International cooperation as a challenge
As an institution with international operations, the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen has its own representative offices in the Asian economic area. In addition, it is a member of the major international design associations. This network facilitates a permanent transfer of knowledge between the parties involved, from which the Design Zentrum's clients and partners also benefit.
What started in 1992 with the successful “Design quo vadis?” congress is now an active and vital cooperation with the European Union. The Design Zentrum is also an active member of the European Design Network (EDN), leading for the first time to the creation of a database which presents the specific cultural identities of European design. The project is made possible by the collaboration between the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, the Museo di Castelvecchio in Verona and the Museum of Art and Design in Helsinki.
Furthermore, the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen is engaged in research and development in the field of Consumer Hybrid Intelligent Products and Services. This EU project – known as “CHIPS” for short – deals with discussion on, research into and definition of future applications and services which are located on the borderline between traditional product design and the new information and communications technologies.
The Design Zentrum is also an active partner in the European Design Forum (EDF), whose function is to promote design with educational programmes throughout Europe. The project is supported by the EU’s Culture 2000 Programme. In May 2003, the Design Zentrum organised a successful design conference for the EDF entitled “Emerging Paradigm: Design and Change. Inventing New Forms of Experience and Communication”.