Montréal Design Declaration

Posted on: 25. October 2017

Representatives of the international community of designers, architects, planners and landscape architects signed the Montreal Design Declaration at the first international Design Summit Meeting in Montreál. The Declaration proclaims the potential of design to achieve global economic, social, environmental and cultural objectives and includes a dramatic call to action to professionals, educators and governments as well as a list of proposed projects. The Design Summit Meeting was conducted within the framework of the “World Design Summit,” an event that included a multidisciplinary Congress and Exhibition.

The signing ceremony was conducted on 24 October 2017 at the Palais des Congrès in Montréal, and signed in the presence of three UN agencies (UNESCOUN-HabitatUN Environment) by the 14 international organisations and partners who collaborated to draft the document and four additional design organisations. The Montréal Design Declaration lists in an Annex more than 600 national professional associations, universities and design promotion entities, from 89 countries, that are represented by these international organisations.

The Montreal Design Declaration is a milestone
marking the launch of a global collaborative effort
to utilise the potential of design for the benefit of all, and concludes:
“All people deserve to live in a well-designed world.”

At the summit’s conclusion, an important declaration was adopted by many international organizations representing designers, architects, urban planners, and landscape architects. The declaration formalizes a common position around the use of design to resolve and overcome the huge economic, social, environmental, and social challenges, to achieve a more sustainable development.

The Montréal Design Declaration calls for action in 9 areas:

  1. design advocacy,
  2. development of design metrics,
  3. development of design policies,
  4. development of design standards,
  5. enhancement of design education,
  6. responsive design,
  7. responsible design,
  8. vigilant design, and
  9. the recognition of design’s value by all stakeholders of civil society.

In this declaration the value of design is described as follows: Design is a driver of innovation and competition and an agent for sustainable solutions; design expressis culture, adds value to technology, facilitates change, introduces intelligence to cities, addresses resiliency, manages risk and fosters development.

One of the key items of the Declaration integrates the collaboration with international efforts, including the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the New Urban Agenda, the Paris Climate Agreement and the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Montréal’s Bureau du design applauds this strong international mobilization – a historic moment in creating a policy position for design.

See the press release of the International Council of Design here and the declaration itself here.
Soon, additional translations into French and Chinese will be available.