Icisd: Free Pitching Devalues Design

By Rob • Feb 22nd, 2011 • Category: ACID News

Icsid was founded to further and protect the professional practice of industrial design internationally, and this founding principle remains central to our identity today. Icsid is an advocate on behalf of professional designers in such areas as: design standards, the appreciation of professional achievement, fair practices, sustainable development and support of intellectual property rights, from advanced technology to traditional knowledge and crafts.

The professional practice committee was established by the 2007-2009 executive board to safeguard Icsid’s mission statement regarding the support and protection of the professional practice of industrial design at regional and international levels. Overseen by the executive board, the committee comprises practicing professional industrial designers from within the board who meet on a regular basis to discuss professional challenges within their regions and determine if these challenges are of an international nature and therefore of concern to the international industrial design community.

This term the committee has been tasked by the board to address the need for more comprehensive online resources for professional industrial designers – and those they work with – in relation to best practice, intellectual property and sustainable design. In particular, the committee has discussed at length the challenges faced by professional designers who are required to pitch their creative work without charge in order to bid for and win contracts. Upon recognition that this practice is indeed detrimental to the integrity of design work. The committee has released the following statement:

Icsid believes strongly in the value and economic benefits of design and that designers should be fairly compensated for their work. Icsid is committed to discouraging pitching involving unpaid design work and recommends that designers should retain the ownership of such intellectual property when working in this way is unavoidable.

The committee advises not only industrial designers to take note of this statement but for corporations and employers operating in such a manner when attempting to engage industrial designers to recognize the impact on the profession and how it devalues creative work in general. Unpaid pitching undermines the professional standing of the industry and, undoubtedly, reduces the strategic reach and integrity of design

For industrial designers unavoidably facing this practice in the course of their work, the committee advises that they seek professional legal advice in relation to the protection of their intellectual property.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) seeks to offer resources and guidelines to encourage innovation through protection of intellectual property.  More information on understanding the importance of protecting intellectual property is available at http://www.wipo.int/portal/index.html.en.

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