Gwangju (South Korea) – Following its 29th General Assembly (GA) over the weekend, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) announced a new blueprint for change that would recognise and promote the power of industrial design to address some of the world’s biggest challenges.

Attended by member organisations from over 50 nations from all regions of the world, Icsid’s GA approved with a two-thirds majority vote the motions to renew the vision and mission of Icsid and to change the name of the organisation to World Design Organization. Dr. Brandon Gien, who led the Renew Icsid initiative, was pleased with the outcome, saying the new name speaks to a more accessible organisation, open to the wider design community and better aligned to the organisation’s international programming, including World Design Capital®, World Design Impact Prize, World Industrial Design Day and Interdesign.

In his opening address, Gien stated, “As the world organisation for industrial design, we are uniquely positioned to leverage the strength of our global design network and align regional design agendas to the newly emerging solutions economy. Designing a better world is possible if we aim to position design thinking as part of the solution and work together towards a common cause that ultimately impacts us all.”

The main objective of the new World Design Organization is to re-position Industrial Design as a catalyst for positive change in the world. Secretariat staff will begin work to implement the new name and vision to be presented in 2016 and celebrated as part of the organisation’s 60th anniversary in 2017. Secretary General Dilki de Silva stated, “The transformation we are embarking upon is a demanding multiyear effort. We will begin with a programme audit and new branding to introduce the World Design Organization and ensure industrial design remains a core component.”

As new President Professor Mugendi M’Rithaa took his seat he emphasised his commitment to strengthening member value. “I look forward to working with the new 2015-2017 Board of Directors to formulate a model for member collaboration that will identify regional issues for a global design agenda, and to build partnerships with the younger generation of designers that will bring fresh thinking to these exciting times and rapidly expanding areas of design.” President Mugendi pointed to the recently launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and spoke about the new opportunities offered to designers in the solutions economy as design thinking becomes a critical tool for resolving seemingly intractable ‘glocal’ problems.

The two-day general assembly also reported on the term’s international programming including Interdesign in Mumbai (India) in February 2014, the upcoming programme of events for World Design Capital® (WDC) Taipei 2016, the announcement of WDC 2018 to Mexico City, and the six shortlisted projects for the 2015-2016 cycle of the World Design Impact Prize.

For more information:


Renew Icsid Explained: Industrial Design in the Solutions Economy
Voices of Design

Ms. Augie Van Biljouw
Director of Communications
t: +1 514 448 4949 ext. 228
c: +1 514 839 8549