-of-the-arts/film/tourism activity as an important driver of innovation and economic development for the State.

To view the full length video, go to YouTube and see “Design Policy in Context Panel-Better World By Design 2014”

How Design Policy Benefits Public Policy

What can a design policy approach bring to the table that doesn’t already exist?

Many design driven projects, including those combined with research and development, result in commercialization and technology transfer of innovative technologies, products and services. This transfer provides a longer arc of economic growth within the State. Examples of design driven tech transfer include…

Can you provide examples of design policy in other States?Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, California have recognized the value of design driven businesses to produce products and services in transportation, technology and the built environment in their State.

The European Union recently incorporated design as a key component of its EU innovation policy.

—Maren Maier, Design Strategist

Accessible Design: 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

In 2015, Americans with and without disabilities will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act; noting its impact in creating accessible spaces and also noting its continued inability to shift public and private actors to be inclusive. While the past twenty-five years since the passage of the Act receives reflection, unifying design through a disability-based prism, such as is reflected in concepts like universal design, should be part of the dialogue. Leaders with disabilities should physically and virtually be able in equal measure to work and to play. Please join the interactive dialogue that may culminate in other activities next year.

Gary C. Norman, Esq. LLM

Mr. Norman is a Civil Rights Commissioner, is an attorney and mediator, and is a visible leader with a disability partnered with a guide dog.