Overview of the European Conference "Designnovation 2015 - Design as strategy"

On 9 November, many of you joined us for the 12th European conference organised by the APCI on the issues of design promotion in Europe. This year, the dissemination of design in the management of companies formed the frame of the programme.

It is now widely accepted that design generates products, services and experiences that are sources of competitiveness. Well-managed design creates innovation and differentiation, strengthens brands and identities, ensures customer satisfaction, and ultimately secures a unique strategic position in the market.

Design management – integration of design in the company’s management –, which should appear as a key driver of any company's strategy, still remains largely unused.

From European experiences (and even Brazilian!), the dissemination of design in the management of companies was discussed in three major ways:

  • The institutional programs that support the integration of design in the innovation support schemes
  • The tools that enhance the potential contribution of design in the consolidation of the company's strategy
  • The possible bridges in the curricula of design, business and engineering schools.

Three topics have been addressed during round tables and/or workshops:

  • The European Union supports design
  • Encouraging enterprises to consider design as part of their strategy
  • Bringing business and engineering schools into the design age 
Download the all-day presentationConférence Designnovation 2015 - Présentation générale   Download the conference summary in PDF format

To access the presentations, click on the title of each intervention or click on the images to download the full presentation of each round table. Files are large and could require extra time to download... 


ROUND TABLE 1 – "Europe supports design"

For a long time already, design actors meet to exchange and strengthen their actions to promote design (BEDA). The European Commission regards design as a driver for innovation and growth for a decade. This has resulted in a number of calls for projects specifically dedicated to design (and almost exclusively to the "industrial design"). Under programmes such as H2020 or Creative Europe, the extension of the actions is based on the findings of completed projects, resulting in the integration of design in calls to more general projects on innovation or cultural industries. A brief overview...

  • European policy "Design for Innovation"
    Xavier le Mounier, Policy Officer European Commission, DG Growth – Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs - Unit F1 Innovation Policy and Investment for Growth (Brussels) 

Download the presentation of the round table 1
Table ronde 1 - L'Europe soutient le design


ROUND TABLE 2 – "How can we encourage SMEs to consider design as part of their strategy?"

The British Design Council recently published an economic study that shows once again that design is a driver for innovation and competitiveness, and that it contributes indirectly but significantly to the gross domestic product. The case studies of companies that incorporate design into their strategy demonstrate this reality. Nevertheless, companies, and in particular SMEs, do not appear to perceive it. Actions such as the Awards, the accompaniments, the forums seem to have a limited impact. Should other actors or forms of support be considered? Feedback from experiences...

  • Forum Design & Innovation
    Isabelle Vérilhac, Director Pôle Entreprises & Innovation Cité du design de Saint-Etienne (France) 

Download the presentation of the round table 2
Table ronde 2 - Design & PME


ROUND TABLE 3 & WORKSHOP – "Bringing business and engineering schools into the design age" 

By being aware at an early stage of the contribution of design and designers, policy makers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow should include it more spontaneously in their projects. The closer relations between design, business/management and engineering schools are now very numerous and take different forms (merger of schools, common curriculum, cross-cutting workshops, etc.)… What models for which objectives, what are the expected results? 

Download the presentation of the round table 3
Table ronde 3 & Workshop - Design & écoles


By discussing the cases presented, participants were invited to explore new avenues in order that design becomes part of the curricula of business and engineering schools. Discussions confirmed that bringing together students and trainings fosters matching between cultures and working methods that are very different, and shifts position lines. Several paths have been sketched out, worthy of being developed further…



At the Conference has been circulated the booklet 'Design Management', that presents the success stories of some French companies that have gradually incorporated design into their management and often use it a key competence of their overall strategy

This booklet is a collective synthesis work based on the book « Design Impact – Quand le design... crée de la valeur pour l’entreprise » (Philippe Picaud, Tiphaine Igigabel, Brigitte Borja de Mozota, Christophe Rebours) and the exhibition « French Design Management Tour » (APCI), and published by the Cité du design Saint-Etienne.

Download the booklet by clicking the image below

Livret Design Management


These case studies are not theoretical since the information comes directly from the concerned companies. Each case study explains the company’s context, its design integration approach (actions, external/internal resources) and the different types of impact (market, positioning, organisation etc.).

These companies belong to various lines of businesses (industry, services etc.) and they vary in size but all are innovative, efficient and internationally recognized.

  • Bic Sport
  • BlaBlaCar
  • Décathlon
  • Delta Dore
  • Faurecia
  • Hermès
  • Leborgne
  • Parrot
  • Thuasne
  • Withings



Partenaires Conférence Designnovation 2015


For more details: Sandrine Gibet - sgibet@apci.asso.fr