What is the Design Declaration Summit?

The first international convening of the design community, as represented by 22 international organisations representing professional urban planners, architects, landscape architects and designers from over 90 countries occurred on 23–24 October 2017 in Montréal (Canada). These organisations gathered to affirm the fundamental role of design in creating and shaping the world now and in the future. The two-day Design Declaration Summit (DDS) concluded with the ratification of the first Design Declaration, the Montréal Design Declaration, in the presence of international organisations representing public, private and civil sectors of society concerned with design or impacted by design. The Declaration recognises the need for strategic leadership on design matters at local, regional, national and international levels and the need for governance models, political agendas and policy to take design into account. It acknowledges the fundamental and critical role of design to create a world that is environmentally sustainable, economically viable, socially equitable, and culturally diverse. 

The Design Declaration Summit process is being conducted by representatives of the international design community and representatives of international agencies seeking to better utilise the potential of design. The first international Design Declaration describes the value and potential impact of design to address social, cultural, environmental and economic challenges. The Declaration includes a “Call to Action” and fifteen proposed projects. The Declaration is supported by the over 700 supporting member entities of the 22 signatories from over 90 countries. As mandated by the Montréal Design Declaration signatories, the Design Declaration Steering Committee (DDSC)—made up of representatives of six international organisations—is responsible for the ongoing process, including the initiation of Projects and organisation of future Design Declaration Summits. The Design Declaration Summit process will continue in 2019, with a Pre-Summit Meeting in Saint-Étienne (France) on 3–5 April 2019 and a full-scale Design Declaration Summit to follow in 2020, at which a second Design Declaration will be ratified.

Design Declaration Summit Steering Committee 

The committee consists of the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA), Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media (Cumulus), the International Council of Design (ICoD), the International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP), and the Interaction Design Association (IxDA).

Design Declaration Summit activities are supported by representatives from Steering Committee member organizations – Eija Salmi (Cumulus), Regitze Hess (IFHP) and Brenda Sanderson (IxDA), along with the ICoD Secretariat.

About BEDA

BEDA is a not-for-profit organisation boasting 46 members from 28 member states in Europe. Members can be design promotion centers and other publicly funded organisations that promote design nationally or regionally as well as professional and trade associations for designers from across Europe. Those professional associations represent some 400,000 designers from across Europe in every discipline of work from industrial design and interiors to digital design and branding.

Representative: Isabelle Vérilhac, President

About Cumulus

Cumulus is the only global association to serve art and design education and research. It is a forum for partnership and transfer of knowledge and best practices. Cumulus consists currently of over 280 members from 56 countries.

Representative: Dr. Mariana Amatullo, President

About ICoD

The International Council of Design (ICoD) is a world body for professional design, representing more than 120 organisations in 55 countries. Founded as Icograda in 1963, it is a non-profit, non-partisan, member-based network of independent organisations and stakeholders working within the multidisciplinary scope of design. ICoD actively works to promote the value of design practice, education, research and policy.

Image: head shot of Johnathon Strebly

Representative: Johnathon Strebly, President

About IFHP

The International Federation for Housing and Planning [IFHP] is a membership-based organization, consisting of a global network of urban professionals from public, private and civil sectors of societies, dedicated to fostering sustainable, livable and resilient cities, communities and housing. IFHP is a strong advocate for “cities for people” and that it takes “people for cities”, urban leadership at all levels.
From a design perspective IFHP is operating across the scales of urban planning, urban design, architecture and design of house and home. And IFHP believes that “design for people” takes “people for design”, demonstrating design leadership and the pursuit of design policy underpinned by design metrics.

Representative: Flemming Borreskov, Past President

About IxDA

Incorporated in 2005, IxDA was the first community for those interested in the practice of interaction design, and today we are the largest, with over 200 local groups and more than 100,000 individuals globally. We believe that the human condition is increasingly challenged by poor experiences. IxDA is committed to improving the human condition by advancing the discipline of Interaction Design. To do this, we foster a community of people that choose to come together to support this intention. IxDA relies on individual initiative, contribution, sharing and self-organization as the primary means for us to achieve our goals.

Representative: Alok Nandi, Past President

About World Urban Campaign

The World Urban Campaign (WUC) is an advocacy and partnership platform.  It raises awareness and promotes positive urban change toward green, productive, safe, healthy, inclusive, and well planned cities. WUC aims to influence and support sustainable development policies through the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. It is coordinated by UN-Habitat and includes 180 partners and networks – from around the world. 

Photo: Jeff Soule

Representative: Jeff Soule,
World Urban Campaign Steering Committee