Ideas on Design

By sharing ideas on design we build design capability within communities via education programs and resources that explore the power of design in making a difference to business and society.

Through conferences, masterclasses, workshops, exhibitions, public programs and online resources, we present experience, skills, knowledge and opportunities to connect with design practitioners, business leaders and researchers who are experts across design disciplines and industry sectors in the application of design that makes a difference to standards of living, to productivity and to economic prosperity.

Ideas on Design draws on the experiences and connections built over 25 years presenting the agIdeas International Design Conferences in Melbourne Australia. Founded by Ken Cato AO, agIdeas is one of the longest running and most well respected design programs in the world. Over 25 year’s we have presented live events to share the ideas, strategies and projects of over 600 of the world’s most innovative creative practitioners, including Massimo Vignelli, Richard Seymour, Paula Scher, David Carson, Stephan Sagmeister, Alan Fletcher, Ralph Eggleston, Neville Page, Mauro Porcini among others. Forming the cornerstone of Melbourne International Design Week for the past three year’s Ideas on design has curated a broad public program on behalf of the Victorian Government.

The Main Areas

Creative Masters
For Business
For Social Change
For Schools
NewStar Design Awards
Live Events

Creative Masters

In the creative masters section you will find more than 600 of the world’s most innovative creative leaders from across Communication Design, Interactive Media Design, Entertainment Design, Product and Industrial Design, Service Design, Design for the Built Environment, Design Thinking and Design for Social Change.

There is a profile page for every person which includes a bio, a portrait, images of their work and video content. Updates are shared via Facebook Twitter Linked In Instagram and a newsletter. Connect to stay in touch.

Design for Business

There’s a groundswell of interest in the role that design and design thinking is playing in the fortunes of companies that establish a premium position in their markets and continue to grow and prosper over time. Such business advantage is not isolated to particular sectors; the success stories are coming from across an increasing range of industries. A consistent factor seems to be that design in these companies is used as a strategic resource, championed at the highest levels of management and embraced across the organisation.

‘Design for Business’ is multiplatform program that presents business and design researchers and practitioners, who are leading the way in building knowledge and skills in the application of design and design thinking to improve business performance. The program explores design as it is being applied not only to product development but also to the re-imagining of existing products, enhancing the customer experience, improving work place environments, right through to reimagining strategic direction and the future vision of companies and businesses including their ethics, and corporate responsibility.

The program content is generated from business seminars and a research program.

Business Seminar

The Business seminar ‘Design Advantage’ provides new ways of thinking about design and the role it can play in ensuring business maintains a strong competitive advantage. The seminar presents business and design leaders whose case studies present effective strategies for integrating design into business models, and applies design to the marketplace across a broad range of industry sectors.

Design for Business Research Program

The research program provides a double blind peer review program for researchers to share rigorous research in the area of design as a strategic resource for business. Selected papers are shared at an annual research conference, through a publication partnership with Intellect Publishing in the UK, which includes a book series and an association with the Journal of Design for Business and Society and through a bimonthly news bulletin that distributes executive summaries of research to the business community.

Design Seeds

We have developed a design thinking workshop for primary school children. Design Seeds is a children’s workshop that aims to build an awareness amongst children of good design and how it leads to innovation. The program introduces children to design as a creative problem solving strategy. Through greater awareness children are inspired to become the creative leaders of a design-savvy generation who demand a world that looks and works better. The event encourages the naturally innovative nature of children and raises awareness of the importance of nurturing these attributes in the building of an innovative nation. The skills that define our brilliant innovators are natural characteristics in children. Curiosity, questioning, connecting of unrelated ideas, trial and error, imagination, sketching, building and prototyping are all inherent in their everyday play. Nurturing these traits at an early age is essential in building a culture immersed in innovation.

Live Events

Over 25 year’s we have presented live events to share the ideas, strategies and projects from some of the world’s most innovative creative practitioners.Programs are developed for specific communites and targeted to audience groups and their needs. They have included programs for:

  • Designers who strive for excellence in creating innovative solutions that are based on an understanding of the multiplicity of human existence, have a desire to draw on knowledge and research across disciplines and who execute work with diverse, disruptive and adaptive creative practices.
  • Businesses who want to create advantage by learning from some of the best examples of design led innovation.
  • Secondary school students who want to pursue a career in the creative industries.
  • Design and business researchers who want to share rigorous knowledge in the area of Design for Business.
  • Primary schools that want to develop creative problem solving skills.
  • Communities that demand a world that looks and works better.