Design as a universal right: “All people deserve to live in a well-designed world.”

30 October 2017
Signed by eighteen international organisations representing upwards of a million practitioners, the Montréal Design Declaration refers to the obligations of designers to address the social, economic, environmental and cultural impact of their work.

On 24 October 2017, the Montréal Design Declaration was signed by eighteen international organisations, representing upwards of a million practitioners. The Montréal Design Declaration is an historic milestone for the international design community. For the first time, the international organisations representing designers, architects, planners and landscape architects are speaking with one voice, outlining the potential of design to address important challenges facing humanity and issuing a joint call to action. The Montréal Design Declaration, was issued at the “World Design Summit” an event that included a Congress and Exhibition and other events.The Montréal Design Declaration was signed by the fourteen international organisations and partners who had collaborated to write the document including International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) and International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP) and four additional design organisations in the presence of representatives of three UN agencies (UNESCO, UN-Habitat, UN Environment). The Montréal Design Declaration lists in Annex more than 600 professional associations, universities and design promotion entities, from 88 countries, that are represented by the international organisations.


Water Kawasaki, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)


The Montréal Design Declaration recognises the unique value of design to address the complex problems of this century. It is both a foundation for collaboration between the signing entities and an appeal to governments, the business sector, civil society and practicing design professionals to leverage the power of good design. The call to action “All people deserve to live in a well-designed world” is a bold challenge and the document offers a roadmap in the annex of 20 potential projects for implementation.


Isabelle Vérilhac, The Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA), Elsebeth Gerner-Nielsen and Eija Salmi of International Association of Universities and Colleges in Art, Design and Media (Cumulus)


Alain Dufour (Secretaray General of the Design Summit), David Grossman (ico-D) and Ana Masut (ico-D)


The Montréal Design Declaration was conceived and drafted by a growing coalition of international professional organizations under the leadership of the Design Summit Meeting Steering Committee composed of  the International Council of Design (ico-D), the International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP) and the International Federation of Landscape Architecture (IFLA) and representatives of the World Design Summit Organisation (WDSO), the organising entity of the World Design Summit events.


Eleanor Mohammed, Global Planners Network (GPN)


Xavier Codina, Architecture Sans Frontières International, (ASF-Int), Bruno Demers (ASF-Int) and Albert Dubler, International Union of Archtects (UIA)


Brenda Sanderson and Alok Nandi, Interaction Design Association (IxDA)


The first Design Summit Meeting and the Montréal Design Declaration mark the launch of an ongoing process. As is mandated by the Montréal Design Declaration, in the coming months the Design Summit Meeting Steering Committee will be expanded to include additional Design Declaration signers. Steps will be taken to recruit additional participants, implement projects, institutionalise collaboration with international social, economic, environmental and cultural agencies and continue the process.


Martina Otto, United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), Jyoti Hosagrahar, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)


Regitze Mariane Hess International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP), Flemming Borreskov (IFHP) and Marie-Claude Parenteau-Lebeuf (WDSO)


Please download the Montréal Design Declaration, circulate widely, and like, share and comment.



Montréal Design Declaration Official Website
International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA)
International Federation of Housing and Planning (IFHP)