Yesterday in Montréal, the closing ceremony of the first Design Summit Meeting took place. The event will have left its mark in the hearts and minds of all participants with the signing of the first Montréal Design Declaration and many other historic achievements.
For the first time, representatives of leading international organizations representing designers, architects, planners and landscape architects have collaborated effectively to present a united position on the utilization of design to cope with pressing global economic, social, environmental and cultural challenges. This consolidation of the dynamic forces of design persuaded several leading international agencies to participate in the meeting, including UNESCO, UN-Habitat and UNEP, to name just a few.
As a result of this meeting, the first Montréal Design Declaration will now be the cornerstone for building the future; a reference document on which all participants will be able to rely. This text is an exceptional resource that highlights the strength and effectiveness of design when it focuses on improving people’s quality of life and proposes concrete solutions to current problems.
The Montréal Design Declaration: What it contains
In addition to expressing a common vision of the essential role of design and the important responsibility of designers while asserting the fundamental contribution of design to achieve a better tomorrow, the Montréal Design Declaration is built around 8 specific statements: Design is a driver of innovation and competition, growth and development, efficiency and prosperity; Design is an agent for sustainable solutions created for people and supporting the planet on which we rely; Design expresses culture; Design adds value to technology; Design facilitates change; Design introduces intelligence to cities as a foundation for better communications, improved environments, enhanced quality of life and more prosperous local communities; Design addresses resilience and manages risk; and Design fosters development of SMEs in general and the creative industries in particular.
This first Declaration also proposes concrete and targeted actions. These are based on the premise that leadership in the field of design is key to providing permanent solutions and that the implementation of design methodologies contributes greatly to a sustainable future. The Montréal Design Declaration makes 9 calls to action. It calls for: design advocacy, development of design metrics, development of design policies, development of design standards, enhancement of design education, responsive design, responsible design, vigilant design
and finally recognition of the value of design by leaders, decision-makers and influencers across all sectors of society.
In addition, a total of 20 projects that are perfectly in line with the Declaration's ambitions are proposed in response to the actions. Thus a process will be established to identify the projects to be initiated as well as their course of implementation. Projects will be carried out by groups of interested participants, in collaboration with partners and sponsors. The results will be shared and presented at future meetings and events.
The Design Summit Meeting: What they said
“As the Design Summit Meeting steering committee, our focus is on achieving ways to radically improve the experience people have of the places we create, because the quality of our environment is directly proportional to the quality of our lives. It’s an equation as simple as it is compelling,” explained Kathryn Moore, President of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA).
Regitze Marianne Hess, Special Advisor for the International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP), confirmed the immediate impact that the Design Summit Meeting will have: "For IFHP sustainable design goals are inherent to sustainable development's goals, aka UN 2030 SDGs. As the International Federation for Housing and Planning, we see design solutions as part and parcel to the urban solutions.”
David Grossman, President of ico-D (International Council of Design) supported his colleague's comments with enthusiasm: “The Design Summit Meeting and the Declaration affect every individual professional designer, architect and planner - practicing or future - and is relevant to business, government, educators and people everywhere."
Marie-Claude Parenteau-Lebeuf, Chair of the Board of the World Design Summit Organization (WDSO) – founding partner and event organizer– “This meeting will have enabled us to send a clear message to the political bodies and decision-makers, as well as a signal that the international design community is united behind concrete goals.”
Alain Dufour, Secretary General of the Design Summit Meeting – “After 9 years of hard work and meeting with hundreds of people around the world, we are proud to see this movement of architects, designers, landscape architects and planners who want to change the world, now in action”.
The Design Summit Meeting was the first joint effort by the consolidated international design community and international economic, social, environmental and cultural agencies to establish a roadmap for the utilization of the power of design for the good of all. This initiative will have manifest repercussions for the coming years if not decades.
Pierre-Alain Gariépy, President and CEO of the World Design Summit Organization (WDSO) – founding partner and organizer – “The World Design Summit, with its 650+ keynotes and speakers, 500+ presentations Congress and its 350+ exhibitors Expo, is a great start and promising for the future. Mission accomplished!’’
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