the council to hold a special meeting of design weeks, cities, museums, festivals and biennales in partnership with beijing design week (china)

01.10.2018 ICoD news

For immediate release
02 October 2018


Download the Press Release (PDF)


ico-D Special Meeting of of Design Weeks, Cities, Museums, Festivals
and Biennales in partnership with Beijing Design Week


BEIJING (CHINA): ico-D Special Meeting of Design Weeks, Cities, Museums, Festivals and Biennales took place on 21-22 September 2018 at the Gehua New Century Hotel in partnership with Beijing Design Week (BJDW). The Special Meeting brought together representatives of 17 entities from 14 different countries, and was conceived to determine how the international design community can better collaborate to achieve mutual objectives and tackle shared challenges.

Above: Meeting representatives from Saint-Étienne UNESCO City of Design, Design Society Shenzhen and Moscow Design Museum


The 2018 ico-D Special Meeting was open to entities promoting and supporting design in their regions including design events, design museums and design cities. Seventeen entities participated in the second Special Meeting, including core entities from the pilot Montréal Special Meeting held in 2017, with an expanded group joining in Beijing.


Above: Meeting Representatives from Porto Design Biennale, Graz UNESCO City of Design, and the International Council of Design


Above: Alexandra Sankova of Moscow Design Museum


Representatives from the following organisations participated in the 2018 ico-D Special Meeting:

Aiap Women in Design Award (Italy)
Australian Design Centre (Australia)
Beijing Design Week (China)
Cape Town UNESCO City of Design (South Africa)
Delhi Design Festival (India)
Design Society (China)
Graz UNESCO City of Design (Austria)
Lima Design Week (Peru)
Moscow Design Museum (Russia)
MUMEDI Museo Mexicano del Diseño (Mexico)
Nairobi Design Week (Kenya)
Open Design Afrika Festival (South Africa)
Porto Design Biennale (Portugal)
Saint-Étienne UNESCO City of Design (France)
Shenzhen UNESCO City of Design (China)
Singapore Design Week (Singapore)
Wuhan UNESCO City of Design (China)

The Meeting was held to coincide with the opening of Beijing Design Week—one of the world’s largest design weeks. China's fast-growing economy and internal market is changing international trade and consumption, exerting a very powerful influence on the international design community. The setting of the Special Meeting in Beijing offered a unique opportunity to better understand the consequences of these historic developments.

All participants brought forward case studies from their regions, and shared best practice examples that might be replicated in other regions. 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, raising the possibility of mutually beneficial collaboration and exchange while celebrating  the unique qualities and capacities of each entity.

ico-D sees the network as a valuable channel through which to transmit to new audiences ico-D messaging relating to professional community issues—valuable content to Design Weeks, Cities and Museums, Festivals and Biennales. Such content relates to topics including National Design Policies, Conveying the Value of Design, the Challenges of Golbalisation and Professional Practices. The entities participating in the 2018 ico-D Special Meeting in Beijing also expressed interest in the recently issued Montréal Design Declaration.


Above: Special Meeting Breakout Sessions


In the concluding session, participants listed desired next steps, including a method to enable quick communication and consultation and data bases for sharing information. Special Meeting participants articulated satisfaction with the well-organised meeting and look forward to the 2019 edition—tentatively planned for May in Europe, the exact location and date will be announced soon.

The Special Meeting partnership with BJDW will continue in 2019 and 2020.



ico-D Special Meeting page on ico-D website 



Beijing Design Week (BJDW)

The 2017 iteration of Beijing Design Week included over 1000 components and attracted 8 million participants. In collaboration with Guest City, Copenhagen, the 2018 iteration theme is Design and High Quality Development. In addition to over a hundred exhibitions, conferences and events, two main exhibitions illuminate the theme: The Past 40 Years, and Tradition: Intangible Cultural Heritage Design. The events take place from 23 September to 7 October 2018 and will include ten activities: Design Night (opening ceremony), Themed Exhibition, Guest of the City, Classic Design Award, Beijing Design Forum, Design Fair, Innovation Design Services Conference, Design Trade Fair, Design Hop and Fashion Beijing.


International Council of Design (ico-D)

The International Council of Design (ico-D) is an international non-governmental organisation founded in London in 1963 and based in Montréal since 2005. ico-D is a world body for professional design representing more than 140 organisations in 67 countries and regions globally, including national professional associations, educational institutions and promotional bodies. As a member-based network of independent organisations and stakeholders working within the multidisciplinary scope of design, we promote the value of design practice, education, research and policy. 


For more information contact:
Alisha Piercy
Communications Officer