World Design Day
- WDD 2018: Kids can too!
Logo design by Peter Bankov
- WCDD13 “1Love1Word”Photo courtesy of JCDecaux
The goal of WDD is to challenge designers to reflect deeply on the well-being of people within their local environments, and to find innovative solutions to local needs by using design as a vehicle to honor diversity, transcend borders, and improve quality of life. Marking the anniversary of ico-D’s establishment on 27 April 1963, participants worldwide are invited to gather, innovate, and live out a moment of design by organizing public events and initiatives on 27 April of each year.
- For World Design Day 2020 our theme is “Be Professional!”—a reflection on the designer's role, not only in designing, but in our greater responsibilities towards humanity, the planet and culture.
EDIT: For the 2020 Edition of World Design Day, we are now proposing a "Virtual" celebration in light of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Plan your on-line event or participate through social media channels. We can't meet up physically but we can meet up virtually!
World Design Day (WDD) is an opportunity to recognise the value of design and its capacity for change in the world—and to celebrate the birthday of ico-D. Marking the anniversary of the establishment of the International Council of Design on 27 April 1963, participants worldwide are invited to gather, innovate, and live out a moment of design by organising public events and initiatives on 27 April of each year. The WDD2020 theme: Be Professional! challenges designers to reflect deeply on the state of the profession. This year—on 27 April 2020—we propose activities to honour the great legacy of the design profession with a focus on the things that make us professionals at what we do.
BE PROFESSIONAL! CONCEPT
Designers have an important impact on the built environment and thus on the quality of life of many people as well as the planet. We need to be aware of the impacts of our actions and the responsibilities we have, collectively, in carrying them out professionally.
As practicing designers, we need to decide if we consider ourselves professionals. There is a critical difference between maintaining a professional standard and always providing clients with what (they think) they want. Sometimes these two things can be at odds in terms of the responsibilities of a design professional. If we consider ourselves professional, then we must adhere to a set of commonly held principles that we are not willing to compromise. If we consider ourselves professionals then we must consider the impact of our work on more than the client and the individual end-user; we are accountable for the social, cultural and environmental costs of our professional actions.
The International Council of Design is today the largest international organisation representing professional associations of designers, across the spectrum of design disciplines. Recognising the increasingly influential role played by designers in the 21st century, against a backdrop of economic, environmental, social and cultural challenges caused by unleashed consumption, the Council realises the urgent need for the design community to re-evaluate the designer’s role and responsibilities. Designers must redefine the meaning of being a professional designer.
WDD 2020 ACTIONS
Here are some kickstart ideas:Here’s how to submit:
01 For Designers: Discuss design professionalism on social media
We encourage you to post about issues relating to the professional aspects of design on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). Share with us your historical tidbits, or inspiring stories, the advocacy work of designers that have or are inspiring you. Post and tag us so that we can see and share your stories. Posts can include: personal stories, historical information, inspiring anecdotes, issues in the headlines that highlight the need for professionalism in design, forgotten figures in design history and their contributions. Please note that the use of the ico-D logo is not permitted without the approval of ico-D.
02 For organisations: Activities to promote Professionalism in Design
Many of our Member organisations have developed Codes of Conduct, Codes of Ethics, and manifestos ranging from simple and concise, to detailed and focused on specific disciplines of design. Create your own Code or disseminate the information within your organisation. You can access our Reading List here.
Create a conference on design ethics or issues of professionalism in design, create a mentorship programme for young designers, or plan another activity that shines a light on current issues in design practice or issues of professional standards.
We would like to thank Peter Bankov once again for his design of this year's theme poster!
- For World Design Day 2019 we want to highlight women designers. Designers who create intelligent, inclusive, sensitive design, whether to make big differences or small ones. This year we propose activities and to honor women designers past and present on 27 April 2019.
World Design Day (WDD) is an opportunity to recognise the value of design and its capacity for change in the world — and to celebrate the birthday of ico-D.
The theme for WDD2019 is Women in Design.
The goal of World Design Day is to challenge designers to reflect deeply on the state of the profession. Design affects the well-being of people within their local environments and offers innovative solutions. Design is a vehicle to honour diversity, transcend borders, and improve quality of life. Marking the anniversary of the establishment of the International Council of Design on 27 April 1963, participants worldwide are invited to gather, innovate, and live out a moment of design by organising public events and initiatives on 27 April of each year.
