ana masut honoured with ICoD lifetime friend status

All photo credits to ICoD
All photo credits to ICoD

03.04.2023 Announcements

Ana Masut is being honoured as an esteemed Lifetime Friend for her foundational work at the International Council of Design. Over the last eight years, Ana brought energy and insight to ICoD’s agenda, events, initiatives and activities, fostering dialogue and cohesion across international regions, and bringing professional design discourse to the forefront of the Council’s work.

The ICoD 'Lifetime Friend' accolade is an honorific title granted by the organisation to special individuals who have made important contributions to the Council’s activities and advancement, for their outstanding commitment and achievement within the International Council of Design. In the case of Ana Masut, her contributions and dedication are of a magnitude that eclipses the accolade.

As Director General, Ana was accountable for the overall operational and administrative management of the Secretariat, implementation of Board-directed strategy and policy, delivery of the Council’s programmes, and development of membership, affiliations and partnerships. With an educational background in both International Business and Industrial Design, and over a decade of experience managing international projects in a range of industries, Ana is an advocate for professional design practice and design as a vehicle for global change. Over her tenure with the Council, Ana has modernised internal processes as well as auditing and re-shaping programming, shaping Council strategy and communications.

(second from right) Ana Masut representing the Council on a panel during the PADI Afrikan Design Day panel (South Africa, 2019)

From Left to Right: Ana Masut, Johnathon Strebly and David Grossman, coordinating the 2019 ICoD Regional Meeting, held in Matosinhos (Portugal)

Many of Ana’s colleagues weighed in and we wish to share their perspectives on her work:

I was fortunate to serve as ICoD's President during Ana's tenure. While Presidents come and go, I can testify that it was the knowledge that Ana was on board, and trust in her dedication and judgement, that enabled the Board to go forward with confidence. ICoD is unusual in its overtly "social" approach to designing. Throughout its 60 years, it has seen the importance of design in terms of impact on society, on culture, on the environment, as well as in economic terms. Ana reflects that world view, with a personal commitment to diversity and human rights. Her commitment permeated ICoD activities. Ana is a believer in the potential of Good Design. I have no doubt that she will continue to contribute as the international design community evolves. And as the accolade confirms, she will always have friends here at ICoD. We wish her good luck and are sure of her continued success.

— David Grossman (Israel), ICoD Former President (1999-2001, 2015-2017)

 ICoD Regional Meeting Europe, Matosinhos (Portugal 2019)

When joining the ICoD Board I immediately saw what ought to be our number one focus – make sure Ana doesn’t go anywhere. Ana was a constant source of hard work, intelligence, energy and joy. She was attentive to the smallest detail as well as the larger perspective, the here and now and the possible future. For Ana, everything mattered, everything was cared for. And perhaps, most important of all, the people in and around ICoD. 

— Tyra Von Zweighbergk (Sweden), ICoD Secretary General (2015-2019)

I first met Ana in 2007 when she was working on the 2017 Montreal Design Summit project. I could not have been more impressed with her charm, enthusiasm, management skills and attention to detail. Her greatest asset however is her open, inclusive, and friendly demeanour which unquestionably proved to be a great fit for ICoD. As I often say, ICoD is in the good will business and Ana has this in spades. Her ability to combine her business and people skills with an inherent world view sets her apart.

Ana has the rare knack of being able to bring people together. She understands the professional, educational, cultural, humanitarian, and environmental requirements and responsibilities of the design profession. I am personally grateful to Ana for her championing the INDIGO project within ICoD. I was so impressed with the way Ana immediately understood the importance of an international indigenous design network to promote and educate the profession on indigenous/first nation representation in design. Ana is true professional, has a great personality and is a terrific person to be around. As a member of the Committee of Former Presidents, will certainly miss working with her. As a friend, I whole heartily wish Ana all the best in the future.

— Russell Kennedy (Australia), Past President (2009-2013)

When we met anywhere around the world for a Board meeting, Ana always called out your name loudly with a smile, which made the tiredness of a long flight disappear. As a Board Member from Asia, I felt confident to join in the ICoD family. What impressed me deeply was Ana's work for the Beijing Platform Meeting in 2018. Ana was able to guide us to remotely, preparing all the complex paperwork so that more than 100 friends could gather in Beijing. We had a wonderful time. As the local organiser, I knew I could count on Ana behind me in full support. We will miss Ana as a family member.

— Ziyuan Wang (China), ICoD Vice President (2015-2019)

Working with Ana at the Secretariat meant being given the support and trust to each be our best. I was encouraged to develop my design research, ethics and knowledge skills, and under Ana's leadership, the team crafted professional international meetings that expanded this discourse. Ana is all about working "with" the team and Members. Always in conversation with a diversity of design landscapes, we developed a united voice for design that was responsive to a vast range of situated design environments. Ana has a unique ability to tune into others', hear what they want/need locally and find ways to collaborate where everyone flourishes.

— Alisha Piercy (Canada), Communications Officer (2014-2023)

A pragmatist, super organised and loyal with an undivided passion for design, Ana managed the Secretariat team who oversaw ICoD operations, organised General Assemblies over several Board terms and conducted the most amazing Member events and initiatives which have bettered the international design community. When I was treasurer for two Board terms, through the guidance of the Board she applied administrative financial rigour and honesty which saw ICoD transition through enormous change. Ana continued to apply her skills as times continued to change, especially in a period of new uncertainty during the pandemic, into an organisation with a new model for a new era. Above all, Ana is a great people person, a colleague, a friend, a leader in every sense of the word, and never lost touch with the human connections through her outreach to all of our international members. I commend her for her passion, skill and determination and wish her well in all her future endeavours.

— Peter Florentzos (Australia), ICoD Treasurer (2013-2017)

ICoD Regional Meeting Europe,  Matosinhos (Portugal 2019)

It is with great pride that the Council recogise's Ana's unparalleled contribution to the organisation over the past eight years. Her unique character traits: integrity, intelligence, diligence, sensitivity, and conscientiousness — in addition to her passion for good designing and good designers — made her the ideal Director for the organisation. International professional designer organisations, even those with a glorious 60-year heritage, are fragile entities. Evolution is always slow, existential challenges formidable and resources scarce. Ana was able to assemble and lead a small, able team who overcame restraints and shepherd the Council to new heights. During her watch, the entity which was once Icograda transformed into the fully multidisciplinary Council it is today. Interaction with Members and the international design community expanded enormously. Council messaging and communications were immensely improved. The organisation's focus on professionalism broke new ground for the international design community. Ana and her team organised a multitude of international design events that truly focused on content — a rarity that did not go unnoticed around the world. Without Ana's management and active input, the Montréal Design Declaration and the updated ICoD Code of Professional Conduct, important design community achievements, would not have happened.

On behalf of the ICoD Executive Board, the Secretariat Team and all the ICoD community, we thank Ana for her immense contributions to the International Council of Design and its objectives and wish Ana her the greatest success in her future endeavours.

All photo credits to ICoD
All photo credits to ICoD