Thank you!


On 24 and 25 April 2014 the final conference of the Design-led Innovations for Active Ageing project took place at the Disseny Hub building in Barcelona. The event marked the end of the DAA project. We would like to thank everyone who attended the conference and everyone who was involved in the project over the last three years.

Iina Oilinki, DAA project manager, welcomed the audience and reminded people of the rationale behind the DAA project. DAA was meant to explore ways of bringing design as a driver for innovation into city government structures to help reinvent ways to address demographic change.

The conference then really kicked off with a presentation by Dan Formosa, co-founder of Smart Design, one of the largest design agencies in the world. Mr Formosa spoke about How Design Can Save the World and asked the rhetorical question why you would want to design something if it doesn’t improve people’s lives. Already in the 80s, the founders of Smart Design came to the conclusion that design was about people, not about things. But designing for people is not easy.

Which brings us to “design thinking”, which places people as the main focus. That means, for example, that companies and organisations should listen to their end-users more. It also means that designers have to ask people the right questions. We have all been trained to provide answers, but asking the right questions is much more difficult.

Mr Formosa raised many more interesting questions. You can find a summary of his talk below.

After Mr Formosa’s speech, the participants were put to work in a workshop divided over two days. Different groups tackled different themes. Below, you will find a link to a report of the workshop.

Eight DAA partners gave un update of their cases in the afternoon of the first day. There were also presentations by other stakeholders. Roos Galjaard talked about demographic change and the Interreg secretariat presented the future funding opportunities of Interregional Cooperation. The first day concluded with an exchange of experience between DAA project partners and other project managers dealing with similar themes in their EU projects.

On the second day Birgit Mager explained the nature of societal challenges sometimes typified as “wicked problems”, and how service design is ideally suited to tackle such problems.

The second day continued the workshop, where the results of the first day were taken up again to further investigate their actual implementation in public administration.

The DAA is proud to present a publication that accompanies the final conference. In it you will find an introduction to service design, as well as an overview of all the cases of the eight European cities that made up the DAA network.

Looking back, we think the DAA project showed a nice diversity of what service design can do. We hope to have contributed to an understanding of design as a valuable instrument in shaping policy.

Please download Making Ageing Better. A look at how service design can innovate senior care, the final report of the DAA project. In it you will find a complete overview of the work that has been done in each of the 8 cities.


Conference programme
Pictures of the two day event

Welcoming Words, Iina Oilinki, DAA Project Manager
How Design Can Change the World, Dan Formosa, Co-founder Smart Design (Summary and Slides)
Workshops - Report
Capitalization Report on Demographic Change, Roos Galjaard, Bureau PAU
EU Interregional Cooperation - State of play and perspectives, Interreg IVC Joint Technical Secretariat
DAA Experience - Eight cities in DAA represent their case
AGE Platform, Ilenia Gheno, Research Project Manager
SPIDER Project, Adrian O’Donoghue
CASA Project, Fabian Dominguez