In 2008, during the Council’s first year, Members identified six design principles:
- Clarity: Complex problems require simple, clear and honest solutions
- Inspiration: Successful solutions will move people by satisfying their needs, giving meaning to their lives and raising their hopes and expectations
- Transformation: Exceptional problems demand exceptional solutions that may be radical and even disruptive
- Participation: Effective solutions will be collaborative, inclusive and developed with the people who will use them
- Context: No solution should be developed or delivered in isolation but should recognize its context in terms of time, place and culture
- Sustainability: Every solution needs to be robust, responsible and designed with regard to its long-term impact on the environment and society
When following these principles, design becomes a capacity-building tool. It informs and educates and, once it is made accessible, can become a democratic method in which voluntary processes start to formulate a common value system.
In this report, the Council highlights five of the projects it initiated during the past year:
- Design Innovation Policy: Aims to create a new value system in the global community where all of the Council’s principles can be applied to create a standard that could become a universal policy.
- Visualizing Complex Systems: Creates tools to inform society through transparency and participation.
- Reciprocal Index: Offers an alternative value system in society through transparency and participation within a specific context for a sustainable future.
- Environmental Index: Creates a shared information system that can alter resource consumption models to offer a larger context for participation and awareness.
- Safe Water Project: Entails the design of an inexpensive, hand-held filtration product that works as part of a large-scale, systemic response to the need for drinking water in environmentally challenged and under-served communities.