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ico-D roundtable discussions

ico-D General Assembly Sets an Ambitious Agenda for Design Associations

The ico-D General Assembly 26 took place October 22-23, following Eeum, the International Design Congress in Gwangju, South Korea. This year saw an increased role for the Guild, since as Guild representative to the organization, we agreed to head an ico-D workgroup on national design policies. The workgroups were initiated last year to meet requests for resources in key areas: design education, national design policies, communicating the value of design, and design certification. While the workgroups have been meeting via Skype since late summer – a scheduling challenge, since participants hail from diverse time zones – the first ever face-to-face meeting of the workgroups occurred during the Design Congress in Gwangju.

For the national design policy workgroup, the meetings were very fruitful, yielding numerous contacts among individuals involved with drafting or otherwise participating in their country’s national design policy. While the United States is highly unlikely to ever create a national design policy, preferring instead to permit the free market foster design achievement, the Guild perceives a value to our members in having such policies adopted elsewhere. National design policies across the globe address weaknesses in design education and a lack communication between designers and businesses, and promote increased awareness and respect of intellectual property rights. The organization has also expressed an interest in developing an anti-spec workgroup, in which the Guild intends to be active.

At the General Assembly following the Design Congress, ico-D board members reported on the continuing financial health of the organization, reported on activities achieved throughout the year, and elected the board for the 2015-2017 term. I was elected again to serve another two-year term on the organization’s Audit Committee (headed by Rita Siow), which oversees financial reports and documents from the board on behalf of the ico-D members. In a touching speech, former president Robert Peters gave tribute to Past President Iva Babaja, who guided ico-D through a tulmutuous period. The General Assembly also viewed a presentation from the organizers of the 2017 World Design Summit, scheduled to take place in Montréal, Canada. The Summit is intended to be the largest gathering ever for designers, urban planners, architects and related stakeholders, and will address global issues of sustainability from a design perspective. ico-D is one of three Steering Committee members of the Summit.

The newly elected ico-D board (left to right): VP Wang Ziyuan (China)
, VP Heidrun Mumper-Drumm
 (USA), VP Antoine Abi Aad
 (Lebanon), Treasurer Peter Florentzos (Australia), President David Grossman (Israel), Secretary General Tyra von Zweigbergk (Sweden), President Elect Zachary Haris Ong (Malaysia), Past President Iva Babaja (Croatia), and VP Cihangir Istek (Turkey).

At top of page: Discussion at the Professional Platform Meeting: (from right) Zachary Ong, Malaysia; Tyra von Zweibergk, Sweden; Rebecca Blake, Guild representative; Rita Siow, Australia; and Rogert Golgowski, Germany. Photo by Idzwan Junaid