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bi-monthly bulletin of the International Council of Design

January 2021


Design for Each and All

International Design Day

Announcing this year's International Design Day theme: Design for Each and All.

The collective human family is made up of many different, intersecting types of people. How ‘each and all’ humans encounter the designed world depends on varying degrees of equitable access to certain material realities, spaces, and experiences. The designs that designers create can bring joy, spread information, promote education, grant access to healthcare, and provide knowledge and well-being. It is a fundamental part of the designer’s job to understand how the interplay of social, economic, environmental, technological and geographic factors may grant or block fair access in certain contexts—and to find new ways to let more people ‘in’.

Poster design by Peter Bankov

Read more about the International Design Day 2021 theme and find out how to participate!


Communication Design [journal]


How do gifs and ‘glitch’ aesthetics capture our attention in new ways, changing our reflections on digital art forms? What do Tuscan typefaces have to do with taste in nineteenth century Brazilian publishing and commercial almanacs? In what ways are aesthetics and style levelled with professional knowledge in Hong Kong design universities? In addition to critical voices from Brazil, Canada, Istanbul, The Netherlands, Thailand, UK and the US, this double issue includes a visual essay by Sarah von Buren and Leslie Atzmon on Charles Darwin’s sketches, Lauren Currie’s reflections on her ‘designing designers’ workshop in Finland in 2016, and a book review: part essay, part zine exploring Black transparency and Metahaven’s interactions with Wikileaks between 2010 and 2014.

Read more


ICoD position on unpaid work

Best Practices

The Council announces its stance on the different forms of unpaid design work that exist (including pro bono, 'spec work', some forms of pitching, certain types of design competitions and more) and how designers can navigate tricky terrain to uphold professional practice.

Read it here


Strategic Design Research Journal

Design for Covid

Volume 13, No. 3 of the Strategic Design Research Journal explores design responses and citizens' needs during the pandemic, specific design responses to the on-going crisis, the challenges of online education, and reflections on reflections on psychological, emotional and experiential impacts and the design processes.

Visit the journal


Design and Circular Economy


“It’s hard to reverse the impacts of design decisions once they are implemented. We can’t unscramble an omelette.” How do designers look at systems as a whole to understand how their designs fit into and affect the bigger picture? This is the main question addressed by the “circular economy” (CE) framework, a set of principles based on long-term thinking: regenerative models and waste management and pollution transformation for the creation of more resilient futures. Produced by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, this article proposes how to get started on your 'CE journey'.

For more


culture shock: covid-19 and the cultural and creative sectors

OECD Report

In a paper entitled 'Culture shock: Covid-19 and the cultural and creative sectors' the OECD explores the economic impacts of the global pandemic on the cultural and creative sector. This sector is among the hardest hit. The inadequacy of public support schemes to keep this sector—made up mostly of smaller businesses—afloat will have impacts on other sectors that depend on the creative services these businesses provide to support their innovation.

Read the report here


Universidad Da Vinci de Guatemala

New Member

Based in Guatemala City, ICoD is pleased to welcome the Da Vinci University of Guatemala, with a Graphic Design programme that trains visual communication professionals to gather skills and knowledge in the technological, conceptual, strategic, and aesthetic areas, allowing them to make valuable contributions to Guatemalan society through efficient solutions as a result of knowing and understanding the environment to transform reality.

Visit the New Member story


How circular is current design practice?


In 2014 the European Commission found that 80% of the environmental impact of products is determined at the design phase. How we think about the “circular economy” (CE) (the lifecycle of objects and the built environment) and its effect on climate change and the loss of biodiversity poses new challenges for designers requiring specific knowledge, strategies and methods. This study outlines the complexity of real-world cases through interviews with design practitioners who have worked directly with circularity in a professional setting.

Read the article


In Memoriam: Rita Siow

In Memoriam

“Rita Siow was a passionate champion of Australian design, a loyal supporter of ICoD and a dear, dear friend,” writes former ICoD President (2009-2011) Russell Kennedy. It is with great sadness that we honour our friend and colleague, Rita Siow, Australian designer, design advocate and educator who passed in December 2020.

Read more


Ethical Design

Design Ethics

Two articles on ethical design for technology. One on conducting ethical research and the other on how companies can gain and lose trust based on their ethical choices with respect to the users of tech.

Read them here:

Conducting Ethical User Research

Ethical design thinking: empowering designers to drive ethical change


New European Bauhaus

Government Design Policy

The European Commission is starting to clarify more details on its plans for the 'New European Bauhaus' initiative. A new website was launched to communicate different aspects of the plan that focus on environmental, economic and cultural projects aiming to design 'future ways of living' in a sustainable manner.

Visit the new portal

postings + announcements

career center: AUS ICoD events

ICoD Member events

Poster Bienal Bolivia

ADC 100

hommage jan rajlich
100 x 100 exhibition

The International Council of Design (ICoD) was founded as Icograda in 1963. The name changed in 2014 to reflect the Council's focus shift towards multidisciplinarity. ICoD Secretariat:

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Email: info@theicod.org
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