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From the World’s First Design Policy to the World’s Best Design Policy

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Christian Scherfig, CEO, Danish Design Centre; Merete Brunander, Design & Innovation Officer, Danish Design Centre; Christina Melander, Project Manager, Danish Design Centre


Denmark formulated its first national design policy in 1997, and since then there have been two more iterations. As a look at how political and economic conditions affect design policy, this article, written by the CEO and two other staff members of the Danish Design Centre, is something of a case study. In the same year that the DDC received a new building in the heart of Copenhagen, public funding for design was cut. However, the subsequent outcry from the Confederation of Danish Industry, Denmark's largest trade organization, averted that crisis, and currently politicians from both sides of the political spectrum seem enthusiastic about retaining a strong design policy. A 2007 initiative promoting user-centered design has supported more than 80 projects in both the private and public realm, and another initiative is promoting the value of service design in the public sector. Meanwhile, the DDC continues to help large and small companies identify their design potential.




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Innovation, Case Studies in Design, Design Value, Design in Government 

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