Kerala is working towards a design policy with the intention of making the State a global hub in the fast-emerging creative field by capitalising on the region’s strong startup ecosystem and traditionally vibrant culture, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Friday.

Kochi The Government is conducting a wide array of discussions with experts to locate the areas that require focal attention to promote design as a means to augment economic development, he said after inaugurating the two-day Kochi Design Week (KDW).

“We are looking for solutions to problems that are checking the prospects of new designs. We are aware of the social impact it has on the growth of the economy,” the Chief Minister pointed out at the opening session of the third edition of KDW that seeks to provide first-hand knowledge about international-level models and trends in design.

The ideas emerging from KDW-3 will work as inputs to the proposed Design Policy.

Co-founder S.D. Shibulal, and World Design Organisation member Pradyumna Vyas. KSUM Chief Executive Officer Anoop Ambika welcomed the gathering, while Asset Homes Managing Director Sunil V. proposed thanks.

Industry Minister P.Rajeeve said the State was aiming to shortly launch ‘Made in Kerala’ as a brand, bringing under it products such as coconut oil, cashew-nut and coir. “This will hit the market only after strict quality inspection,” he revealed, adding that the government will use an e-commerce platform to implement the idea.

Also, the State will go for innovative designs in its famed handloom and handicrafts, collaborating with National Institute of Fashion Technology and Institute of Fashion Technology Kerala, the Minister said underscoring the vitality of design in the progress of industry.

The ceremony saw World Design Council (WDC) Chair Paula Gazzard handing over the council’s expression of interest to the Chief Minister, with the aim of boosting ‘design thought’ in the State.

KDW-3 is holding a design fair (products made of cloth, wood and leather) and entertainment programmes. The gathering has more than 25,000 delegates, comprising design professionals, architects, interior designers, thought leaders, policymakers, government officials and general public. The festival is being held in partnership with national and international industry bodies such as World Design Organisation, World Design Council and IIID (Indian Institute of Interior Designers).