Key takeaways from the final day of Frame Awards 2020

For Frame founder and director Robert Thiemann, one word in particular stuck out throughout the whole of Frame Award 2020’s day two programme: co-creation. ‘All of the talks and all of the discussions today centred on this idea,’ he explains, ‘We live in an age of co-creation. I think that will inform the next decade: clients working together with designers, designers working with users. That means that the design world, the design industry and the manufacturing industry needs to open up to its end-users and co-create with them in order to stay relevant.’

A strong follow-up to the festivities of day one, day two covered an array of industry how-to talks and workshops led by our international jury members, brand partners and special guests. Among them: how to future-proof the museum, how to optimize shared living spaces for contrasting personality types and how to go from client to collaborator. An important distinction, though, is that there was also a strong focus on the question ‘How can we?’ How can we bridge the digital and physical worlds to make for deeper connections? How can we scale biomaterial innovation to make way for a sustainable economy? And how can creatives find balance despite having a continuous drive to innovate? From a group workshop to London consultancy Conscious Coliving to a talk about smart sanitation with Laufen to a talk and book signing with CEBRA's Mikkel Frost, the atmosphere was remarkably solution-minded.

Fitting that ‘how’ should play such an important role in our programme this year, as when there is a ‘how’, there comes a ‘do’ and from that act of doing arises creation – and co-creation.

THE METABOLIC MUSEUM

The takeaway: In order to stay relevant, museums have to be metabolic institutions

Forget Instagram: MoMA’s recent expansion uses spatial design to drive audience engagement. Walking through the new Diller Scodifio + Renfro space strategy by strategy, the institution’s senior deputy director of exhibitions and collections Ramona Bronkar Bannayan said, ‘The public can no longer be guests or spectators, but active agents in the creation of experiences through direct and indirect encounters – with works of art and with other people.’

PEOPLE OVER PROPERTY

The takeaway: Future workplaces will be defined through the lens of people instead of property

As landlords come to the realization that future workplaces will be defined through the lens of people instead of property, the rules of office design – and the metrics of success for owners and investors – are shifting. ‘If you’re in real estate, you’re in hospitality – what landlords need to provide are experiences, amenities and services that will support people’s lives and communities,’ explained Despina Katsikakis, head of occupier business at Cushman & Wakefield.

BUILD BRIDGES

The takeaway: Bridging the virtual and physical worlds creates new possibilities for connection

Screen-based technology is often blamed for segregating users, both from each other and their environment. But can stepping beyond – or into – the screen actually bring us closer? Together in conversation, Random Studio’s Daan Lucas, TeamLab’s Takashi Kudo, Atelier Brückner founder Uwe Brückner and ASB GlassFloor’s Christof Babinsky deliberated the question.

‘People are disconnected from each other and the world we live in, resulting in political polarization and the current ecological crisis,’ said Lucas. ‘Designers won’t solve these issues, but they can create works that invite people away from their screen back into the real world.’ And Brückner shared his input: ‘I deeply believe in the power of hybrids, because the digital will never fully replace the real. Ideally it will synchronize to create a dynamic and authentic experience.’

(BIO)MATERIAL MENTALITY

The takeaway: Biomaterials can become the basis of building a sustainable economy

How we can move from biomaterial innovation to widespread implementation to move toward a sustainable economy? Firstly, ‘Industry needs to conceptualize biodesigners as co-developers rather than suppliers alone, in the same way that biodesigners have been co-developing with scientists, with engineers, with synthetic biologists,’ postulated Natsai Audrey Chieza in dialogue with Eric Klarenbeek of Klarenbeek & Dros, Helene Steiner and Nancy Diniz.

INTUITION EQUALS INSIGHT

The takeaway: Human intuition is as important as data-driven insight when developing physical products

The Google hardware design team has developed a design language that successfully marries the digital with the domestic. Vice president Ivy Ross believes that human intuition is just as important as data-driven insight when developing physical products: ‘We need to shift the importance of what ‘good design’ means – how we approach it and what we want the outcome to be – in order to focus on how products make people feel.’

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