May 18, 2016

Why DMI?

Mark Hoevenaars, Ad van Berlo and I have the pleasure in attending this year’s DMI event. Founded in 1975, the Design management Institute is an international membership organisation, bringing leaders from business, design, education, researchers and many more together. The focus for DMI lies on design valuation, education and connection.

Mark and I were sitting at the lunch table discussing design (surprise, surprise!) and began to discuss DMI. It went a little like this:

Boudewijn: Why are we going to this year's DMI?

Mark: I think it's a platform for sharing knowledge, stories of practical application of theory that has been developed in design thinking over the last decade.

Boudewijn: Indeed! I also think in this way it helps to leverage the community, if you're a manager or a designer. It's useful for everyone, really.

Mark: It's a fantastic event for everyone in design who has something to contribute, the dos and the don'ts.

Boudewijn: Absolutely, it's not like most design events because it's more conversation rather than presentation.

Mark: Yes, and it's refreshing that something like design thinking and practice is being discussed rather than told on such a high scale. It's orientated towards the practitioner.

Boudewijn: Yeah, exactly. DMI is home to a lot of high-end institutions and it's great to see VanBerlo on the same platform.

Mark: We've been participating for years, but this is the first time we're contributing with lectures and workshops.

Boudewijn: Exactly, we're giving something back.

Mark: You can say everything we do should be kept within the company, or you can see it in that you really believe in your methods and that you'll always be one step ahead at applying them.

Boudewijn: Definitely. I also think it's a learning curve for us because we get feedback on our methods.

Mark: And sometimes, you can also improve on someone else's idea and innovate on it. But I think the real competition is the culture within the company, rather than the methods.

Boudewijn: Yeah, the culture within the company is key. Hopefully, people will gain an insight into VanBerlo's culture with Ads founder talk.

Mark: I really believe it will add a personal touch, sharing his story of how he built the agency and how he envisions the future of design.

Boudewijn: This personal touch is fitting to our workshop because we're dealing with human issues here.

Mark: Indeed. Complex issues, such as catering for the elderly or improving the perception of safety in public areas.

Boudewijn: The workshop is our opportunity to show that as designers, we can apply design thinking to societal issues. We understand that there are different stakeholders and that working to solve the problem is a process. It's important to empathise.

Mark: Absolutely. The feedback we receive will be interesting, and exchanging ideas and experience.

Boudewijn: That's the aim! Gaining and providing more insights into design thinking methods.

Our discussion about the Design Management Institute really got us thinking on how we've learnt from our experiences and created and built upon existing methodologies. The DMI is the perfect platform to showcase and engage in conversation.

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