Design for change: the World Design Summit comes to Montréal

published on September 28, 2017
Tourisme Montréal: News and People What's New in Montréal

A prestigious who’s who in modern design are set to attend the World Design Summit at the Palais de congrès de Montréal from October 16 to 25. Delegates include some 50 international organizations, 5000 delegates, 1000 speakers, 30 keynote presentations, and 30,000 Expo visitors from 80 countries, all coming together for this invitation-only exchange of ideas on the theme of using design for positive change throughout the world.

The Summit focuses on six major facets of design – Architecture, Graphic Design, Urban Planning, Industrial Design, Landscape Architecture, and Interior Design –featuring the leaders and ground-breakers of each industry in attendance. Yet more than merely a celebratory focus on aesthetics, the World Design Summit’s true aim is the further exploration and development of design’s capabilities for facing global problems head-on. Broken down into four major tracks, the World Design Summit offers a mind-expanding opportunity for invitees to find common links and cross-pollinate.

Take it to Congress

A multi-disciplinary blend of idea exchange and networking, the Congress gives attendees a platform upon which to develop their ideas alongside other creative leaders across the Summit’s six classifications of design, all seated at the same table. An inspiring list of speakers including Jan Gehl (architect, Denmark), Dr. Lucinda Kaukas Havenhand (designer, design historian, Syracuse University, USA), Haruko Tsutsui(creative director of global agency Dentsu, Japan), Alejandro Aravena (architect, Chile) and many others will keep the flow of information and ideas truly inspired.

A United Goal to Reach the Summit

The Summit of International Organizations brings together 50 international organizations including NGOs, government groups, and agencies including UNESCO and ICLEI with the united goal of composing an international joint Declaration of design and its role in the world. The “Four Main Pillars” of the Summit’s historic Declaration will focus on the impact and capabilities of design on the Economy, Culture, the Environment and Society. (And while the Summit is invite-only, a limited number of VIP Platinum Passes are available to gain attendance).

Design Show and Tell

Over 500 international companies and trendsetters will demonstrate their latest innovations at the Expo, open to both invitees (October 17-20) and the public (October 19, 4-8 PM). From large scale transformative urban planning projects to new design-savvy home solutions, here the World Design Summit opens its doors to all for a look at what’s next in the changing face of design.

A Perfect Host City

In 2006, Montréal was named a UNESCO City of Design (the only city in Canada to receive that honour) joining a list of design-savvy locales including Turin, Italy, Seoul, South Korea, and Helsinki, Finland. As a contributing member to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network Montréal also plays an international role in the forwarding of design’s role in improving quality of life. From the countless artisans and creatives who call the city home, planning projects like large pedestrianized zones throughout the bustling city centre and the large-scale visual installations that transform the landscape into an eye-pleasing kaleidoscope of colour and light, Montréal has long maintained a design-forward mentality to urban living.

The World Design Summit will spotlight many of Montréal’s winning design achievements through several activities catered to visiting luminaries. Events like Art+Food+Design, uniting local chefs with designers in bold culinary collaboration, to the Expo by Night gala and awards ceremony featuring 24 prizes across all six focus categories ensure a conference of epic proportions that’s sure to be as fun as it is historic.

Discover local design talent

The Design Montréal Directory lists 300 Montréal architecture and design firms. To celebrate Montréal’s 375th anniversary, the Expo ’67 50th anniversary and the renewal of Montreal designation as a UNESCO City of Design, the Ville de Montréal’s Design Bureau will spotlight 10 up-and-coming designers, part of the Directory, who proudly embody the creativity of our metropolis.



Event: World Design Summit

Dates: 16-25 October 2017

Venue: Palais de congrès de Montréal


Official Hashtag: #DesignForChange