Montréal (Canada) – The International Design Alliance (IDA) announced today the appointment of Gwangju (South Korea) as the next host city of the 2015 IDA Congress. The city was selected based on the strength of its bid, co-led by Korea Craft & Design Foundation and Gwangju Metropolitan City during an international competitive bid process, which began in September 2011.

The upcoming event in Gwangju will be the third iteration of the IDA Congress, which was established to engage a dialogue between designers and non-design stakeholders. The aim of the IDA Congress is to bring together the international design community in a themed framework to advance the vision and mission of the IDA by engaging government leaders (commerce, trade, culture, etc.), INGO’s, business, science and technology, education and the social sciences and to present multi-disciplinary design sessions relevant to the IDA Partner disciplines of industrial, communication and interior architecture/design.

“Korea’s enthusiasm for design innovation and the growth of its design industry are exceeded only by the involvement of its citizens in the design process,” explained Mr. Rieh Sang-kyun, President of the Korea Craft & Design Foundation. “We are thrilled to be able to share our enthusiasm for design with the participants of the 2015 IDA Congress and look forward to showcasing the inclusive, innovative and sustainable aspects of design.”

Gwangju Metropolitan City was selected by the IDA Executive Committee, which consists of the following representatives from the three international partner organisations: Shashi Caan, IFI President (United States); Brandon Gien, Icsid President-Elect (Australia); Gitte Just, Icograda Treasurer (Denmark); Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, Icsid Senator (Germany); Prof. Lawrence Zeegen, Icograda Vice President (United Kingdom); Madeline Lester, IFI Past President (Australia).

The theme presented for the congress is Collective Design. “This is an exciting theme that will allow us to continue to discover where design disciplines converge,” said Prof. Soon-in Lee, Icsid President. “We are building on the foundation that design in the 21st century is manifold and multidisciplinary at its core. Design is for everyone and therefore must inject humanity in its development. The Korea Craft & Design Foundation and Gwangju Metropolitan City have shown that they understand the multi-participatory aspects of design and what we aim to do with this congress, which is to unite designers and design enthusiasts.”

“We look forward to developing and exploring the programme of the Congress. Early ideas of ‘the Design M.U.S.E.’: media-based, user-orientated, society-centred and economically-minded, is something that will resonate with both designers and non-designers alike,” said Gitte Just, Icograda Treasurer.

IFI President, Shashi Caan stated, “We are delighted that an IFI member, the Korea Craft & Design Foundation, in partnership with the City of Gwangju, put forward a bid that will allow us to continue in our mission as the IDA partners to ‘do together what we cannot do alone’ and concentrate on building opportunities arising from multidisciplinary collaboration.”

The 2015 IDA Congress bid was headed by Prof. Don Ryun Chang, Dean of Hongik University with support from Minister Choe, Kwang-Shik and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Korea, as well as the leading national and local Gwangju design organisations and corporations who made up the congress bid organising committee. The Gwangju Metropolitan government and KCDF would like to sincerely thank the Visual Information Design Association Korea (VIDAK), Korea Association of Industrial Design (KAID), the Korean Society of Interior/Architect Designers (KOSID), and the Korean Ensemble of Contemporary Design (KECD) as the bid organising partners. In addition, the host partners are also indebted to the kind support from the bid steering committee that included the Gwangju Biennale Foundation, Gwangju Design Center, the Jeonam Designers Association, the Korean Society of Design Science, the Korean Space Design Association and the corporate cooperation from Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Kia Automotive Group and LG Electronics.

Gwangju, along with Seoul, Busan, Daegu and Incheon form the design hub of the Southwest region of South Korea. Gwangju is also the key economic centre of Northeast Asia with a population of over 1.5 million people representing one of the world’s three largest trade markets.

“Gwangju has moulded itself into a centre of cultural exchange. Its rich cultural traditions provide a unique and textured backdrop to the vast developments made in the technological, infrastructure and design fields,” expressed the Mayor of Gwangju Metropolitan City, Kang Un-Tae. “We are eager to welcome designers from all disciplines and participants from other sectors that employ design to propagate a world that is balanced, inclusive and sustainable while furthering the design knowledge.”

For the past two decades, South Korea has been extremely active in international design exchanges and its government has set its sights on a future that capitalises on design as a growth driver in all sectors. The South Korean design industry is proving to be one of the strongest in the 21st century with global leaders in the automotive and electronics sectors. Gwangju is also home to a Design Biennale, initiated in 2004 to promote the local design industry and also to contribute to the international design discourse and practice.