Women designers are important contributors to the discourse on global change. All over the world women are designing for better health, justice, human rights—in homes and in cities and for the earth in general—actively widening the conversation about what it means to be a professional designer in this time. Women are working in teams, in communities and with governments to find ways to collaborate and have impact. Yet recognised designers remain predominantly men. Design history has tended to overlook the achievements of women. For World Design Day 2019 we want to highlight women designers who create intelligent, inclusive, sensitive design, whether to make big differences or small ones. The Women in Design theme honors and shouts out to remarkable women designers past and present.
Here are some kickstart ideas:
01 Honouring Women Designers Past and Present
On social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) post about your women design heroes. Share with us your historical tidbits, or inspiring stories, the work of women that have or are inspiring you. Post and tag us so that we can see and share your stories. Posts can include: images of work, personal stories, historical information, inspiring anecdotes, forgotten figures in design history and their contributions.
Here’s how to submit:
— Twitter: tag @theicod #WDD2019
— Facebook: join the WDD Group and post your stories
— Instagram: tag @theicod #WDD2019
Please note that only posts that follow the WDD2019 Women in Design theme will be shared.
02 For organisations: Activities to promote Women in Design
Create a conference of women design speakers, prepare an exhibition recognizing the work of women designers in your region, create a mentorship programme for young women designers, or plan another activity that shines a light on the important work of women designers or gives opportunities for women to obtain recognition in the field.
03 Women designers: Submit your work
ico-D is a very proud partner of the Aiap Women in Design Award. A biennial international award in the space of communication design that was founded by the Italian Communication Design Association, Aiap. The fourth iteration of this Award will be launched in March 2019 and submissions accepted until May. One way to increase the profile of women designers is to recognize their work and this Award devotes itself entirely to promoting women designers and making a place for them in design history.
The WDD2019 visuals were designed by the multitalented Russian poster designer Peter Bankov. Working between Moscow and Prague, Bankov also works “between terrible design and beautiful, national and anti-national, West Slavic and East Slavic, European and Asian design.” Founder of Design Depot studio and editor of KAK magazine, Bankov has managed to produce over 800 posters, what he calls his “design opuses.” www.bankovposters.com
Download your copy of the WDD2019: Women in Design poster here.
About World Design Day
A concept developed by Kim Paulsen (Icograda Vice President 1993-1995) to commemorate the founding of ico-D on 27 April 1963, the day has been celebrated since 1995 as World Graphics Day, as World Communication Design Day since 2012 and currently as World Design Day.
- Expanding on the 2017 Theme “Start Young” the 2018 iteration of World Design Day will continue to focus on the younger generations. World Design Day, celebrated worldwide on 27 April, is an opportunity to recognise the value of design and its capacity for change in the world — and to celebrate the founding of the International Council of Design fifty-five years ago.
The 2018 theme is Kids can too! and will focus on the spaces where design intersects with the universe of children. There is a lot of hope for the next generations: that they will have the tools to navigate the complex world they will be left, that their optimism and innocence will drive them to make the world better. “Kids can too!’ expresses our expectation that they will live up to these hopes.
Help us celebrate and encourage this by participating in World Design Day 2018. Designing for kids, designing with kids and introducing design to kids!
Here are the three ways we suggest Members can participate in WDD 2018: Kids can too!:
01 For kids: Start Young workshop
Design is transformative and knowing that the kids of today will be the leaders of tomorrow, early awareness of design as a field of professional practice and of elemental design methodology, is key. Start Young is a hands-on workshop that pushes children to explore their creative potential freely and trust their capacity to solve problems and test their solutions. With Start Young, kids learn to recognise the design around them and the basics of design methodology.
The goal is to empower children to adopt innovative ways of thinking and enhance their creative confidence. Start Young was developed by We are Rap. a design studio in Montréal, in partnership with ico-D and is available for Members to download and replicate in their areas. The Start Young Toolkit includes detailed instructions on how to prepare in advance, brief the educators, and how to run the three-hour workshop from start to finish. This workshop was successfully tested in 2017 and was carried out for World Design Day 2017 in design institutions in Canada, Mexico, Italy, South Africa and South Korea.
02 For designers: Designing (ethically) for kids: Designing for children guide
The integration of children’s rights and ethics into the design process is the next frontier for designers who care about responsible design and designing better for children.
The Designing for children guide is an online document and comprehensive set of principles and methods created by designers, psychologists and educators who collaborated over 48h in 2018 in Helsinki to address the huge impact design has on kids. The guide aims to propel the creation a new set of design standards worldwide where children and teens in design processes and outcomes are subjects not objects. Using 10+ commandments for designing and hands-on methods for ethical process, the guide aims to help designers create “products and services that have ethics and children’s best interests at their core.”
