The Design Days in Brussels are hosted by the European Regions Research and Innovation Network (errin.eu) and are a part of the New European Bauhaus Initiative in EU. This year’s Design Days will focus on “Will beauty actually save the world? How can design contribute to the green transition and help us to achieve the goals of the EU Green Deal?”.
Head of studies at Faculty of Technology, Art and Design, Julia Jacoby is taking part together with an OsloMet team consisting of Nenad Pavel, and Arild Berg from product Design, Marie Hebrok from SIFO, and participants from the R&D section at the faculty of Technology, Art and design at OsloMet, including Daniel Henry Øvrebø, Zacharias Andreadakis and Jostein Kandal Sundet.
Julia Jacoby is invited to give a speak about 'Design research initiatives from OsloMet, Norway’.
What are Design Days in Brussels about?
‘The goal of the design days is to reflect on the challenges of implementing the Green Deal and foster urban sustainability through design and creativity. OsloMet will be present with a multi-disciplinary team to give a workshop in which we invite participants to consider implications of the EU Green Deal. I think it will be an innovative and fun way to meet other designers, researchers, and policymakers from all over the EU to show what design research from Norway has to offer’.
‘As a team from OsloMet we want to encourage participants to collectively identify solutions, learn from each other and build synergies between different international participants. This approach will help achieve the goals at the heart of the event; for design to contribute towards a transition towards a more sustainable future’.
Why was OsloMet selected as one of many applicants to participate?
‘Participants with applications with an emphasis on sustainability were selected for Design Days. The Department for product design, in particular is an interesting partner because sustainability as a concept weaves through the institute, much like a green thread that comes together to form a tapestry of innovative approaches and methods that give rise to a new path of sustainable living in the future. We participate with Consumption Research Norway (SIFO) from OsloMet who share these green design strategies. This approach is relevant in relation to the New European Bauhaus’.
‘OsloMet is one of the larger Universities in the Nordic countries. It is a university with a diverse academic profile and a clear international orientation. Through the research we conduct and the students we educate, OsloMet seeks to respond societal needs by adopting new technologies and innovative solutions that improve the way people live their lives’.
‘Our bachelor program in Product Design introduces the students to sustainability through their work with materials in our extensive workshops and human-centered design courses. The master program “Product Design: Design in Complexity” encourages the students to employ systems design to tackle complex issues of sustainability and technology. We will present our new PhD program “Innovation for Sustainability” planned to start up in 2023, which gives researchers the possibility to develop cutting edge research in the fields of sustainability and design’.
‘We will further present European network of systems design: visualizing complexity: an initiative by OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University, Design School Nantes and Hochschule fur technic und Wirtschaft Berlin: how design communities initiate European collaboration to innovation education practice and to contribute to digital transformation’.
‘Further we will present Craft Hub, an EU Creative Europe Artistic Research project on craft skills and processes relevant in design: OsloMet is a key partner in a Creative Europe EU project that seeks to collect and exchange crafting skills and creative uses of new technology in an international online database. This Creative Europe Project OsloMet have coordinated into a Horizon Europe application for the call Traditional Crafts for the Future – a new approach’.
‘Finally, we will present two SIFO -led research projects in which the Institute for Product Design is involved. REDUCE – Rethinking Everyday Plastics, led by Marie Hebrok, looks at plastic in a systems perspective and investigate how the consumption of plastic products in everyday life can be reduced. IMAGINE – Contested futures of sustainability, investigates the impact contemporary imaginaries of sustainable futures have on the present, and explores ways of engaging publics in creating shared imaginaries through speculative design, art and drama’.
‘I believe it is this holistic approach that made OsloMet in general and the Institute for Product Design, in particular a compelling partner to speak at the Brussels Design Days. We as individuals and as an institution want to be a part of shaping a more sustainable tomorrow for all of us. It is what influences our research, drives our curiosity and motivates us in our work’.
What do you hope to get out of it professionally and personally?
‘Over 100 people, participate in this event, so I am quite excited to meet some of them. I think there will be new perspectives, and hopefully lively debate on the impact design has on transitioning towards a more sustainable future’.
‘Also, as an educator and the head of studies for master’s degree in Product Design; Design for Complexity, I believe we have to be a part of this debate. We educate future designers, design researchers and thinkers. But more than that every day I meet young people who are invested in this debate. Our students consider design for sustainability to be a part of their identity as designers. They do not shy away from complex problems. They throw themselves into issues of cultural sustainability, sustainable materials, production, and systems with a passion that is both admirable and inspiring. Personally, I hope to represent them, to represent my colleagues who research and teach design’.
‘Professionally, I aim to make sure OsloMet is a part of this debate. I believe we have much to offer, but I also believe we have much to gain. OsloMet has the vision to deliver knowledge to solve societal challenges. We believe design can contribute towards meeting the challenges of a sustainable future in a human-centered and practical manner. But neither we, nor design can do this alone. It requires a network of different people who collaborate in implementing the European Green Deal. As a university we can benefit from fostering relationships with interested partners, who are invested in developing and discussing a more sustainable shared future’.
Why is the New European Bauhaus important in the EU?
‘Well, it is important because it gives rise to the idea that design, architecture, and creativity in general can be part of the solution for Europe´s and global climate and living challenges. And with that it is the first EU project of its kind as far as I know’.
‘The New European Bauhaus invites designers and citizens of the Europe to envision, design and develop new solution for implementing the Green Deal. It aims to reimagine sustainable living in Europe and beyond. In addition to creating a platform for experimentation and connection, the initiative supports positive change also by providing access to EU funding for beautiful, sustainable, and inclusive projects’.
‘Norway is not a formal member state of the European Union, but as a country it is closely connected and as a University, OsloMet collaborates with partners across the EU. As such the New European Bauhaus initiative holds great promise for our students, our research, and OsloMet as an institution and we hope by being a part of the Brussels Design Days we hope to make good on this promise'.