designdk was started in April 2015. An input field on designdk.co and a slack space was all that was to it. Since then it has managed to attract more than 400 creative people and has spawned several events. Jobs, resources and projects have been shared and debates about everything that moves within the design space has been had. To put it shortly: It has exceeded all expectations. It’s obvious from looking at the statistics that a lot of people are using the platform to contact others directly in the design community. Designdk has since that april in 2015 been the first step towards a new and strengthened design environment t in Denmark. Now we take the next step.
I have succeeded in obtaining the domain designdk.org (kindly sold by DDC) and the plan is now to create a more permanent base for the community. Other than being a more clearly defined door into our Slack channels, the desire is also to author articles written by volunteers in the community, a common calender where we can coordinate upcoming events and, maybe in the future, a job postings board and resources that make it easier for new people to get started. Maybe someone wants to start a podcast?
After 8 months of designdk I’ve written a bit about why it is important to maintain a strong local community in a global world. A sort of manifesto if you will, describing the reasons for what we do and why we do it. Read it if you’re in doubt.
Why a local community?
As creatives we live and work in a global industry. A lot of us use Twitter. We have Dribbble, Behance and online portfolios and we have daily interactions with people from around the world. The Design community is huge and wide and when we express ourselves or share our work, our audience is often global. This environment is, in many ways, amazing because it exposes Danish design and opens up collaboration and client relations across bordes. It has become a lot easier to be a designer because we have access to this growing global industry of like minded people.
But in a world where the global mindset is everywhere it is _exactly_ important to find the value in the local creative environment. If we remove the international glasses for a while we see that both young and old designers live in a tiny country where everyone is trying to make a living doing what they love.
When we see things through a regional perspective it helps us overcome challenges that is particular to Denmark. A geographically rooted community helps us create stronger relations simply because our values, surroundings and the literal distance is so close. It is easier to talk about freelancing, work environments, share jobs, help students and it is easier to meet in real life.
What do we want?
With designdk we hope to create a strong local creative community aimed at strengthening the Danish design industry. A community that makes it easier for students to take advantage of the experienced talents already working in Denmark. A community where we can exchange and discuss developments in design seen through a local perspective. A community that can support danish products and initiatives and a platform where we can plan and improve the conditions for design in Denmark.
I'm going to need help. The idea behind designdk has, from the start, been thought as a community carried by volunteers. People who want to arrange events, produce content and administer the community. So if you can code, write, interview, make sound, video or just want to get involved then drop me an email!
I'm looking forward to the future.