ECONetwork blog

ECONetwork “Ideas Lounge” II test

Posted on: August 3, 2009

The Ecodesign Centre hosted the second ECONetwork “Ideas Lounge” in Cardiff on the 23rd of July. This event brought together some leading designers to continue the discussion on how a network on ecodesign and sustainability could be developed for Wales.

During the event we had a selection of presentations and provocations related to sustainability and design (see presentations below). Leyla Acaroglu, a visiting research associate from Australia, gave a presentation on planned obsolescence and design. Julian Skyes, design director of Hoffi, made a presentation on a project exploring the possibility of opening a retail space dedicated to cradle-to-cradle products. This project is related to his MA. Angela Gidden of attic 2 gave a personal reflection on design and role of brands in consumption.

I made a short presentation on some personal reflections on the debate and discussion on the role of design in sustainable development. As usual, I ran out of time!! I also made a presentation highlighting some of the main elements of the proposal we developed for the ECONetwork. This proposal was largely based on the ideas discussed at the last “ideas lounge”. Following this, we had a number of suggestions and discussion points on the merits of the proposal.

Overall it was a very good meeting. I felt we were moving past rough ideas and people could see some shape to the network. Many of the suggestions and idea were inspiring and showed the potential of such a network. It will be of value to Wales.

Some additional themes that the network should consider included;
•    develop a strong “made in Wales” brand defined by sustainable principles
•    demystify the definitions, language and jargon of ecodesign
•    improve public understanding of good design (ecodesign) and sustainability
•    use good design to drive economic resilience and growth of the Welsh economy
•    use good design to develop local economies
•    drive the renewal of the design sector

Some specific issues to tackle include
•    design timebank (volunteering/collaboration)
•    identify suppliers/manufacturers – clustering support and joining up
•    public transport – longer term view – joined up understanding of mobility

Some of the real value of these meetings will be the connections made within the network and how the network maintains momentum over the coming years. We will strive to improve the collaboration across the network as it develops. We are already getting some great suggestions from attendees on how we can achieve this. There may also be scope for joint events with other networks in Wales such as Nocci and Bloc.


Leyla Acaroglu

Julian Skyes

Simon O’Rafferty











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