Design Reaktor Berlin: Sme Vs Design in the post industrial era

In Networks and Organizations

<p>The Design Reaktor Berlin is a multi-disciplinary research project of the Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK)/Berlin University of the Arts. The aim is to encourage innovative co-operation between small and medium-sized companies and designers, in order to investigate strategies and prospects for post-industrial locations, based on Berlin as an example.</p>

52 companies—from a Mozzarella cheese dairy, an engraver to a rubber goods manufacturer, from a car customising and tuning shop to a suitcase factory and a pasta maker, from low to high tech—are expert partners for our collaborative enterprise.

In a two-week series of workshops, the experimental links between trades, materials, technologies and tools from the various companies produced hundreds of ideas. After an assessment by a panel of experts of their feasibility and market potential, 52 widely diverse products were developed further in close co-operation with the companies concerned. Six patents have been applied for.

Traditionally it is the products that are developed first, then attention turns to planning the communication strategies and the means of distribution. The Design Reaktor Berlin works on all these things simultaneously so as to improve the efficiency of the development process and enhance the product’s identity. To position the products between the experimental and the commercial, the Design Reaktor Berlin involves professional discussion of strategies for marketing, communications and distribution.

Key features in the design process are:
— The hands-on approach
— The multi-disciplinary modus operandi
— The fostering of expertise at the interfaces between disciplines
— Shared authorship
— The dynamic project management
— Communication, commitment and market relevance
— Personal initiative and the multiple relationships that spring from it

This multi-disciplinary approach reveals an interesting potential future culture of collaborative research between the Berlin University of the Arts and partners from the world of business.

Design Reaktor
Straße des 17. Juni 118
10623 Berlin
+49 30 3185–2914
reaktor@udk-berlin.de 

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