International Council of Societies of Industrial Design
International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) was founded in 1957 from a group of international organization
An organization is a social group which distributes tasks for a collective goal. The word itself is derived from the Greek word organon, itself derived from the better-known word ergon - as we know `organ` - and it means a compartment for a particular job.There are a variety of legal types of...

s focused on industrial design
Industrial design
Industrial design is the use of a combination of applied art and applied science to improve the aesthetics, ergonomics, and usability of a product, but it may also be used to improve the product's marketability and production...

. Today Icsid is a worldwide society that promotes better design
Design as a noun informally refers to a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system while “to design” refers to making this plan...

 around the world
World is a common name for the whole of human civilization, specifically human experience, history, or the human condition in general, worldwide, i.e. anywhere on Earth....

. Today, Icsid includes over 150 members in more than 50 countries, representing an estimated 150,000 designers.

The primary aim of the association
Voluntary association
A voluntary association or union is a group of individuals who enter into an agreement as volunteers to form a body to accomplish a purpose.Strictly speaking, in many jurisdictions no formalities are necessary to start an association...

 is to advance the discipline
In its original sense, discipline is referred to systematic instruction given to disciples to train them as students in a craft or trade, or to follow a particular code of conduct or "order". Often, the phrase "to discipline" carries a negative connotation. This is because enforcement of order –...

 of industrial design at an international
----International mostly means something that involves more than one country. The term international as a word means involvement of, interaction between or encompassing more than one nation, or generally beyond national boundaries...

 level. To do this, Icsid undertakes a number of initiatives
In political science, an initiative is a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a public vote...

 of global appeal to support the effectiveness of industrial design in an attempt to address the needs and aspirations of people around the world, to improve the quality of life, as well as help to improve the economy
An economy consists of the economic system of a country or other area; the labor, capital and land resources; and the manufacturing, trade, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area...

 of nations throughout the world.


Icsid strives to create a world where design enhances our social, cultural, economic, and environmental quality of life.


1. To facilitate collaboration between the membership pillars of Icsid

2. To support and protect the professional practice of industrial design at regional and international levels

3. To contribute to the advancement of the study of design in theory, research and practice at all levels of education

4. To collaborate with stakeholders in design and other international organisations to foster a global understanding of design

Today, Icsid facilitates co-operation and interaction among its Member Societies, providing a global force through which independent organizations can combine resources and efforts.


Jacques Vienot first presented the idea to form a society to represent the industrial designers internationally at the Institut d’Esthetique Industrielle’s international congress in 1953. The International Council of Societies of Industrial Designers was formally founded at a meeting in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 on June 29, 1957. The name of Icsid demonstrates the spirit which is to protect the interests of practicing designers and to ensure global standards of design. The individuals first elected officials to the Executive Board
Board of directors
A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. Other names include board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, and board of visitors...

 therefore did not act upon personal conviction, but represented the voice of society members and the international design community.

The organization then officially registered in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 and set up their headquarters there. Icsid’s early goal were to help public awareness of industrial designers, to raise the standard of design by setting standards for training and education, and to encourage cooperation between industrial designers worldwide. To do this, in 1959 Icsid held the first Congress and General Assembly in Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

, Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

. At this first Congress the Icsid Constitution was officially adopted, along with the first definition of industrial design which may be found on their website (please see external references). During this Congress, Icsid's official name was changed from the International Council of Societies of Industrial Designers to the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design to reflect that the organization would involve itself beyond matters of professional practice.

In 1974, the Icsid Secretariat moved from Paris, France to Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, Belgium, moving onto Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

, Finland, and in 2005, it settled to Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, Canada where it currently resides.

Throughout Icsid had continued to grow and now has members from all over the world in both capitalist and non-capitalist countries. Icsid has now hosted the Congress in places such as Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

, Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

, Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

, Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

, Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, Kyoto
is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...

 and London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...


In 1963, Icsid was granted special status with UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

, with whom Icsid continues to work on many projects, using design for the betterment of the human condition. As their humanitarian interests grew, Icsid decided to create a new type of conference that would join industrial designers in a host country to study a problem of both regional and international significance. This new conference held in Minsk
- Ecological situation :The ecological situation is monitored by Republican Center of Radioactive and Environmental Control .During 2003–2008 the overall weight of contaminants increased from 186,000 to 247,400 tons. The change of gas as industrial fuel to mazut for financial reasons has worsened...

 in 1971, became the first Icsid Interdesign seminar. These seminars provided opportunities for professional development of mid-career practicing designers, and to allow them to focus their abilities on resolving issues of international significance. This first Interdesign conference and the ones that followed, consolidated Icsid’s position as a driving force of international collaboration.

In the 1980s, collaboration became even more important so a joint Icsid/Icograda
International Council of Graphic Design Associations was founded in London in 1963. Icograda is the world body for professional communication design and visual communication. Icograda network members include professional organisations, design promotion bodies, design media and design education...

/IFI Congress was held in Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

. The impetus for this joint conference was a direct recommendation made by Icsid members to explore closer ties with other world design organizations. At their General Assemblies, all participants unanimously approved a directive to investigate options for a closer working relationship in the future. These organizations then joined with UNESCO to bring together doctors, industrial and graphic designers, and assistants to develop basic furniture for rural health centers, packaging, transport, refrigeration
Refrigeration is a process in which work is done to move heat from one location to another. This work is traditionally done by mechanical work, but can also be done by magnetism, laser or other means...

