The DRS at the World Design Summit: Report
The Design Research Society was invited to participate, along with many other International Design Societies and Organisations, in the World Design Summit which took place in Montreal on the 23rd and 24th October 2017. The purpose of the Summit was the development of a joint Declaration – a position statement to identify the unique role, capacities and value of design and design-related disciplines in the current global context. The declaration outlined how design impacts and can better address aspects of economy, culture, environment, and society and serves to galvanize the resources and skills of the international design, planning, architecture and landscape architecture communities in articulating a bold vision of a design-driven future.
Delegates at the World Design Summit in Montreal
The Design Research Society came relatively late to the process, in August this year, but the declaration has been many years in development. In 2015 seven international organizations representing industrial design, interior design, interaction design, graphic and communication design, landscape architecture and housing and planning jointly declared design’s critical role in shaping the world that meets global development goals fostering sustainability, equality, diversity and long term economic viability. Conceptual convergence has come about by focusing on that which is common between the disciplines and the shared desire to strategically leverage the unique capacity of design to address pressing global needs.
The draft declaration was considered by the DRS Council prior to the summit and, though there was some criticism that the role of design researchers and Universities wasn’t prominent enough, it was thought this was an initiative that aligned well with the aims and objectives of the Society. The summit itself was conducted as a UN style negotiation, with each society/organisation having up to two delegates. Professor Peter Lloyd represented the DRS as Vice Chair and head delegate, with Professor Tiiu Poldma as supporting delegate (though also head delegate for IASDR). Societies who had indicated that they would be prepared to sign the declaration were given the chance to speak in various sessions to comment on various aspects of the draft delegation. On behalf of the DRS it was suggested that design research (and research in general) as well as forward thinking design education, should be a key component of any future involving design solutions at the global scale.
DRS Vice Chair, Peter Lloyd signs the Montreal Design Declaration on behalf of the DRS
Following two days of commenting on the declaration - comments that will be taken account of in the next stage of implementation - the summit ended with a signing ceremony where 25 international design organisations along with several International Non-Governmental Organisations, amongst them UNESCO and other UN Global Compacts, signed up to what is now known as the Montreal Design Declaration.
It will be interesting to see what follow’s from a declaration of such ambition and scope, but several of the possible projects listed as examples could be taken on by the DRS - see the text of the declaration below for project outlines. Aside from the declaration many good connections were made with the leaders of other Organisations and Societies, so future partnership working and collaboration will be a possibility. Many at the Summit were aware of the DRS, and very positive about its participation at the event. For those that were unaware, the Design Research Society will now be on their horizon. The DRS’s contribution to the Summit, and participation going forward, will mean an increased level of influence on the world design stage.
For Further Details
Please contact the DRS Administrator: firstname.lastname@example.org