We were fortunate to interview the inspiring WORTH Ambassador Audrone Drungilaite who is the executive director of the Lithuanian Design Forum which is a non-governmental organization that seeks to raise the profile of design as a factor in sustainable growth and as a catalyst for social development.
She has also had an amazingly diverse career which has always brought her back to design, being a constant passion in her life. We wanted to learn more about her experiences in the creative industry and what advice she has to offer WORTH Project participants:
From your change of career that lead you back to design, it is obvious it is a life-long passion, what does design personally mean to you?
Design definitely plays a significant role in my life. I always liked to construct, to look for problems and try to solve them, to make everyday life better. Since early years when I started to go to kids art school, I had a secret dream to work in design sector in my future. Even if I like to plan everything, at that time I didn’t have a particular vision what kind of design I would like to study (product, graphic, fashion and etc.). I always questioned myself – as a designer, am I able to bring some innovation and sustainability into daily life? Industrial design studies broadened my horizons a lot. I never really had a plan to be an independent designer because the life of a freelancer always looked too unstable for me. First of all, I wanted to create better conditions for designers and different stakeholders in my country. That was the reason why I started to work at the non-governmental organization, Lithuanian Design Forum. Every day I’m at least somehow connected with design and I am happy to be a part of some ongoing projects – festivals, awards, exhibitions, policy making processes.
With the success you have had with your design career, what is the best advice you can give creative entrepreneurs and start-up enterprises?
I strongly believe that design is a tool to raise competitiveness level for enterprises but as everything, there should be a balance. Design can help to solve some problems but it’s not a placebo. Business still needs good managers, accountants, engineers and other talented specialists. Many people like to use the word ‘design’ quite often, even if sometimes some objects or services have no connection with good design solutions at all. Sometimes people think that being a designer is all fun – living in the environment full of nice things, going to fancy parties and traveling to international events but at the same time it’s a huge responsibility cause the world is crowded by many unnecessary things and it’s a big luxury to create more rubbishes that nobody will use properly. So my advice is to think twice before launching new products. If you decided to do so, the world is open and many people are more than happy to help you to make less mistakes, that’s why I think that WORTH programme is a good chance to get the best mentorship without a huge financial investment.
WORTH aims to facilitate cross-country collaborations within Europe, from your experience, what is the best way to work together to realise a mutual project?
What I learned during the years, is that design has no borders. Because of the fast pace of living, globalisation and other aspects, creative people are everywhere and designers usually think more or less the same. Design is a visual language that many people understand without particular translation. Furthermore, every person in a team usually comes with a different experience, other cultural habits or even varying tastes. This multi-cultural collaboration might be a huge asset but it’s very important to find the best way of communication, always listen to each other, respect and look for the best compromise.
With your work as the chief executive of the Lithuanian Design Forum, where do you see the design industry in the future and what do you hope will improve?
What I see, which is lacking nowadays, is a collaboration between different sectors – business, culture science and education all coming from various backgrounds. I see a lot of potential in technology advancements which might help to create more sustainable products. The dialog between designers, scientists and business people is necessary and only this will help us improve our daily environment in the future.
What is your favorite trend within the creative industry currently and what would you like to see further developed?
Honestly, I am not a very huge fan of the word ‘trend’. Trends are coming and leaving, good solutions are longer lasting, so I like them more. The definition of creative industries in Lithuania (and probably many countries) is quite young, I think the first generation of creative industries specialists In Lithuania has only graduated in 2012. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that our industry has never been creative. I would love to see more people with design backgrounds working in different fields – helping in materials research, service
Find our more about Audrone Drungilaite through her WORTH profile here.
- 19 Oktober 2018
- Forvaltningsorganet for Det Europæiske Innovationsråd og SMV’er
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