“Finland is a country where every person on the street understands that design is a profession,” says Brigitte Borja de Mozota. “This is certainly not the case in most countries in the world.”
Borja de Mozota is one of the world leaders in design management. As such, she is one of the key speakers scheduled for the 2011 Greater Helsinki Promotion Stakeholder Day. She is excited that Helsinki has been named World Design Capital for 2012 and says it is an opportunity to “bring the best of design management to Helsinki.”
She sees a growing recognition of design value through studies and awards, as well as improved design management research and education. However, Borja de Mozota is thinking much bigger.
“Managers have understood that they may perform better with designers, but the classic organisational chart remains unchanged,” she says. “What has not been understood is that design has an impact on brand, innovation and strategy. Common sense requires that all courses in branding, innovation, strategy or entrepreneurship mention design.”
She sees the connection of both management and design in organisations. “Design is a management function and we observe how designers are best integrated in corporate objectives,” Borja de Mozota says. “We develop models in order to manage brand, innovation and strategy with design as a new competency. Designers bring specific skills to the organisation’s workforce.”
She continues: “We are in Helsinki to launch an International Design Management Research Institute in 2012 in order to internationalise design management research, capitalise on companies that are leaders, launch new international programmes on design thinking and develop design management research in NGOs.”
Borja de Mozota says design management research is aimed at permanent positive change, such as her participation in collaboration between designers and the UN in disaster situations.
“Design is always about people,” she concludes. “In design management we should never forget that organisations are made of people before there are a portfolio of products and services.”
text: DAVID J. CORD, Helsinki Times
World Design Capital www.wdc2012helsinki.fi