The Nordic design resource is being mapped
29. August 2018
How do you find a group of professionals not fully represented in common employment registers? You rethink data sources, bring new methods into play, and top it up with data mining and an in-depth survey of the professionals themselves.

We in the Nordic countries are closely connected by a common understanding of and use of design. But while the work and tasks for the design professionals are only increasing in number, we lack insight into how those working with design - the design resource - meet the demand.

With Design Delivers we have previously shed light on the demand for design competencies, but we still do not know enough about the supply side of the design field. With the aim of getting a better and more accurate overview of the design professionals constituting this supply, Danish Design Centre along with the Nordic sister organizations DOGA (Norway), Design Forum Finland, Iceland Design Centre, and SVID (Sweden) have established the joint project “Nordic Design Resource”.

On behalf of the project partners, Danish Design Centre has recently established partnership with Seismonaut, who together with Rambøll, The Techno-Anthropological Laboratory at Aalborg University (TANTLab), and Tidemann & Co are doing the mapping of the collective design resources in the Nordic countries.

The project has received funding from Nordic Innovation, and the results are to be published by the end of November 2018.

With Seismonaut at the helm, the consortium is collecting and analysing data across the Nordic countries during the next months, partly on the basis of well-known sources - registers in particular - which will be looked at and evaluated afresh; partly through mining of alternative data sources - LinkedIn and open web specifically.

The mapping will result in comprehensive data on the collective force of design professionals in the Nordics; how many they are, where they are located, their educational backgrounds, which industries they work in, what design disciplines they represent, and which professional competencies they possess.

In parallel, a large-scale survey will be conducted with the design professionals themselves so that the substantial amount of quantitative data is enriched with in-depth knowledge about the people forming the design resource. The ambition is to gain knowledge about the constitution of the community, the results and value the design professionals create, what exactly they work with, and which roles they take on in their work.

Based on this comprehensive mapping of the design resource, a web-based, interactive visualisation tool will be created, making our new knowledge about the design resource accessible to everybody. For design users, decision makers, and for the design resource itself.

We are looking forward to, together with Seismonaut, launching the results of the work in November 2018.