2 Min Lesezeit
Lutz Dietzold, Geschäftsführer des Rat für Formgebung | Foto: Christof Jakob

Is the German Design Council, as Johannes Winterhagen, editor of “Technik und Motor” in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, puts it at the outset, something like the “Yedi Council of Designers”? An interesting comparison. It is clear that without technical progress and innovation, neither prosperity nor climate protection can be maintained. However, in a consumer society, the difficulty is that very few people are convinced by a product simply because it offers working technology or is particularly environmentally friendly. This is where design comes in. The idea that innovations fit into users’ lives all the better if they are also appealing and sustainably designed was already driving politicians and entrepreneurs more than 70 years ago when the German Design Council was founded. Its current managing director, Lutz Dietzold, was a guest on the latest episode of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’s D:Economy podcast.

In this stimulating dialogue, Lutz Dietzold talks about the history and current tasks of the German Design Council, design as an economic factor, a significantly expanded concept of design today, materials, user interfaces and service design. When it comes to the acceptance of sustainable products, the managing director of the German Design Council advises companies to pay attention to more than just the outer form. To make the technology attractive, it is not enough to simply package products such as electric cars or heat pumps more attractively. It is always a question of whether the ecological properties offer the owner the opportunity to differentiate himself. And last but not least, it is important to know how the product is made and whether it can be repaired.

The German Design Council not only organises successful awards worldwide, as Dietzold explains, it also acts as an educational institution to sensitise people to good design. This is particularly important in schools, not least when it comes to information design, in physics, maths and ethics lessons. In times of necessary change, habits and behaviour must change; design can help with this and ensure greater acceptance – not least in social spaces. Another important factor, according to Dietzold, is participative, more integrative processes – for example in administrations. Wherever we move through the world digitally, user experience designers can help, explains Lutz Dietzold; at least if they do their job well. The fact that buttons or sliders are sometimes more helpful than touch displays is just as clear to the Managing Director of the German Design Council as the fact that artificial intelligence can be helpful.

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