, and injection of vaccines and the design of data collecting devices for field use.

In 2003, Icsid and Icograda ratified an agreement between both organizations during their respective General Assemblies to form the International Design Alliance, a multidisciplinary partnership that supports design. In 2008, the IDA partners welcomed a third member, IFI (International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers). Together in 2011, all three partners held a historical joint Congress in Taipei, Taiwan called the IDA Congress, a biennial Congress that will replace the partners' respective congresses.

Executive Board

The Icsid Executive Board is the governing body that directs and supports Icsid's mission and vision. It is composed of international industrial design professionals selected by Icsid members during the General Assembly. A total of 11 members make up the Executive Board: President, President-elect, and 9 Executive Board members. Each board member serve a two year term and may be re-elected for a second term, but cannot run for a third term, unless running for President-Elect.


The President-elect is designated as the future President of Icsid in the following term.


A treasurer is appointed by the Executive Board for each new term. The Treasurer's role is to keep record of Icsid's finances throughout the two year term.


The Senate is composed of past Presidents of the Icsid Executive Board, acting as an advisory board. Its eldest member is Kenji Ekuan (Icsid President 1975-1977), an industrial designer most-renowned for creating the soya sauce bottle design. The most current past President serves as the Convenor of the Senate until the next General Assembly, Dr. Mark Breitenberg (Icsid President 2009-2011) is the current convenor.

Regional Advisors

Regional Advisors are former Icsid Executive Board members who are appointed to represent Icsid through regional events and strengthen the organization's global presence.


The Secretariat handles daily operations and carries out decisions made by the Executive Board during the term.

The Secretariat office have been previously located in Paris, Brussels, and Helsinki. It is currently located in Montreal, Canada since 2005.


ICSID Members are professional associations, promotional societies, educational institutions, government bodies, corporations and institutions, which aim to contribute to the development of the profession of industrial design. These societies collaborate to establish an international platform through which design institutions worldwide can stay in touch, share common interests and new experiences, and be heard as a powerful voice.

World Design Congress

Since its first Congress in 1959 held in Stockholm, Sweden, the World Design Congress was Icsid's most notable biennial international industrial design event. A host city is chosen through a bidding process, followed by a program in which keynote speakers, panellists and workshops are developed during the three day event. The Congress was open to all those interested in industrial design, including Icsid members.

IDA Congress

In 2011, the International Design Alliance have agreed to replace their individual Congresses to a joint biennale Congress under the multidisciplinary banner of the IDA Congress. A joint model was previously held every six years since 1981, starting in Helsinki, Finland. The joint Congresses were then followed by Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 1987; Glasgow, Scotland in 1993; Sydney, Australia in 1999; and Copenhagen, Prague in 2005.

After a bidding process, the city of Taipei, Taiwan was selected as the host city for the inaugural 2011 IDA Congress. Each organization would still hold their individual General Assemblies after the IDA Congress.

General Assembly

The Icsid General Assembly is an Icsid member-only event in which member organizations discuss refinements to the Constitution and By-laws, elect a new executive board for the upcoming term, ratify new members, and update the membership on the work done in the past term through the previous executive board's direction.

The General Assembly is held directly after the Congress for a two day period.

World Design Capital

Under Icsid's direction, the World Design Capital® Project is a biennial designation given to a city who has proven through the use of design in revitalizing urban areas whilst also promoting innovative design. Through this initiative, the city of Torino, Italy was designated as the first World Design Capital in 2008. With the help of Icsid, a yearly program is conceived to engage the city in signature World Design Capital events including galas and exhibitions.

Several processes are performed prior to designating the city, including a call for submissions, an evaluation of the submissions, a shortlist of cities, a city visit and a final selection process. A selection committee is appointed to shortlist the cities and the WDC Organising Committee chooses the designated city.

The current World Design Capital network:

Previously, the designated city was announced at the Icsid World Design Congress, but is now announced at the IDA Congress.

World Design Impact Prize

The World Design Impact Prize was developed to award a socially-responsible design project or initiative, in which design proves or could potentially prove to enrich or improve quality of life on a social, environmental, cultural or economic scale.

Inaugurated in 2011, a shortlist of seven finalists were announced at the XXVII Icsid General Assembly in Taipei, and the winner will be announced at the World Design Capital International Design Gala in Helsinki in 2012.


An intensive two-week workshop, Interdesign is a collaboration between international designers and local experts to discuss a design issue and seek solutions for implementation. Since 1971, the first Interdesign was held in Minsk, USSR (now Belarus), where thirty designers worked on the product-oriented subject of bread making.

World Industrial Design Day

This annual day of observance is held every 29 June, Icsid's anniversary, for industrial designers and design students. It promotes awareness and celebration of industrial design, encouraging Icsid members and non-members to hold events such as exhibitions, panels, workshops, and other social functions.

Since 2009, an annual student poster competition is held for Icsid's Educational student members to participate. A theme is determined by the Icsid Executive Board prior to the competition, where students must create a poster relevant to the year's theme. The Executive Board shortlist the finalists and the winner is determined by public online voting. The winning poster is appointed as the official poster for World Industrial Design Day for the year.


Ire. 1972 2D Icsid Interdesign Seminar Kilkenny; Gorman, Michael; (1986), Design for Tourism: And Icsid Interdesign, International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, ISBN 978-0080214818

External links

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