SM2017 montréal

21.10.2017 Iridescent Network


The ICoD Special Meeting of Design Weeks, Design Cities and Design Museums (named 'Iridescent Network') took place on 21 October 2017 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The Special Meeting brought together representatives of 15 entities from ten different countries, and was conceived to determine how the international design community can better collaborate to achieve mutual objectives and tackle shared challenges.

This first meeting was organised by ICoD as a pilot project targeting a small cross-section of potential participants to ascertain future potential. ICoD sees collaboration with these entities as an effective avenue for conveying the ICoD messaging to new audiences while at the same time providing valuable content to the collaborating institutions.

Above: Ting Xu, Shenzhen UNESCO City of Design (China)

Above: Doreen Toutikian, Beirut Design Week (Lebanon)

Each participant was asked to share a successful practice, programme, or particular competency of their organisation that would be relevant to the others around the table, and transferable to other contexts. Short discussion periods were held between presentations, giving participants an opportunity to exchange views on their major challenges and how they could most benefit from international collaboration. It was concluded that Design Weeks, Design Cities and Design Museums from all over the world face similar issues despite different political, economic, cultural, and environmental circumstances, and that cooperation with similar organisations worldwide would be beneficial in a variety of ways.

Above: Min Wang, Beijing Design Week (China)

Meeting were both valuable and thought provoking. Many agreed that the programmes and practices presented were transferable, and left with new ideas to adapt to the framework of their own organisations.
It was also recognised that it would be beneficial to hold a Special Meeting of Design Weeks, Design Cities and Design Museums on a regular basis, and that this could be instrumental in addressing issues faced by Design Weeks, Design Cities and Design Museums worldwide.


The Special Meeting was held at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts located in the city’s downtown Golden Square Mile. Founded in 1860 by private art collectors, the museum is the largest in Montreal. Today it holds a collection of over 41,000 pieces - including paintings, sculpture, photographs, decorative arts, craft, and design - exhibited in four pavilions.


Representatives from the following organisations participated in the Special Meeting of Design Weeks, Design Cities and Design Museums:

Design Exchange Museum (Canada)
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Canada)
Bienal de Diseño de Chile (Chile)
Beijing Design Week (China)
INDEX: Design to Improve Life (Denmark)
Beirut Design Week (Lebanon)
MUMEDI Museo Mexicano del Diseño (Mexico)
Porto Design Biennale (Portugal)
DesignPhiladelphia Festival (United States)
Sioux Falls Design Center (United States)
Graz UNESCO City of Design (Austria)
Montreal UNESCO City of Design (Canada)
Puebla UNESCO City of Design (Mexico)
Nagoya UNESCO City of Design (Japan)
Shenzhen UNESCO City of Design (China)


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

SM2017 montréal
Meeting Report

SM2017 montréal report

The Meeting Report of the 2017 Special Meeting hosted by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Montréal)