A three-day international conference on design, development and research, has opened at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
It is being held under the joint auspices of the KNUST Faculty of Art, University of Georgia, United States (US) and Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa.
Participants were drawn from the US, Ghana, South Africa, Hong Kong, Sweden, India, Tanzania and Botswana.
Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts Minister Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, performing the opening ceremony, said everything would be done to re-position the country’s creative industry to enhance its contribution to the economy.
She said government recognized its immense potential for job and wealth creation and would put in place appropriate policies and interventions to promote its growth.
Madam Ofosu-Agyare announced plans to upgrade craft villages across the country as part of the drive to assist artists to market their products and generate employment.
She said the industry was now being seen even by the developed countries as a key component in a new knowledge economy capable of delivering urban regeneration through initiatives linked to exploitation of cultural heritage to hike up tourism.
Madam Ofosu-Agyare, therefore, pledged her Ministry’s readiness to collaborate with the Faculty of Art to enhance the development of the sector.
Professor William Otoo Ellis, Vice Chancellor of the KNUST, noted the importance of design in today’s global and competitive economy, pointing out that products and systems were selling not only on the basis of quality but aesthetic beauty or design of models.
Many models of products and services, he said, did not have any quantifiable differences in terms of performance but their new and flashy design was what attracted the market.
He said it was because of this that institutions and businesses had created research and development departments to continually research into designs and development services to satisfy the aesthetic instinct of customers.
The Vice Chancellor urged the participants to strive to engender an academic discourse for the needed collaboration in the design of systems and products otherwise referred to as “communal/group design”.