PROUD helps and supports designers to have the right facilities, knowledge and expertise to play a key role in innovating, improving and consolidating people’s lives, businesses and public services across Europe.

PROUD is about transnational development of methods for co-designing services, products and processes that address unmet needs.

PROUD ran from September 2011 – April 2015

PROUD is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and made possible by the INTERREG IVB North-West Europe programme. The transnational Cooperation Programmes INTERREG IVB, financed by the European Union’s Regional Development Fund, helps regions of Europe to collaborate transnationally in order to share experience and good practices in the areas of innovation, job creation, better living.

PROUD is an initiative of European organisations based in various sectors but all characterized by design and innovation in their DNA. Either city council, university, design or innovation centre or association, they all have in common the belief that design is elementary when creating answers for today’s societal, ecological and economical challenges.

The following partners are PROUD to be part of it: Lead partner: Capital D - Design Cooperation Brainport Eindhoven (NL). Partners: Agence pour la Promotion et la Création Industrielle (APCI) - Paris (F), City of Eindhoven - Eindhoven (NL), Designregion Kortrijk - Kortrijk (B), Imagination Lancaster - Lancaster University - Lancaster (UK), Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen (DZNRW) - Essen (DE) , Culminatum Innovation - Espoo (SF), Luxinnovation – Luxembourg-Kirchberg (L), Technoport – Luxembourg (L), Subpartners: AGB Buda - Kortrijk (B), Material Sense - Eindhoven (NL). 

Why co-design?

Everyone has the capacity to make an active meaningful contribution to society. Co-Design is an approach that enables a wide range of people to have a creative contribution in the formulation and solution of a problem.

Going beyond mere consultation, co-design builds and deepens an equal collaboration between citizens affected by or attempting to resolve a particular challenge. Citizens here include designers, policy makers, residents, customers, academics, children, engineers and amongst many other possible contributors. 

Harnessing the knowledge, experience and creative potential of all these participants results in relevant, innovative, practical solutions that could never come from one single stakeholder, including professional innovators.

We achieve this collaboration by firstly giving a voice to the citizens involved, developing processes that help them to articulate their vision and ideas in a form that is natural to them, not necessarily the way designers would articulate ideas. We then go on to help citizens to respond to these ideas creatively and flexibly to develop new solutions that are distinctive while addressing the range of agendas and concerns of those involved. 

This is not about design by committee, or an average solution but rather challenging all citizens to examine and reassess their assumptions and perspectives. This willingness to rethink what the problem really is forms a critical element for participation in co-design and enables new common perspectives and so solutions to emerge that rather than being compromised are strong and new.

With PROUD we are exploring the possibilities and opportunities to get the citizens and stakeholders involved. Also we are looking at the truth and myths, methods and practical issues of co-design. Take a look at how we do this under 'Good Co-design'.