Worth by Northwest: A Design Strategy for Territorial Sustainability
Authors: Maria De Fátima Faria Costa, Ermanno Aparo, Liliana Soares
Abstract: The paper aims to prove that a local design-oriented network strategy can be crucial in achieving territorial sustainability.The analysis of a place can be understood as an occasion to define a multicellular system so that, each one of the monocellular organisms - the companies - cooperate together and define the evolution of the system. As happens in a multicellular biological organism, in a network of companies, several cells - with different types and degrees of specialization - can create an interdependence that increases the possibility of survival.The case of Italian productive districts establishes the contribution of design to the competitiveness of companies, involving them in the organization of territorial interfaces capable of producing innovation (Bettiol, Chiaversio, Micelli, 2009). The development of a territorial business system can be an opportunity to stimulate local development, representing an opportunity to favor and encourage investments. Likewise, this is an chance to develop ways to share resources, processes, knowledge and innovation. Since the Renaissance, the Italian productive system has been articulated in networks (Aparo, 2020), sharing excellence and approaching complex projects that are solved, almost always producing innovation. The concept of network system expressed by design has been supported by authors such as Ampelio Bucci (2003), Antonio Ricciardi (2004) or Venanzio Arquilla, Giuliano Simonelli, Arianna Vignati (2005). It is an action established in several areas of the product and/or service and a decisive network system for the success of Italian Design in the world.The work developed by Design in the development of a system of territorial networks becomes essential by taking on several tasks. Maria Antonieta Sbordone (2016) analyzes them as a social function, a heterogeneous function, a business function and, finally, a connective function.The North of Portugal is mainly characterized by a panorama of small and medium-sized companies which - according to data provided by the National Institute of Statistics - in the last study carried out in 2008 on the structures of Portuguese companies, reveals that 113,747 companies were located in the North, influencing by 69.5% in the turnover of the North Region.The authors intend to demonstrate that in the North of Portugal, a business network strategy of a local character guided by Design, can be seen as a significant opportunity to define the evolution of the local economy. An action that motivates the creation of business systems to determine mutual collaboration and the development of innovation projects. Taking the Italian system as an example, the aim is to implement a business network system that, starting from localized excellence, can enhance the productive capacity of each company, improve the offer, make processes profitable and, finally, determine survival or even success. Therefore, the results of project developed in an academic context within the scope of Research and Development explain how a project built with networks can stimulate innovation and activate collaboration processes, reaching levels of excellence, making resources profitable and exalting the peculiarities of each productive organism in order to create sustainability.
Keywords: Design Method, Local network systems, Design and Sustainability
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