The Norwegian design world gains much of its strength not only from its creativity and functionality, but also based on its ability to meet immediate needs. With this in mind, the Norwegian Design Council has been behind the development of a website that has the goal of gathering Norwegian design in one place online.
For the first time, Norwegian companies will be able to find necessary design expertise in just one “cyberstop”. Newly opened in November 2008, the website is called simply “The Design Base” (www.designbasen.no). The service is currently in Norwegian but there are long-range plans to promote an English version that will help continue to spread the word of Norwegian design far outside of Norwegian borders.
Open to everyone, viewing and registration is free. In order to ensure that top quality, complete information is supplied to the user, there is the requirement that companies wishing to register must supply information such as examples of their previous work, description of their credentials and areas of expertise – and other criteria that will help prospective clients to choose the right designer – and the right solution.
The development of the design database has been the responsibility of the Norwegian Design Council in cooperation with Innovation Norway, GRAFILL (the Norwegian Organization for Visual Communication), KF Designbyråforening (Norwegian Association of Advertising Agencies and Creative Forum) and the Norwegian Association of Industrial Designers. The role of design is central in this initiative – designed to promote Norwegian designers and inspire business leaders to adopt professional and multi-disciplinary design expertise – no matter where they are in the Norway.
According to the project manager for the design data base, Ingegjerd Straand Fremantle, “Even though the database has been opened less than a month, it already has registered over 300 of the country’s leading designers and design agencies. The database truly represents the entire country, with nearly all of Norway’s counties represented.”
Work in Progress
There are few – if any – national design databases in the world today, and the Norwegian Design Council and partners in this project understand that feedback and dialogue will be important in the ongoing development of the website. This is the reason that “The Design Base” at www.designbasen.no is considered to be in its preliminary “beta” phase, and will be be continually developed and modified based on input and experience.
The ultimate goal is to have literally 100% of Norwegian designers and design companies registered on the database. The Norwegian Design Council and cooperative partners know that design is only as effective its ability to be accessible to the people and companies that need it. Whether it be graphic design, industrial design, or anything else within the areas of design – it is essential that the ones that need the design are able to find the design talents necessary to get the job done. The Design Base’s goal is to make this happen.