Taipei (Taiwan – Chinese Taipei) / Montreal (Canada) – The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) announced the new slate of Executive Board of Directors for the 2011-2013 term at the close of its 27th General Assembly on 28 October 2011. The biennial election, along with the announcement of the finalists for the inaugural World Design Impact Prize, was the highlight of the two-day proceedings, which followed the first International Design Alliance (IDA) Congress in Taipei, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei). Seventeen nominations from around the world were received for the nine board vacancies.

Professor Soon-in Lee (South Korea) will lead Icsid as President this term. He has been a Professor of industrial design and art at Hongik University since 2004, and is also currently the President of the Seoul Design Center. Prof. Lee has worked closely with Icsid to promote better design in Korea and around the globe since attending the 1989 Icsid Congress in Nagoya (Japan). He has served on Icsid’s Executive Board as a member for two terms (1999-2003), and most recently as President-Elect (2009-2011).

In the President’s first address to the membership, Soon-in Lee took a moment to thank past Presidents and reflect on some of the remarkable moments in his 22 years with Icsid. He emphasized the strength of Icsid’s global membership and stated, “We should be proud to be the only international industrial design organisation to include professional, promotional, educational and corporate members, and we are in a position to influence not just the practice of design but the policies of governments, businesses and humanitarian organisations as well.”

For his next two years as President, Professor Lee declares a special interest in working with developing nations, bringing in new membership and encouraging the development and use of socially responsibly industrial design.

Professor Lee concluded his remarks by saying, “I am very excited at the prospect of lending my expertise to Icsid and working closely with the new Icsid Executive Board and the Secretary General. We will strive to establish a realistic results-orientated plan for the growth and prosperity of our organisation as well as to provide leadership to take Icsid to the next level of growth and co-operation within the international design community.”

The 2011-2013 Icsid Executive Board is as follows:

  • Mr. Soon-In Lee – President (South Korea)
  • Mr. Brandon Gien – President Elect (Australia)
  • Ms. Michelle Berryman – Executive Board Member (USA)
  • Mr. Bruce Claxton – Executive Board Member (USA)
  • Mr. Alpay Er – Executive Board Member (Turkey)
  • Mr. Tapani Hyvonen – Executive Board Member (Finland)
  • Mr. Mugendi M’Rithaa – Executive Board Member (South Africa)
  • Ms. Geetha Narayanan – Executive Board Member (India)
  • Mr. Kohei Nishiyama – Executive Board Member (Japan)
  • Mr. Pierre-Yves Panis  – Executive Board Member (France)
  • Mr. Nils Toft – Executive Board Member (Denmark)

The new Icsid Executive Board held it first official meeting in Taiwan, (Chinese Taipei).  The next meeting will be held at its Secretariat in Montreal, Canada in January 2012. Secretary General of Icsid, Dilki de Silva commented on the diversity of the new board, adding that they will be strong voices for Icsid and its members from around the world. In her remarks at the General Assembly, Ms. de Silva stated, “As the board develops policies and programmes for the new term, they will look to the membership to challenge Icsid to adapt and become a global advocate, not just for industrial design, but as a platform for your own accomplishments or a vehicle to raise awareness about your own challenges.”

“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the outgoing Executive Board Members for their dedication and exceptional contribution to Icsid, especially outgoing President, Dr. Mark Breitenberg  (USA) for his leadership,” added Ms. de Silva.

This year’s general assembly also marked a new milestone in Icsid’s history; seven projects from around the world were named finalists of the World Design Impact Prize, following the online voting by the organisation’s international members.

The World Design Impact Prize, awarded biennially and currently in its inaugural year, aims to recognise, empower and stimulate socially responsible design projects and initiatives around the world. In early 2011, Icsid Members were asked to nominate projects. The project gallery, containing 22 submissions, opened for viewing and comments on World Industrial Design Day (29 June), and a voting commenced a month later.

“With the World Design Impact Prize we are focusing on the day to day improvements design can bring,” said outgoing Icsid President and Senator Dr. Mark Breitenberg. “We are looking for design that is innovative, that is breaking new ground in the field, that leads to progress, and advances the profession of design. We are looking for the project that has the greatest impact and is thinking about design as a way to solve problems. My great hope is that this Icsid initiative will continue to grow and that we will see more and more nominations in the coming years as the World Design Impact Prize develops and gains recognition. I trust that the new Board will embrace the power of this project.”

Icsid is proud to recognise the many diverse projects as finalists for the prize. They are as follows (in alphabetical order):

Bahikhaata (India)
Nominated by: Industrial Designers Society of America (USA)

Chulha (India)
Nominated by: Technical University of Eindhoven (The Netherlands)

Community Cooker (Kenya)
Nominated by: …XYZ Design (Pty) Ltd. (South Africa)

Innovation Center (Chile)
Nominated by: Instituto Profesional DuocUC de la Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile (Chile)

Jaipur Foot / Jaipur Knee / Jaipur Limb (India)
Nominated by: Tata Elxsi (India)

N200 (Haiti)
Nominated by: Art Center College of Design (USA)

Size China (Hong Kong)
Nominated by: Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands)

“As this initiative grows, we hope to eventually bring venture capitalists and investors to the project and help foster a relationship that allows the projects to move forward and reach fruition. We want the winner of the prize to plant a seed, and showcase a lot of the extraordinary work that is being done in humanitarian design around the world,” Dr. Breitenberg concluded.

All finalists’ projects can be viewed here.

The first recipient of the prize will be announced at the World Design Capital Design Gala on 2 February 2012 in Helsinki (Finland).