Use this guide in your own work and for the celebration of WDD2010: Kids can too!
Read the Designing for children guide.
03 For organisations: Activities to promote design for kids
Whether you share the above tools with your members or create your own event promoting ethical design practice when designing for children or start an initiative locally to petition your government to introduce design in early childhood education, we encourage you to participate in World Design Day by trying to make a difference in your communities and share the results with us!__
The WDD 2018: Kids can too! logo was designed by Peter Bankov (Moscow).
About World Design DayA concept developed by Kim Paulsen (Icograda Vice President 1993-1995) to commemorate the founding of ico-D on 27 April 1963, the day has been celebrated since 1995 as World Graphics Day, as World Communication Design Day since 2012 and currently as World Design Day.
- ico-D announces the theme for WDD2017 will be “Start Young” introducing design concepts to kids through educational workshops. We believe that design is transformative and knowing that the kids of today will be the leaders of tomorrow, early awareness of design as a field of professional practice and of elemental design methodology is key.
Kids are a blank slate. They are at an age when their view of the world and its possibilities are limitless. As the first generation of ‘pure’ digital natives, today’s kids already feel personally responsible for their own futures: they want to be able to choose and create work that makes a difference in the world. And they will do it in their own, unique way.
But how do we prepare young kids to navigate this turbulent world, so they can become sensitive, intellectual, imaginative and practical leaders for tomorrow?
Having a designing mindset means being tuned into the invisible things that matter to people and their relationships to each other and the world.
ico-D, the International Council of Design, sees the great potential for design to improve the world around us. We know that design changes—for the better—how we live and thrive in everyday environments like schools, parks, workplaces and hospitals. The profession of design and its ethics requires designers to consider context, culture, diversity and specificity before even starting to design, and this has become an essential way of thinking and being in the complex world we live in today.
What if design was taught to children the same way math is: everyday, and on equal footing with science, history and languages?
Nearly everywhere in the world, math is considered one of the essential subjects necessary for developing a well-rounded, young mind. The logic is, though many of us won’t become mathematicians, we inherently know math is useful, as it shapes and enlarges our brains in a particular, irrefutable way. In some countries, design is already considered to be an essential subject in elementary school curriculum. The same logic stands: by teaching design to children, they may not become designers, but they will know how to think and be like them. It’s about cultivating and nurturing a designing-mindset. And it’s best to start young.
Every year leading up to World Design Day, we ask ourselves: How can we best impact how people think about design.
This year, we came up with the answer: Kids! …And starting their design awareness and education young!
Design is transformative and knowing that the kids of today will be the leaders of tomorrow, early awareness of design as a field of professional practice and of elemental design methodology, is key.
Whether they choose to become designers, or to apply design methodology in their approach to everyday problems, the designing mindset will be an invaluable asset for whatever future they choose.
We thus excited to announce this year’s World Design day theme: Start Young, a project to introduce design concepts to kids through educational workshops..
WDD2017: Start Young
This year, ico-D has partnered with Montreal-based design studio We are Rap to develop a workshop to introduce design to a whole new generation. The half-day activity is a primer on design with some hand-on exercises to initiate the participants into a basic form of design methodology.
The hands-on workshops will push the children participating to explore their creative potential freely and trust their capacity to solve problems and test their solutions. They will be asked to:
Observe > Analyze > Solve > Model > Test
The desired outcome is to inspire and empower children to adopt innovative ways of thinking and to enhance their creative confidence.
How to participate?
Its a small world. On 27 April 2017 we invite you to celebrate World Design Day by hosting your own design workshop with children in your country. Download the Toolkit here
- Every year World Design Day is celebrated on 27 April 2016. This year’s theme is Design in Action! We invite designers around the world to participate in WDD2016 by sharing examples of design in action in their city or community via Facebook and Instagram! Share photos, videos, illustrations or other representations of the way design is used to make your life better.
- In celebration of its 52nd anniversary, ico-D asks our Members and Community to: Go Public on Process, Design Together, Open Your Studio, Celebrate Designing Processes in response to this year's theme.
- A concept developed by Kim Paulsen (Vice President 1993-1995) to commemorate the foundation of ico-D on 27 April 1963, the day has been celebrated since 1995 as World Graphics Day, and as World Communication Design Day since 2012.