Leading Change through a collaborative and collective voice.
Launched in 2010, the Australian Design Alliance [AdA] brings together Australia’s peak Design industry bodies and over the last almost nine years, the AdA has continued to position itself as the collective voice of the Australian Design Industry.
We have defined the purpose of the AdA as ‘Building the value of Australian Design through a collective and collaborative voice!’, however, we felt that for the AdA to be an effective representative for Australian Design and to truly understand the current landscape and challenges faced by the industry and our member organisations, we need to be talking directly with industry.
As our commitment to this, over the past 12 months, we have conducted a series of workshops across Australia in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth with representatives from the Design industry, education, member-based design associations, government and business sectors.
The ‘Context Workshops’, designed to be a catalyst for a conversation about the issues facing the Design industry in Australia, have provided us with both a deeper understanding of the industry as a whole and framework from within which the AdA can identify opportunities to contribute more effectively in raising the profile and professional standing of Design in Australia.
Some of the key takeaways from the workshops included:
- Across all the workshops, the underlying feeling was that in Australia, the process of Design is misunderstood and as a result, greatly undervalued.
- From the Political perspective, there is little evidence to show that Design is being engaged with by Government or is even on their agenda.
- The economic impact of Design is not being measured effectively with very little information available in Australia to demonstrate the benefits of engaging with Design on a more strategic level.
- Many of the conversations spoke at length about how Design in Australia is often only seen as merely a creative output versus being a valuable tool that can help to solve problems and improve and innovate both products and services.
The outcomes of the Context Workshops are currently being documented and will be released for discussion shortly. The information will also form the basis for the strategic planning activities of the AdA for the next few years. We also hope to make the Context Workshops an annual workshops series so that we can maintain focus and continue to be a relevant representative of the Australian Design industry.