The 2015 IDA Congress will take place in October 2015. More information regarding dates and programming will be shared in the coming months via

For more information, please contact:

International Design Alliance Congress
Ms. Allison DaCosta
Icsid Project Manager, IDA Congress
t: +1 514 448 4949 x 235

Korea Craft & Design Foundation
Ms. Minkyeong Jeon
Senior Staff
t: 822 398 7951

Gwangju Metropolitan City (South Korea)
Mr. Kyung-Seok Lee
Gwangju Metropolitan Government
Urban Design Division
t: 88 62 613 4862

About the IDA Congress

The IDA Congress is the primary event for dialogue between designers and non-design stakeholders in a summit format. The aim of the IDA Congress is to bring together the unified voice of designers around the world in a themed framework to advance the vision and mission of the IDA by engaging with government leaders, INGO’s, business, science and technology, education and the social sciences.

About Korea Craft & Design Foundation

The Korea Craft and Design Foundation is one of the key agencies under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and was established to support and promote important craft and design initiatives. In line with the Ministry’s aim to promote holistic culture and arts, KCDF has spent much of its efforts in enhancing the design industry’s infrastructure by conducting comprehensive R&D, social design programs as well as hosting important collaborate international events with diverse organizations.

About Gwangju Metropolitan City (South Korea)

A city on the vanguard of design, Gwangju is rich in art and cultural traditions and true to the democratic spirit. Known as ‘The City of Light,’ this southwest hub of Korea is home to 1.5 million residents and with its rich, sustainable history of art, music, cuisine, education and design, Gwangju is considered the cultural capital of the country. Since the 1990’s it has held international Art and Design Biennales in alternate years to solidify that position, and it will soon launch a formative 5-year Design and Industry development program to communicate culture through design while building on its already existing industry and design infrastructure with leading companies such as Samsung, Kia and LG.

About the International Design Alliance (IDA)

Established in 2003, by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) and the International Council of Communication Design (Icograda), the International Design Alliance (IDA) is a strategic venture between the international organisations representing design. The IDA serves as the collective voice for all disciplines, advocating the mutual interest of all design professions. In September 2008, the IDA welcomed the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI) to the alliance as the third partner.

The IDA partners have previously held individual biennial congresses and together they organised a ʻJoint Congressʼ every six years, including the following locations: 1981 – Helsinki (Finland), 1987 – Amsterdam (the Netherlands), 1993 – Glasgow (Scotland), 1999 – Sydney (Australia), 2005 – Copenhagen (Denmark). In 2011, the ʻIDA Congressʼ replaced the individual biennial and joint congresses. Previous IDA Congresses include 2011 – Taipei, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei), 2013 – Istanbul (Turkey).

About the IDA Partners

Icsid – The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) is a non-profit organisation that protects and promotes the interests of the profession of industrial design. Founded in 1957, Icsid serves as a unified voice of over 50 nations through which members can express their views and be heard on an international platform. Since its inception, Icsid has continued to develop its wide-reaching network of students and professionals devoted to the recognition, success and growth of the industrial design community. Together, professional associations, promotional societies, educational institutions, government bodies and corporations create a comprehensive and diverse system on the forefront of industrial design education and progress.

Icograda – The International Council of Communication Design (Icograda) is the world body for professional communication design. Founded in 1963, it is a voluntary assembly 
of organisations concerned with graphic design, visual communication, design management, promotion, education, research and journalism. Icograda promotes communication designers’ vital role in society and commerce and unifies the voices of graphic designers and visual communicators worldwide. The vision, mission and core values of the Council are collectively embodied in the statement ‘leading creatively’ and manifested through our Members’ diverse activities to use design as a medium for progressive change.

IFI – The International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI) is the global voice and authority for professional interior architects/designers. As the sole international federating body for interior architecture/design organisations, IFI acts as a global forum for the exchange and development of knowledge and experience, in worldwide education, research and practice.  IFI works to connect the international community of interior architecture/design in order to further the impact, influence and application of the design of interiors, promote global social responsibility, and raise the status of the profession worldwide. Founded in 1963, as a not-for-profit, limited liability Company, to expand the international network of professional interior architects/ designers, IFI now includes member associations, institutions and schools in every continent, collectively representing practising interior architects/ designers worldwide.