SM2019 graz

From 10.05.2019 to 11.05.2019 Iridescent Network


The 2019 ICoD Iridescent Network Meeting, supported by Beijing Design Week (BJDW) was hosted by Creative Industries Styria GmbH on 10-11 May 2019 in Graz (Austria)

The Graz  Iridescent Network Meeting (formerly 'Special Meeting') brought together 30 representatives of 17 entities from 13 different countries, and was conceived to determine how the international design community can better collaborate to achieve mutual objectives and tackle shared challenges.

Above: Mary Josephine Cruz of Design Week Philippines

The Meeting was open to entities promoting and supporting design in their regions including Design events (Design Weeks and Biennales), Design museums and Design cities. Participants where invited to bring forward know-how from their regions; best practice examples that can be shared and replicated. The global design landscape is varied and vibrant, composed of organisations across a spectrum of formats, each with particular objectives and audiences. Many of these objectives are shared, and many programmes complement each other. The  Iridescent Network Meeting is a network of organisations who can pool resources to share and create content, discuss important trends and leverage their networks to increase international cooperation.

A design city, week, museum or event has the power to educate the design consumer. If the design profession can focus on messages that are very fundamental it will be possible to communicate the true value of design. This is where an opportunity and a responsibility exist. It is time for design professionals to convey the fact that their primary professional obligation is to the public, that they have to serve the long-term interests of people and the planet, and endeavor to change ideas about consumption.


01 Being Heard: Connecting the design community to business, government, the public, and others.
It is a challenge for the design industry as a whole to communicate not only the value of design but the meaning of design and what can be achieved. Many of the ‘Special Meeting’ type organisations have been formed to palliate this need and bring the message to a wider, mass audience. If we wish to make an impact, we must find ways to work with governments and with other sectors—such as business—to achieve our ambitions. The TOPIC ‘Being Heard’ is about finding ways to connect the design community to business, government, the public, etc.

02 Women in Design: Issues, implications, challenges and opportunities. How can experiences be shared and efforts aligned to generate impactful projects of mutual benefit?

2019 has been a year in which women’s issues have been brought to the forefront. Not only the #metoo movement, but ensuing public debates over issues ranging from women’s health and reproductive rights, women taking their place in elected office, to public call-outs on the media’s portrayal of women, uncovering the hidden biases that affect all women—form how protected their gender is in the creation of standard public safety protocols, to how they are represented in new technology like AI programming. This year shattered notions about how we think and behave in public, in private and professionally all over the world. The design industry, despite its human-centered principles, has not been immune to these issues and their associated responsibilities. This topic aims to explore the issues, implications, challenges and opportunities related to both women working in the design professions and designing for women. We ask: How can experiences be shared and efforts aligned to generate impactful projects of mutual benefit?

03 Fundamental Questions: In the day-to-day of running a design organisation, it is easy to get lost in the practicalities: Increasing social media reach. Getting people in the door. Putting together a flawless event. But these are not the reason we exist. The impact we collectively want to make, the social shifts we want to spark — these are deeper discussions. What is our deeper Design Agenda? How can we collaborate to implement fundamental change?

Download the programme here.

The Iridescent Network Meeting fosters collaboration and exchange between the international community of professional designers—the ICoD Membership—and these various promotion and valorisation entities to address overlapping challenges and objectives. Through such collaboration, content and messaging relating to the Value of Design, National Design Policies, the impact of Globalisation on Design and Designers and other relevant topics, can reach new audiences. Through networking and cooperation, participants are able to more efficiently utilise resources.

For more information on the Iridescent Network Meetings, please contact ICoD Special Meeting Coordinator Tara Farsky at

Meeting Report

SM2019 graz report

The Meeting Report of the Special Meeting 2019 Graz  hosted by Creative Industries Styria GmbH (Austria)