Who We Are
The World Design Organization (WDO) [link to: www.wdo.org], formerly the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, is an international non-governmental organization with UN consultative status that was created in 1957 to promote the profession of industrial design.
What We Do
We inspire, mobilize and activate our community to use design as a powerful tool to improve quality of life and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals [link to: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/]
From the five founding members in 1957, including Italy’s Associazione per il Disegno Industriale [link to:http://www.adi-design.org/homepage.html], WDO’s membership has grown to over 150 member organizations from 40 different countries around the world. Our members represent a diverse and influential cross-section of industrial design organizations, including professional and promotional associations, educational institutions, government bodies and corporations, who share a common interest in positioning design as a catalyst for change.
Our International Programmes
WDO names a World Design Capital® (WDC) every two years for its innovative use of design for economic, social, cultural, and environmental development. Through a year-long calendar of events, the appointed city showcases its accomplishments in attracting and promoting innovative design, and highlights successes in urban revitalization strategies. The first WDC was Torino (Italy) in 2008, followed by Seoul (South Korea) in 2010, Helsinki (Finland) in 2012, Cape Town (South Africa) in 2014, and Taipei (Taiwan, Chinese Taipei) in 2016. Mexico City (Mexico) holds the title for 2018.
Members hold World Design Talks, in their respective regions to address local challenges with global relevance—such as traffic congestion, mobility, responsible consumption and production, climate change and migration—through a design lens. World Design Talks aim to gather and share lessons learned, establish our common ground, and inform our World Design Agenda.
We award the World Design Impact Prize every two years to an industrial design driven project that improves quality of life. Following a public nomination process, a multi-disciplinary panel of experts selects a shortlist for the Prize, which is then voted on by WDO’s more than 140 member organizations. The first project to receive the Prize was the Community Cooker in 2012, followed by the ABC Syringe in 2014, and Warka Water in 2016.
World Industrial Design Day (WIDD) is observed annually on 29 June in recognition of the profession of industrial design. First declared in 2007 on the occasion of the organization’s 50th anniversary, WIDD is celebrated throughout the world. It helps promote awareness of the profession of industrial design and seeks to highlight the impact of industrial design on economic, social, cultural, and environmental development.
Created in 1971, Interdesign workshops enable designers from around the world to work with experts to develop solutions for local issues of global significance. Hosted by a different organization each time, 38 two-week workshops have been held to date, addressing issues such as climate change, urban transportation and traffic, an ageing population, green spaces, healthcare access, and water management.
WDO partners with design-effective companies that recognize the importance of design for good business and the power of responsible behaviour for brand enhancement. We provide these companies with opportunities to position themselves as leaders in design and innovation, showcase their brand in markets around the world, align with other well-established brands and contribute to community building initiatives. We also develop strategic alliances with international media, as well as a number of organizations and development agencies that work in concert to demonstrate the impact of design in the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
World Design Organization (WDO)
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