Past Congresses & General Assemblies

First established in Stockholm (Sweden) in 1959, the Congress and General Assembly have been held every two years in various locations around the world. Through a bid process, a host city is selected and works in concert with WDO to deliver a programme addressing key issues for the global design community. Since 2017, WDO has adopted a new format and currently holds a two-day World Design Assembly™ that in part, continues to provide its members with the authority to set the operational direction of the organization, as well as encourages participation from a wider community of stakeholders interested in supporting its mission of design for a better world.

Below is a list of these past Congresses and Assemblies:

         2021: design for the unimagined (online event)

         2019: Humanizing Design, Hyderabad (India)

2017: Achieving the SDGs by Design, Torino (Italy)

2015: “Eeum Design” – Design Connects, Gwangju (South Korea)

2013: Design Dialects, Montreal (Canada)

2011: Design at the Edges, Taipei (Taiwan, Chinese Taipei)

2009: Design Difference – Designing our World 2050, Singapore

2007: Connecting to People and Ideas, San Francisco (United States)

2005: The Changing Role and Challenges of Design, Copenhagen (Denmark), Oslo (Norway), Gothenburg (Sweden), Helsinki (Finland)

2003: Reflecting Experience – Design Between Industrial Innovation and Enhanced User Services, Hanover/Berlin (Germany)

2001: “Oullim” – The Condition of Being Undivided, Seoul (South Korea)

1999: Viewpoint in Time, Sydney (Australia)

1997: The Humane Village, Toronto (Canada)

1995: Design for a Changing World – Toward Century 21, Taipei (Taiwan, Chinese Taipei)

1993: Design Renaissance, Glasgow (Scotland)

1991: At the Crossroad, Ljubljana (Slovenia)

1989: The Emerging Landscape: Order and Aesthetics in the Information Age, Nagoya (Japan)

1987: Design Response, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

1985: World Design, Washington D.C. (United States)

1983: From Spoon to City – 30 years later, Milan (Italy)

1981: Design Integration, Helsinki (Finland)

1979: Industrial Design as a Factor, Mexico City (Mexico)

1977: Development Identity, Dublin (Ireland)

1975: Design for Man and Society, Moscow (U.S.S.R., currently Russia)

1973: Soul and Material Things, Kyoto (Japan)

1971: 7th Congress, Ibiza (Spain)

1969: Design, Society and the Future, London (United Kingdom)

1967: Man to Man, Ottawa/Montreal (Canada)

1965: Design and the Community, Vienna (Austria)

1963: Industrial Design – Unifying Factors, Paris (France)

1961: Towards an Aesthetic of the Invisible Design of Tradition, Venice (Italy)

1959: First Congress and General Assembly, Stockholm (Sweden)