RECAP: Toledo Design Week | Design Briefs

A part of AIGA Toledo’s Design Week presented by Communica.

Design Briefs was a great success thanks in no small part to the adventurous entrepreneurs, our panel of local experts giving sage advice, exceptional hosting facility the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion, delicious food from Balance Grille, and of course, the input and passion from an audience filled with designers and creatives.

Design Briefs followed a deceptively simple format:

• Three businesses present their model, and a current challenge they face.

• Area experts in their respective fields provide their input and advice.

• All attendees gather with the businesses and do rapid fire ideation processes with white boards and sticky notes, moderated by facilitators to keep the process moving.

The process was simple, but the results were profound. Design Briefs took aim at the recent rise of business perception that perhaps design is in fact an invaluable asset supporting growth and direction for business. It’s no secret to designers and creatives that design and the arts are the fertilizer for new ideas and businesses.

Rather than pay lip service to this notion, Design Briefs partnered many local and regional businesses and assets as sponsors to gather a first-of-its-kind happening for the city. Modeled off events created by Kate Hunt, AIGA Toledo was able to facilitate an open, exciting, and productive night of design thinking made actionable.

AIGA Toledo thanks the many generous sponsors that took part in making this event happen inside the Toledo Design Week framework. Businesses left with new insight from high level thinkers in their fields, pushing, prodding, and improving on ideas and ethos.

The breakout session following the panel discussions had businesses leaving with armfuls of notepads, sticky notes, concepts and directions to pour over and find actionable, meaningful content. A focused, unfiltered blast of design thinking, Design Briefs informed the direction of business model, visualization of final products, methods for tackling the presented challenge, issues with staging companies as a concise brand, and even targeting a more accurate value proposition.

A huge thank you goes out to all our sponsors and speakers, and for out facilitators during the design briefs breakout sessions. From Hanson, our gracious facilitators kept the momentum positive and productive. Thank you to

Erik Porter, Mike Osswald, & Ron Shrewsbery from Hanson Inc. whose guidance was extremely helpful thanks in no small part to the fact that they perform similar services for corporate clients five days a week.

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design week logo farm

As a final positive truth, let us reflect on the knowledge that design thinking is not a simple one and done experience. True improvement of products, ideas, and execution requires a sustained understanding and investment in design, designers, and design thinking within an organization. Let’s end with this insight from Tim Brown of Ideo on the implementation of design thinking:

“For organizations that haven’t invested in a sustained way, the end results can be incremental and short-lived. Customer satisfaction and sales might see a bump, but incremental ideas are easy to copy. True competitive advantage requires non-obvious solutions executed in elegant ways.”

Have you found your designer yet?

Thank you to all who took part in the event, we can’t wait to see you next year!

By aigatoledo
Published October 4, 2015
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